[thelist] Theory Question: Client Side or Server Side

J.D. Welch so.there at showtunepink.com
Sat Apr 10 14:10:27 CDT 2004

on 10 Apr Karl Bunyan wrote:

KB >I'd be interested to know if there are any general stats showing the
KB >proportion of users who do have JavaScript turned off. TheCounter.com
KB >lists it as 6%, which is a significant proportion, but I don't know
KB >enough about how the code they use to gather the information to judge
KB >whether that's accurate.

well, i don't have hard numbers, and don't feel they'd help the
situation any, as it only really matters what _your audience_ does. for
a site i worked on with a target market of paranoid unix geeks (more or
less), we decided that the few people who have JS turned off would be
vocal enough about our using JS (or Flash, or Java applets etc etc.)
that we confined ourselves to only using server-side scripts that output
only HTML or plain text. thus, even though the interface _might_ have
been easier to deal with when exchanging and validating form data, we
opted for the more old-fashioned approach, and it works just fine.  on
the other hand, if you're assured of a wide and varied audience (like,
say, when designing a new Yahoo! service), it seems perfectly reasonable
to assume that using whatever your target browsers' default
configuration is will work for the vast majority of users, and by all
means provide JS-ish stuff that genuinely benefits the user experience
(notwithstanding the line between useful and frivolous being very grey).

as has been said, look at the logs for the site you're working on, or,
abesent the existance of same, think about who your users are.
providing a simple-to-use, javascript-form-checking heavy (like those
irritating 'did you fill out X form field in Y way?' sort of alerts)
site appeals to a different community than, say, hard-core geeks or
general 'power-users.'

as with all web technology decisions, you have to decide on a
case-by-case basis with these things, and any amount of generalized
statistics won't help.


   J.D. Welch	       |  me at showtunepink.com
   graphic designer    |  http://www.showtunepink.com
   web monkey          |  http://kitschparade.ath.cx

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