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JavaScript disabled? I don't care!
Trace




msg:3472896
 4:49 pm on Oct 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Seriously, do we really have to specify in every thread that "your page will be inaccessible to those with JavaScript disabled"?

I realize it's just a pet-peeve of mine but c'mon, we get it already. This is a JavaScript forum after all. If people are asking a JavaScript question in a JavaScript forum, I'm fairly confident that "duh, won't work for those with JS off" isn't the answer they are looking for.

When's the last time you installed a browser that didn't have JavaScript enabled? That means that anyone hitting your page with JavaScript turned off is someone who manually went into his options and turned them off. Would not that same person, who just turned off his JavaScript, not know how to turn it back on?

I try my best to make my pages accessible to everyone but sometimes it's just not possible to do that and get the desired effect. If that means that 3 people a year are not able to get the full experience of my pages then so be it.

Does it really matter? Should we care?

 

rocknbil




msg:3475528
 2:42 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

.... do we lower the quality of our product for everyone so that 1% of people can access our information?

Absolutely not! You increase the quality of your work by making it function as well without Javascript. Or Flash, or Ajax, or Java, or VRML, or whatever.

sgietz




msg:3475933
 2:28 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, you can't have it both ways.

If you have the time and resources to create a website with redundant fall back solutions, do that. It's a great idea. I still stand firmly behind the idea of moving forward, even if it means leaving some people behind. I know this may sound sacrilegious to some of you who see dollar bills going down the drain. You have to run the numbers and determine whether the "possible" revenue of that 1% will offset the cost of the extra work/maintenance. If that's the case, by all means walk the extra mile.

Personally, if I want to look at a website that requires me to enable some fundamental feature (I include JavaScript in that), I'll do it. I'm sure 99% ;o) of us have installed the Flash plugin after being prompted by our browsers. You could have a backup plan and redirect a user to a different page if Flash has not been detected and ... wait a minute, detecting Flash ... hey, that requires JavaScript! Oh man, duped again by those stubborn web developers who don't want to stay 10 years behind the times.

Jokes aside, it comes down to the market you're in. If you are running a government website, accessibility becomes a paramount issue. If you're in charge of a gaming site, it's all about making it pop with lots of Flash and JavaScript.

I'm at a point where the look and feel of a site is almost as important as the content. If the site looks like crap, regardless of how accessible it is, I go someplace else. In a place like webmasterworld, look is not exactly the most important aspect, although a face lift wouldn't hurt (hint) :o). Well, you don't need JavaScript for looks, so this may be a moot point, but it certainly enhances the feel.

I suppose I should throw this one out ... how many of you are using CSS? How quickly did you adapt those standards? Could you do without CSS and return to the lovely age of font tags and table layouts to support older browsers? At which point did you take the plunge and compromised usability in favor of good design practice? Were you just being selfish and used CSS because it made sense to you, and too bad for people who didn't upgrade their browsers?

As far as the support for mobile devices, I'm not a prophet, but I don't see the mobile internet going very far except for a few things, namely headlines, stock quotes, movie show times, maps/directions, etc. No one in their right mind is going to browse websites on a 2 inch screen. I'm fully aware that the preceding sentence has the possibility of being added to the collection of stupid quotes, you know like Ethernet inventor Bob Metclafe's vision that the internet will catastrophically collapse in 1996, or Bill Gate's epiphany that 640K ought to be enough for everyone :o). We shall see how mine stacks up.

GREAT THREAD!

victor




msg:3475953
 2:52 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's analogous to the long tail marketing concept.

Except in this case we have multiple long tails:

  • buyers with javascript off by choice
  • buyers with javascript off by policy (example, all those people who'd surf from a locked-down work machine, and then go home and purchase from their more liberal home machine)
  • buyers with javascript off due to technology [mobile users, many assistive technology users]
  • search engines (eg Google) that do not use Javascript by choice.
  • buyers with Javascript off because it does not work for them [eg users with older browsers that trip up on non-backward-compatible script constructs.]

    With the exception of search engines, all of those buyers will be buying the products/services you supply.

    They just won't be buying them from the likes of you. They'll be buying them from the likes of me. Thanks for all the free business. It's much appreciated.

  • sgietz




    msg:3476008
     3:31 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    As I was saying, crunch the numbers, count the beans. At the end of the day you need to run your business in a way you feel comfortable with.

    Another question that popped into my head ... would an improved user experience increase the customer base, making up for the loss on the other end?

    Many things to ponder. This should be studied, if it isn't already.

    Trace




    msg:3476022
     3:41 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Absolutely not! You increase the quality of your work by making it function as well without Javascript. Or Flash, or Ajax, or Java, or VRML, or whatever.

    That's where we have complete opposite opinions. I believe that not only does it not increase the quality but lowers it catastrophically.

    They just won't be buying them from the likes of you. They'll be buying them from the likes of me. Thanks for all the free business. It's much appreciated.

    That is something that has been mentioned before but I think you're looking at it wrong;

    - Site 1: A hundred links down the left side of the page with a 15 click check out system.
    - Site 2: Smart folding menu tree with sweet Ajax powered check out app.

    Yeah, a couple of people won't be able to use my site... so that's 2 for site 1. Then there are those looking for the best user-experience and want the overall pleasure of simplicity.

    Guess that makes it about 9998 to 2.

    WesleyC




    msg:3476027
     3:44 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    The way I look at it, you can/should make all of your core content available without Javascript. However, there's no need to spend the effort to duplicate the functionality server-side! Instead, spend your effort making your site the best it possibly can be--including javascript functionality, if necessary.

    To go back to a previous example: If you and 99 competitors each take 1% of the market, but one competitor gets the 3% that don't have/want Javascript capability, and you attract 5% from other competitors because your website simply works better and is more enjoyable to use, who wins? Bonus points are obviously there for making a fantastic site at least display content and provide basic form functionality without Javascript, but there's no need to go to tremendous efforts for it unless your audience is likely to need special accomodation.

    sgietz




    msg:3476050
     4:05 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    If you and 99 competitors each take 1% of the market, but one competitor gets the 3% that don't have/want Javascript capability, and you attract 5% from other competitors because your website simply works better and is more enjoyable to use, who wins? Bonus points are obviously there for making a fantastic site at least display content and provide basic form functionality without Javascript, but there's no need to go to tremendous efforts for it unless your audience is likely to need special accomodation.

    My point exactly! The number or visitors you attract by providing a great user experience may be greater than the number of people you lose for not providing a watered down version.

    mehh




    msg:3476057
     4:12 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    That is something that has been mentioned before but I think you're looking at it wrong;

    - Site 1: A hundred links down the left side of the page with a 15 click check out system.
    - Site 2: Smart folding menu tree with sweet Ajax powered check out app.

    Yeah, a couple of people won't be able to use my site... so that's 2 for site 1. Then there are those looking for the best user-experience and want the overall pleasure of simplicity.

    Guess that makes it about 9998 to 2.

    It would be more like this:
    - Site 1: With JavaScript disabled: hundred links down the left side of the page with a 5 click check out system,
    With JavaScript enabled: Smart folding menu tree with sweet Ajax powered check out app.
    - Site 2: Smart folding menu tree with sweet Ajax powered check out app.

    The market is split 5002 to 4998. He wins.

    poppyrich




    msg:3476090
     4:53 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    victor:
    w3schools' stats show around 10% of users have javascript disabled.

    I've seen the number 8% bandied about for years. Now its 10%?
    Baloney. Balderdash. Nonsense. Urban legend.
    How is this number being derived? .08%, maybe.

    rocknbil

    you shouldn't dictate the user's environment for them

    Why not? Why should I let those who make the browsers, operating systems, and visual displays make all the choices?

    I'm the author of the page, after all. Why shouldn't my input count?

    rocknbil




    msg:3476190
     6:47 pm on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Because the Internet is not about us. It's about disseminating information, and making it available to everyone that requests it. Rephrased, who cares if MS doesn't have their act together, or something doesn't work in this browser, or that, with a feature or without - the idea is that everyone can access our content.

    Chris_D




    msg:3476574
     7:54 am on Oct 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Great post Victor!

    sgietz - why don't you do some research on 'progressive enhancement'?

    Isn't part of the issue whether people can actually find your site in the first place?

    Rule 1 If they can't find it, they can't buy it.

    We worked on a huge AJAX site - all done with a progressive enhancement/ hijax approach. best of both worlds, all the 'web 2.0' stuff; and over 200K pages indexed in Google...

    victor




    msg:3476687
     12:48 pm on Oct 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

    I've seen the number 8% bandied about for years. Now its 10%?
    Baloney. Balderdash. Nonsense. Urban legend.
    How is this number being derived? .08%, maybe.

    It's being derived from info pulled from w3school's logs. That makes it accurate for their target market and visitors.

    As already said several times, your potential customer base will have a different percentage, and your actual visitors will vary from that. That last figure is the one you have the tools to estimate.

    What do numbers mean? You need to get yours and find out. As a worked example, consider these hypothetical ones:

  • 10% of users in a given market have no JS. Why? well, that would depend on the market
  • 5% of unique visitors to a site targeting that market have no JS. Why? Perhaps because the site is hard to fully index by non-JS googlebot, so the site is way down the SERPS
  • 1% if all pages served on that site are to non-JS visitors. Why? Perhaps the site is so awkward to use that they stay only a fifth as long as the JS-endowed ones.
  • 0% of sales on that site are to the non-JS users. Why? Because it is impossible to operate the cart.

    Estimate or calculate your own numbers to arrive at meaning for your site.

    And perhaps add in the usual factor that dissatisfied users tell more people than satisfied ones. So the non-JS users may be punching well above their weight in forming the site's reputation.

    Thanks, Chris_D!

  • JAB Creations




    msg:3476801
     5:28 pm on Oct 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Not sure how relevant this is to the thread though the noscript element bug in Webkit has been fixed in a late nightly build (after the public release of 3.0.3). For those who aren't aware if you have a noscript element not associated with a script element Webkit (until the recent nightly) would automatically execute the noscript element regardless of whether JavaScript was enabled or not.

    - John

    poppyrich




    msg:3476927
     9:50 pm on Oct 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Victor:

    As for the 10% javascript disabled figure...

    It's being derived from info pulled from w3school's logs.

    My question to you is: How do you know that's the fact? Do you think people don't make things up, or exaggerate based on their own personal agenda. Or just make mistakes. Or use crappy software that misreports?

    Speaking from personal experience, the hardest thing to come by in any field of endeavor is AUTHORITATIVE INFORMATION.

    Information that you can "take to the bank" so to speak. It's the rarest of things and, truly, very very valuable.

    I am going to contact w3schools and ask them for the basis of their reportage.

    Letcha know what they say.

    Trace




    msg:3477803
     2:16 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

    This is a little off topic but itís been mentioned a few times in several different threads when on the topic of users having Js disabled.

    There has been mention of a claim by disabled internet users that Target's website discriminates. So what? Itís just another ridiculous American lawsuit that means nothing and has no place in these discussions. This month itís a lawsuit over a website being too difficult to navigate and next month it will be about red fonts on a black background.

    [webmasterworld.com...]
    Does the Target law suit mean anything to you?

    Absolutely not and it shouldnít mean anything to anyone else. Just because some woman sued McDonalds over hot coffee doesnít mean everyone should drink their coffee cold.

    sgietz




    msg:3478179
     7:43 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Progressive Enhancement ...

    JavaScript has been around for over 10 years now. It's not a new thing that requires us to build backwards-compatible sites.

    You don't see game developers designing 256 color, side-scrolling platformers that will work on just about every machine. It's a highly competitive market. I bet my bottom dollar that the industry wouldn't be where it is today if they waited around for 99% of gamers to upgrade their computers. In fact, it forces people to upgrade if they want to play the game.

    So you end up with a product that will work marginally on most computers, spectacularly on some, and not at all on the rest (which is a sizable number).

    I guess it's up to us naive, young people to push the envelope while the old timers are a little more seasoned (and perhaps have a little more sense in many cases).

    I think we all have our rightful place in the big scheme of things. The experience of the older guys (girls) and the idealism of the young crowd. In the end it all works out for the better.

    I didn't want to sound philosophic in the end here, but I think that sums up the difference of opinion (in general).

    rocknbil




    msg:3478226
     8:53 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

    (Target) shouldn't mean anything to anyone else. Just because some woman sued McDonalds over hot coffee doesn't mean everyone should drink their coffee cold.

    McDonalds IMO was a frivolous litigation. The suit against Target is about accessibility of the blind. How can you draw a comparison between these two?

    What we as developers need to learn from the Target suit is that if you're authoring a commercial web site, "this could be you." Sure such a suit may get thrown out of court, as the Target suit may, eventually. But do you have time and resources to deal with this should you come into the sights of the litigation rifle? I know I don't, it's actually less troublesome to insure my pages work as well without Javascript as with it.

    WCAG requires that content and functionality be accessible with scripting disabled. That's all there is to it, apply this to your projects, or ignore it and take your chances.

    I don't know why this is so bothersome to you, creating pages that function well in any environment, any browser, is just common sense and good practice. I can only reiterate my second post on page one:

    . . . my comments here, as always, are just shared recommendations of what I have learned over the years. Use them or not, it's your choice.

    Trace




    msg:3478775
     12:55 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

    I don't know why this is so bothersome to you...

    It's not, honestly. My question was answered after 4 or 5 posts. Right now I'm really only arguing for the sake of arguing. I agree with pretty much everything that has been said in this thread.

    About the lawsuit however - it is really only just a case of American non-sense. Type "ridiculous lawsuits" into Google and you'll see what I'm getting at. Americans love to sue Americans over anything. It's just the way it is.

    Cue the "I AM CANADIAN!" commercial.

    But really, let's leave that for another topic.

    Xapti




    msg:3478827
     1:48 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

    I use Firefox with noscript extension. Disabling javascript causes pages to load a bit quicker to much quicker, and also disables many ads, and/or their user-tracking schemes.

    When it comes to layout... you only really need to use javascript for browsers like IE6 and IE7, which aren't following all the web standards too well.

    javascript is needed for DHTML though, of course, but it should be possible to implement the webpage without all the dynamic features, still.

    This does not mean I don't use javascript at all. I typically end up allowing the home domain's javascript if I absolutely need it to do something. If it's a site I regularly visit, I have no problems with that, but site's would be best designed so it's not necessary, so that it doesn't waste my (or others') time.

    [edited by: Xapti at 1:55 pm (utc) on Oct. 16, 2007]

    sgietz




    msg:3481889
     1:27 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Because the Internet is not about us. It's about disseminating information, and making it available to everyone that requests it

    Hmm, I requested several threads on webmasterworld, only to find that I had to become a paying subscriber to view them. So much for that. There is plenty of content that is only made available to certain individuals based on status (i.e. active membership), age, location, etc.

    This is sounding a lot like the discussion of open-source vs. paying for software. There are a lot of proponents for free software. If it's out there, make it available to everyone; never mind the countless hours of work that were put into creating it.

    I'm not opposed to free stuff. I like free stuff. I'm currently helping to translate a program into German. I do it for the accolades and kudos (they also come in a chocolate covered variety). :o)

    I love the post that spawned the quote above. Why shouldn't we have a say-so in how our sites look and function? You can't please everyone. There are a lot of folks who don't like scary stories. Well, I don't think Stephen King is starving.

    The two camps will probably never get on the same page here. Life goes on!

    mjwalshe




    msg:3481961
     2:27 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

    re TTY output,

    You may jest but I first used the www via telnet to cern via a vt220 terminal session to a cli based www browser.

    I think this was late 92 or early 93

    FlexAjaxSEO




    msg:3484117
     4:39 pm on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)


    posts: 30
    #:3473839 3:13 pm on Oct 10, 2007 (utc 0) says:
    don't forget the google bot does not have javascript so bad use of javascript and/or ajax can kill you for search.

    WRONG Google uses JS in most applications it offers and is 100% able to read JS.

    bedlam




    msg:3484193
     5:43 pm on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

    WRONG Google uses JS in most applications it offers and is 100% able to read JS.

    1. How Google's various applications work has nothing to do with how Googlebot works,
    2. Whether or not Googlebot can read javascript is irrelevant; if Googlebot were found to regularly execute JS, it would be big news,
    3. At least in the recent past, the informed opinion was that Googlebot does not execute javascript [webmasterworld.com]

    This 53 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 53 ( 1 [2]
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