[thelist] Questinging JS was "AJAX Calls Working Intermittently in IE"

Joshua Olson joshua at waetech.com
Wed Mar 12 21:08:20 CDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ben morrison [mailto:morrison.ben at gmail.com] 
> Subject: Re: [thelist] AJAX Calls Working Intermittently in IE
> Joshua,
> You have given great advice over the years and I'm amazed that you
> even said that,
> do we really need to be asking "why support non-js users" anymore?
> Graceful degradagtion, unobtrusive javascript anyone?


First off, I appreciate your kind words.  Thank you.  

In response to your question, I think it would be irresponsible NOT to ask
that question.  Since I joined the mailing list 8 years ago, the role,
capabilities, and acceptance of JavaScript has changed dramatically.  Back
in the day, JavaScript was really only useful for simple upgrades such as
implementing rollovers and doing simple form validation.  People feared it
and many disabled it for fear of the many security holes it presented.  Now,
JavaScript is used to create eye catching visual effect and as part of a
framework that creates streamlined and responsive applications.  Sure it's
possible to create two versions of a page--one utilizing AJAX (for example)
and one for the tiny percentage of people who don't have JS enabled.

First off, can we all agree that making only one version of the page
(virtual or actual)* would make the code less buggy, easier to maintain, and
WAAAY faster to develop?  If we can, then look at it very unemotionally: are
we *really* doing anybody a favor in the big picture if we require legacy
support with EVERY website?  It seems that the proliferation of feature rich
browsers and the large percentage of browsers that have JS enabled makes
this a very small leap to simply require JS.

In the last few years I've gotten so frustrated with wasted time that I've
jumped on the bandwagon to force users to use JS for some things.  You
know--none of my clients have received a complaint, and none of the visitors
have ever complained.  

I strongly encourage non-JS solutions for things like navigation so that
search engine ranking isn't hindered, but for things like paging through an
uber-slick photo gallery, I say let the JS enabled browsers have all the

All right, tear me up.


* "Virtually" would be using degradable and unobtrusive JS.  "Actually"
would be making a separate HTML (or whatever) page for non-JS browsers.

Joshua L. Olson
WAE Technologies, Inc.
Augusta, Georgia Web Design
Phone: 706.210.0168
Fax: 707.988.0168
Private Enterprise Number: 28752


Monitor bandwidth usage on IIS6 in real-time:

More information about the thelist mailing list