[thelist] Theory Question: Client Side or Server Side

Joshua Olson joshua at waetech.com
Sat Apr 10 10:43:13 CDT 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jonathan
> Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 2:50 AM
> I couldn't agree more with Shawn.  It's a rule for development in our shop
> that Javascript is never used for core functionality, as all web
> applications should fail gracefully.

Et al,

I suppose the real crux is whether or not the JavaScript is providing "core
functionality" or a nice-to-have feature.  In the case of automatically
showing the updated basket prices when the quantities change, I'd group the
functionality as frivolous and a good candidate for JS.  I'd also use
JavaScript to render the elements on the page that hold the updated prices
so that they are not a distraction if JS is not enabled.

Remember, validation of forms and real-time user interaction are NOT the
same thing.  The former can be accomplished on the client but MUST be backed
up on the server by additional processing.  The latter can only be
accomplished by client-side technologies and can, if deployed correctly,
improve the user experience in terms of accuracy, confidence,
time-to-completion.  Client-side scripting should not be discouraged simply
because "not all users have it."  Instead, write code so that it rewards
users with it enabled by improving their experience. Likewise, write it in
such a way so that it is not likely to fail, and then if it does, the page
either doesn't throw an error to the user OR *non-technically* explains why
the page may not work as expected.

Joshua Olson
Web Application Engineer
WAE Tech Inc.

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