homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.205.197.66
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member

Home / Forums Index / Code, Content, and Presentation / JavaScript and AJAX
Forum Library, Charter, Moderator: open

JavaScript and AJAX Forum

This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >     
Does anyone actually turn off JavaScript?
...the hell with them if they do?
Emperor




msg:1484353
 5:05 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,

Unless I want to build my site to 1996 specs I need to use some JavaScript. I always read that the site should function properly if the user does not have JavaScript (or has it disabled), well, I'm not going to concern myself with those people.

A simple example is this: I want a text link to submit a form, I don't want to use a submit button. I don't know of any way to do that that does not use JavaScript. So what should I do, write a bunch of code that determines if they have JavaScript enabled and if not output a regular button instead? The hell with that.

It's like CSS, if they don't have a modern CSS enabled browser my site won't look right (in fact it will look terrible) but I can't worry about those people, I don't even want them at my site if they are running a computer from 1996.

What do you guys think?

Take care,
Cyrus

 

victor




msg:1484354
 5:29 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, a lot depends on what your market/audience is. Without knowing that, anything else is just guesswork.

But a few points to bear in mind:

  • You may risk prosecution for failing to meet disability access laws in your country
  • You may lose up to 15% sales, all of which will go directly to your nearest competitor (15% is the usual estimate of those who don't use JS)
  • You may be only partially indexed (or not at all) by search engines (spiders, including googlebot, do not execute JS -- at least not very well)
  • Your site may be considered quaintly old-fashioned by your users as it fails to address modern issues like accessibility, or fails to work in phones or PDAs.
  • grandpa




    msg:1484355
     5:34 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Another option would be to provide a non-Javascript version of the page, if it's possible. For those pages where I rely on JS, there is usually another option (page) available. Not always, but usually. A simple text link to the option is helpful too... "If your browser does not support Javascript Click Here"

    choster




    msg:1484356
     5:37 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

    <noscript></noscript>

    sean




    msg:1484357
     5:55 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Emporor, is your income tied directly to the conversion rates of your sites?

    Lose 5% revenue here, lose 5% market share there, it could really add up.

    PCInk




    msg:1484358
     6:30 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

    No, it's not to hell with them. It's:

    <script...> print "<a onclick...submit form code>"; </script>
    <noscript> <input type=button ....> </noscript>

    It is that simple - give the javascript enabled browsers the style that you want, using javascript - but fall back to a standard button for those users who do not have JS enabled.

    grandpa




    msg:1484359
     8:00 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

    It is that simple - give the javascript enabled browsers the style that you want, using javascript - but fall back to a standard button for those users who do not have JS enabled.

    I'm not convinced that it is that simple. I'm thinking of a page that *requires* JS to properly work. Without JS, the page is simply not usable.. it is viewable, but you can't order anything from the page.

    From the perspective of style then it is a simple thing to offer JS or non-JS. From the perspective of functionality there may not be such a simple option.

    Leosghost




    msg:1484360
     3:31 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    What about the new "improved high-jack your box ..SP2"or N*rton..Some of your visitors may not have a choice ..no javascript enabled.

    digitalv




    msg:1484361
     3:35 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I only turn off Javascript when I go to a site that has right-clicking disabled - I guess some webmasters don't realize that there are more functions available on the right mouse button than stealing their images. In Firefox with Web Developer toolbar installed its really easy to do ... but other than that, I would venture to say that most people don't even know HOW to turn off Javascript.

    I wouldn't worry about them.

    sem4u




    msg:1484362
     3:38 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I agree with you digitalv, I don't think many people know how to turn it off.

    ronin




    msg:1484363
     5:11 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I have a non-technical userbase and I don't use very much javascript on my site. However, according to my visitor stats...

    In the last 24 hours, 99.24% had javascript enabled.
    In the last month, 99.46% had javascript enabled.
    Since the beginning of Feb 2004, 99.5% had javascript enabled.

    I suppose whether 0.5% is significant or not depends on the size of the whole pie.

    encyclo




    msg:1484364
     5:25 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    ronin's figures are quite right - on a site catering to non-technical users, the number of real visitors with Javascript disabled is minimal.

    However, there are a few caveats: firstly, make sure your entire site is navigable - obviously, the search engine bots don't do Javascript and won't follow JS links. For form submission, I can't see much of a problem, but including a standard submit in a noscript section is not a bad idea.

    Same idea as with the CSS - even if the site looks terrible, make sure that it is navigable and logical, not only for the bots, but also for those using screenreaders and similar.

    Build using Javascript: absolutely. Being over-dependent on it, not a good idea. The site should at least work in any browser, even if unstyled and missing any fancy stuff.

    glengara




    msg:1484365
     5:55 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Agree with Encyclo, may be particularly relevant when submitting to Y! (free) and DMOZ.

    I surf JS disabled, but will enable it where I must, also saves me seeing all those *%@$* Ads by GOOOOGLE ;-)

    choster




    msg:1484366
     6:09 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Know your audience, is all I can say. There are a lot of paranoid corporate IT departments out there, especially in government. At least one state didn't allow persistent cookies and at least one company I've worked at blocked .js files until only months ago. And there are still those whose work machines are Pentium IIs running NT4 or Windows 95, especially in the military and in the U.S. federal government.

    Most of those workers, of course, have fully connected machines at home, and aren't supposed to be spending their workday shopping online. But there's no need to be rude about it (for instance, the sites that won't let me in unless I "upgrade to Netscape 6.1 or higher" when I am using Mozilla 1.4).

    victor




    msg:1484367
     2:05 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Having a site that is 100% usable without Javascript (even if not as 100% effective) is just simple future-proofing in addition to all the other advantages listed in this thread.

    Who knows what vulnerabilities will lead to stronger security advice to turn off Javascript? Maybe XP SP 3 will turn it off by default except for trusted sites.

    A sign of things to come?
    Secunia advises users ... disable JavaScript as workarounds in advance for patches from vendors,

    [theregister.co.uk...]

    A site that works without JS not only has greater reach, it may save you a lot of late-night recoding one day.

    ricfink




    msg:1484368
     1:11 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Victor's posts disturb me greatly.

    15% of users have javascript disabled?
    Where on earth did that number come from?

    And then:

    "Who knows what vulnerabilities will lead to stronger security advice to turn off Javascript? Maybe XP SP 3 will turn it off by default except for trusted sites."

    Yeah, sure. Microsoft is going to break half the pages on the Internet - including their own - with it's next release. Please, give me a break. What nonsense.

    Look, I don't know what exactly it is that you're trying to achieve but citing phoney numbers and silly scenarios doesn't do anyone in this forum any justice.

    People come to this site hoping for informed, truthful advice on technical issues that can effect many, many users.

    If anybody else reading this thread has javascript enabled/disabled stats from a site they're associated with, I, for one, would be very interested in seeing those numbers.

    victor




    msg:1484369
     4:17 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Previous discussions on this site, values range up to 15%:

    [webmasterworld.com...]
    [webmasterworld.com...]
    [webmasterworld.com...]

    Thecounter is currently counting 9%:
    [thecounter.com...]

    That appears to be up from 4% since the beginning of the year:
    [thecounter.com...]

    They are global statistics. What really matters is what is the percentage for your potential audience....that's the count for all your competitors, not just your site.

    webnerd




    msg:1484370
     6:38 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

    <<However, there are a few caveats: firstly, make sure your entire site is navigable - obviously, the search engine bots don't do Javascript and won't follow JS links.>>
    This is very true. I have two websites one html navigation and one with javascript navigation.
    Both have robots.txt the same.
    The html has been fully index by all the major search engines.
    The home page is listed only on the javascript navigation website. In this case I wanted it that way.

    MichaelBluejay




    msg:1484371
     7:52 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

    In all these discussions about whether users have JavaScript turned off everyone always misses a crucial point. Everyone always zeroes in on the fact that by requiring JavaScript you lose X% of sales. What they never count is the other side -- that by using JavaScript in the first place you can *increase* sales by Y%. The question isn't whether you're willing to tolerate the loss of X% of your sales, it's whether you have *any* net loss of sales at all, and if so how much, and *then* you can figure whether that's too high to tolerate, if there's even a loss at all.

    Think of most e-Commerce sites. You see 20 products on a page, three of which might be what you need. How do you check them out? Click the first one, maybe click another link for more info, then the back button, then maybe another back button, then click the second product, then go back, etc. Yeah, I know there are possibilities with tabbed browsing and new windows, but I'm not talking about how YOU shop, I'm talking about how typical *customers* shop.

    By contrast I've built some dynamic sites where customers can browse through pictures and descriptions of multiple products all on the same page. They see 10-20 thumbnails, then click any for a bigger picture and more info -- without having to wait for another page to load, and without losing their place because they didn't go anywhere.

    Even if the number of users with JavaScript disabled is as high as 5%, which I'm skeptical of, which customers are more important to you? The 5% who have JavaScript turned off or the 95% who don't? No way am I going to cater to the 5% at the expense of the 95%. I'm not going to rob the 95% of an awesome user experience because a tiny handful don't want that experience.

    Sorry if any of this is too forward but it's past my bedtime and my diplomacy filter already turned in for the night.

    PCInk




    msg:1484372
     1:09 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

    > No way am I going to cater to the 5% at the expense of the 95%.

    Then lose 5% of your sales. Simple, in theory.

    Not so simple in reality: you will lose more than 5% of sales. Think about it logically...you may be surprised.

    Lovejoy




    msg:1484373
     1:56 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

    My stats have javascript enabled by 99.96% of visitors so far this month, which is about average for my site in the last year. I've not had one complaint rgarding the use of Java on my site in the last three years ;~)

    isitreal




    msg:1484374
     6:21 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

    On a standard user, non technical site I'm doing, older demographic, I'm seeing the stats fit pretty much every standard stat I've ever read, including the 5% javascript disabled.

    <<<< There are a lot of paranoid corporate IT departments out there,

    No, there's a lot of smart IT departments out there, that's a sign of a good windows network admin, not a paranoid one. One who takes the time to read things, including most of the latest major IE security holes, which almost universally recommend turning off all active scripting, and active x. Turn them off, no problems with a lot of stuff, leave them on, lots of problems.

    That's the problem though, the people with javascript disabled when you are talking about standard non-tech users are generally corporate users, corporate users have money, and spend money. If this is a market that you don't want, you can send them our way... I haven't done a site that depends on js for functionality for a few years, so they'll be welcomed.

    ricfink




    msg:1484375
     1:35 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    isitreal said:

    "I'm seeing the stats fit pretty much every standard stat I've ever read, including the 5% javascript disabled."

    Where did you read this "standard stat" and what makes it reliable?

    What measuring tool are you using and how does it go about detecting javascript enabled?

    Also, does it distinguish between browsers and spiders?

    Also, before getting into web work, I was a well-paid network admin, engineer and consultant for several large companies.
    What you are saying about disabling activex and scripting just doesn't jibe with what I've seen on the job.
    Once again, you don't offer specifics about the problems that one avoids by disabling these things.
    What are they?

    ricfink




    msg:1484376
     2:15 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    MichaelBlueJay thank you for a breath of fresh analytical air.

    Victor:

    Relying on thecounter's stats is a big mistake, methinks.

    Firstly, what you are quoting as "global" statistics are global only to those who subscribe to thecounter's service.
    What sites are they? Even if you take at face value that their methodology for detecting javascript is sound (which I have my doubts about), why would you assume that they represent a statistically valid sampling that would point to the conclusion that 9%
    of ALL Internet users are out there browsing with javascript disabled?
    One thing just does not logically follow the other.

    I mean, I'm sure thecounter reported before the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction AND he browsed the Internet with javascript disabled.

    Sorry. Silly. But hey, in the twelve years or so I've been in Information Technology by far the hardest part has been obtaining authoritative, unimpeachably accurate information. It's incredibly hard to get in this field for some reason. Rumor prevails.
    Do you really want to make decisions based on statistics from one source?

    isitreal




    msg:1484377
     2:26 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    <<< What measuring tool are you using and how does it go about detecting javascript enabled?

    stats, library file loads, site css versus site js

    <<< Also, does it distinguish between browsers and spiders?

    Yes

    <<< What you are saying about disabling activex and scripting just doesn't jibe with what I've seen on the job.

    No comment

    <<< Once again, you don't offer specifics about the problems that one avoids by disabling these things.
    What are they?

    You're kidding, right?

    victor




    msg:1484378
     8:49 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Relying on thecounter's stats is a big mistake, methinks.

    That's true. Relying on one data point is not good.

    But give me some equally good reasons for discarding that one data point in favor of the one or two others that have been quoted here.

    Personally, I don't have to worry. My sites work equally well with or without javascript.

    But if I had a site that relyed on a single add-on technology, like Javascript, I'd sure want a better argued case for not doing extra research into an appararent doubling of the users who don't use that technology.

    It may be explainable, it may need a site redesign. Right now, it needs better research, for those who care about it.

    edit_g




    msg:1484379
     8:59 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    You may lose up to 15% sales, all of which will go directly to your nearest competitor (15% is the usual estimate of those who don't use JS)

    I'd quite like to know where those figures come from... My estimate is closer to 0.5%...

    Sure, you'll miss out all traffic from most public internet kiosks and some very paranoid companies. But building a search form with multible dropdowns without JS is a bit of an ask IMO. What are you going to use? Flash & Xml?

    PCInk




    msg:1484380
     9:55 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Stats are always misleading.

    Say your site requires javascript to function. Your stats will not include repeat visitors, who will not return because your site does not work on their browser. The number of pages views is likely to be very low for these users because they get frustrated and simply go to a site that does work. Also word of mouth recommendations from these people will not include your site: why would they recommend a site that (in their opinion) does not work?

    People who are reporting less than about a certain level probably have sites that don't work without javascript. These figures become inaccurate, unreliable and basically should not be used.

    The argument seems to be very much along the lines of 'switch JS on or go elsewhere'. Well, would you turn your Firewall and Antivirus off to visit my site? I am sure you wouldn't. But there are people who believe (and to some degree it is true) that JS can install viruses on the computer. They won't turn it on to visit your site, a person or company they probably know nothing about, when some believe it is a security risk.

    (I know of one person who refused to shop, or even enter the sites of Dell or Amazon because of the security fear over cookies!)

    mincklerstraat




    msg:1484381
     10:30 am on Oct 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Back to your original question - on using js since you want to submit using a text link - couldn't you avoid the js / nojs dilemma by using an image as the input button, in the same bgcolor / font as the rest, so it looks like a text link? This way you don't even have to decide about js or no js.

    jecasc




    msg:1484382
     6:45 pm on Oct 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I upgraded all the computers in my company to ZoneAlarm Pro recently. It took four weeks until I found out that ZoneAlarm Pro had a feature that disabled JavaScript and VB-Script as many firewall programms do now by default. So all that time I had Javascript disabled.

    I also used to switch of Javascript for example using sites that had right click disabled and after that forgot to turn it on again.

    So there are many reasons why Javascript can be disabled on computers.

    Besides Websites (especially online shops) relying on Javascript often tend to look "cheap". Maybe because of this ugly Javascript Alert boxes.

    This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >
    Global Options:
     top home search open messages active posts  
     

    Home / Forums Index / Code, Content, and Presentation / JavaScript and AJAX
    rss feed

    All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
    Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
    WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
    © Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved