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  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    unfortunately all of the ones you mention are all broken because Google hasn't employed anyone who knows how to write JavaScript.
    Simply speechless...

  2. #27
    SitePoint Evangelist happyoink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sg707 View Post
    Also, I don't think people can sue over a free site because of accessiblity issue. It's a free site, don't like then don't use it.
    Terrible attitude to have. Most sites are free. Does that mean if an user uses assistive technology that doesn't support Javascript, then they should be discriminated against in this way? Remember, these people don't have as much choice as an able-bodied person does. And they did nothing to deserve being discriminated against.

    The reason I bring this up is that by making the site JSFree, it eliminates creative ideas to improve useablity.
    You talk about usability. It's not usable or accessible if someone can't use it, using things that help them to surf the web (like screen readers, etc). Another point to make, it's perfectly possible to have an usable site with just HTML (or XHTML) and CSS. Try thinking outside of the box.

    Look at M$ trying to deploy Office online, think that's possible w/o using the JavaScript? I think not. Also, I don't think they'll get sue over a free service.
    Microsoft still runs a risk of legal threats from organisations (like the RNIB or DRC in the UK) for not making their online store accessible if they get enough complaints.

    Still, I do agree that accessibility comes to a picture when there's legal issue. For example, making an gov't internal web applications. But, I don't think it's a legal issue when it's available for free public site.
    It's a really poor attitude to have if you're considering not doing anything about your website's accessibility unless you're faced with legal action. And it is a legal issue if you provide a service, be it paid or free.

    In fact, certain parts of the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) in the UK is targeted towards organisations and companies/businesses that provide a service (free and paid) online. That covers a huge number of websites. For example, take a look at this quote from WebCredible:

    The DRC launched a formal investigation into 1000 websites, of which over 80% were next to impossible for disabled people to use. They issued a stern warning that organisations will face legal action under the DDA and the threat of unlimited compensation payments if they fail to make websites accessible for people with disabilities.

    Take Facebook as an example. Facebook is a company, but it provides a mostly free service. It's possible for them to get sued under UK law, and other major countries have similar laws such as the US and Australia.

    If you're not planning to provide a service then there's no need to be concerned. But personally I think it shows good character to implement good accessibility in your website anyway, regardless of whether or not you provide a service.

    Just my 2p.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Firefly View Post
    Terrible attitude to have. Most sites are free. Does that mean if an user uses assistive technology that doesn't support Javascript, then they should be discriminated against in this way? Remember, these people don't have as much choice as an able-bodied person does. And they did nothing to deserve being discriminated against.



    You talk about usability. It's not usable or accessible if someone can't use it, using things that help them to surf the web (like screen readers, etc). Another point to make, it's perfectly possible to have an usable site with just HTML (or XHTML) and CSS. Try thinking outside of the box.



    Microsoft still runs a risk of legal threats from organisations (like the RNIB or DRC in the UK) for not making their online store accessible if they get enough complaints.



    It's a really poor attitude to have if you're considering not doing anything about your website's accessibility unless you're faced with legal action. And it is a legal issue if you provide a service, be it paid or free.

    In fact, certain parts of the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) in the UK is targeted towards organisations and companies/businesses that provide a service (free and paid) online. That covers a huge number of websites. For example, take a look at this quote from WebCredible:

    The DRC launched a formal investigation into 1000 websites, of which over 80% were next to impossible for disabled people to use. They issued a stern warning that organisations will face legal action under the DDA and the threat of unlimited compensation payments if they fail to make websites accessible for people with disabilities.

    Take Facebook as an example. Facebook is a company, but it provides a mostly free service. It's possible for them to get sued under UK law, and other major countries have similar laws such as the US and Australia.

    If you're not planning to provide a service then there's no need to be concerned. But personally I think it shows good character to implement good accessibility in your website anyway, regardless of whether or not you provide a service.

    Just my 2p.
    From this thread, I learned a lot from other people's feedback. It seems some people look at JavaScript to enhance usability and not as a functionality. What you guys meant by "usability" is when you can use JavaScript to make it more usable to the user. Even if JS is turned off, the user can still use it. However, there are other believers who chose JavaScript as a functionality. These do not work when Javascript is turned off. Still, it gives tremendous power to these sites. Popular site that uses these philosophy is the online collaboration tools like GDoc, online office tools, web portals, online image editor, and etc... These developer's are not using JavaScript because it enhances usability, it's needed as a functionality. So, from these thread there are 2 philosophy of JavaScript. In a long run, I believe proJS will win as I consider this to be nearest next generation web application. I believe that one day, all your desktop application software will be available through online. The only software in your computer is just a browser. Certainly, that is a very far away from today. But, for short term I believe it is the JavaScript which will take the web to the next level. This is purely my 2 cents.

  4. #29
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sg707 View Post
    However, there are other believers who chose JavaScript as a functionality. These do not work when Javascript is turned off. Still, it gives tremendous power to these sites. Popular site that uses these philosophy is the online collaboration tools like GDoc, online office tools, web portals, online image editor, and etc... These developer's are not using JavaScript because it enhances usability, it's needed as a functionality.
    I have found that the vast majority of such sites do not function correctly even with JavaScript enabled since often the people they have writing the scripts for them do not have much of an idea of how JavaScript works.

    Those applications that I have found that work well that are written in JavaScript are those that run using Adobe AIR instead of your web browser and so there is no option for turning JavaScript off with those applications plus they have access to read and write files on the local computer (something which can't be done when running JavaScript in a browser).
    Stephen J Chapman

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  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Warning: the following will likely offend someone's mom, and the defeatist attitude will contribute to m0aR jocks giving wedgies to nerds and shoving them into lockers and possibly also raise cancer rates in children or something.
    Also, a note: this is directed to web developers in general.

    (For the following, imagine Homer Simpson prancing around mocking Flanders or something.)
    Quote Originally Posted by webcredible
    They issued a stern warning that organisations will face legal action under the DDA and the threat of unlimited compensation payments if they fail to make websites accessible for people with disabilities.
    Ooooh, a "stern warning", oh I'm sure those overpaid execs are just shivering in their £ 500 loafers at the thought that they've been issued something with about as much teeth as the "angry letters" the UN issues to random dictators committing whole-scale genocide of some ethnic group they hate while sipping their freshly-squeezed morning orange juice and playing a round of golf with their military buddies in the warm tropical sun. Yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by example
    Also, I don't think people can sue over a free tv program because of a race issue. It's a free program, don't like then don't watch.
    Meh. If the laws don't actually do anything about it, I guess so.
    Seriously did Target ever actually change their web site after they were sued? Did they pay out more than a bajillionth of .005% of whatever they earn to the guy who complained?? I don't remember anything happening to the 2000 Sydney Olympics committee, do you? It's like it doesn't matter.

    Truth be told, only a few raging cripples (that's me in the future 'cause I be agin') and a few pathetic friendless web nerds (that's me now) are going to complain about a site not working for UAs without Javascript, or a site not working for the blind, or a site that requires a mouse (after all, people who use mobile phones and PDAs are used to the whole sites needing mice thing, right?). You are not going to have the Web Standards Evangelical Movement's black-clad jack-booted ninja storm troopers break into your bedroom in the night-time and drag you away because you were making millions with your site that only works for 89% of the population (isn't that a pretty big majority??). Instead, you will sit comfortably, people will ask you to speak at big WebDev and business conferences to tell the world how you made it big with your site-building prowess and design skills, and if a few whiny people shake their feeble fists at you and yell through the din "Well, I'm-a gonna sue ya, ya hear! SUUUUUUUUUUE!" and you'll be like "What? I can't hear you over the roar of my adoring fans and the loud clanking of the cash rolling in and my bank account overflowing. Did you say ajax is stronger than dirt?? Okay, m0aR AJAX coming right up! It's popular stuff! I can't give it away fast enough!" You might also get interrupted to get photographed for the cover of TIME.

    Nobody will chastise you for not knowing (or more likely not caring about) the difference between a real button that talks to a server and an anchor tag with "#" as the href with some CSS-dressing to make it look like a button (promising me it does something!!!) with a bunch of onclick events stuffed into it. With maybe 4 extra divs wrapped around it for good measure (like Google does). 'Cause I mean, look, Google does it. Google does lots of silly things, lots of bad code, Javascript that's poorly written. All you hear is praise. "Ooooh, teh googles! ♥ ♥" Can you hear the girls' hearts aflutter? I can. ♥ ♥ ♥

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Willison
    The Web for me is still URLs and HTML. I donít want a Web which can only be understood by running a JavaScript interpreter against it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Boddie
    I hate going to sites with NoScript enabled, seeing a mostly blank page, and then upon enabling scripts temporarily, seeing a layout that the site's developers could have produced by just emitting the damned HTML in the first place rather than their fancy JavaScript snippet-pushing code in conjunction with some perverse mix of JSON and whatever else.
    It's like they don't want your CPU to get cold or something.
    See, just non-rich weenies whining. They can babble 'til foam comes out of their mouths, but you don't have to listen to them. Is this why they aren't working at Google or eBay or Facebook?? Is this why their web sites look like a cyborg designed them??

    But I guess at the very least, I can ask for m0aR if I'm going to be force-fed Javascript on toast every online minute of my life.
    I can't see Andy Clarke's twitter page. I get this nasty message about how I suck balls and smell like a reptile because I don't have Javascript on... so I'm curious, and I switch to a Javascripted browser, and I expect... I dunno, sharks shooting lasers out of their eyes? Chewbacca riding a giant squirrel fighting nazis??? Obviously something must be REALLY REALLY AWESOME about Andy Clarke's twitter page because unlike all the other twitter pages, this one won't let you see a single word of content without having it on.

    So I turn it on... and I see...

    ...a normal twitter page.


    WTF. No sharks. No lasers. No Nazis. Nothing is spinning, dancing, glowing, no custom content just for me, not even a clock giving me real time. "It's like they don't want your CPU to get cold or something." Hm...

    Yeah. Awesome! This is the profession I want to be associated with! We've never heard of the separation of concerns, or if we did, Jeff Croft just told us it's nothing more than a web developer's wet dream, not to be confused with reality.

    I should switch jobs and go clean toilets before I get so depressed I commit suicide or something. Or maybe I should go write an angry letter on teh interwebs.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    I have found that the vast majority of such sites do not function correctly even with JavaScript enabled since often the people they have writing the scripts for them do not have much of an idea of how JavaScript works.

    Those applications that I have found that work well that are written in JavaScript are those that run using Adobe AIR instead of your web browser and so there is no option for turning JavaScript off with those applications plus they have access to read and write files on the local computer (something which can't be done when running JavaScript in a browser).
    That is a very unfair statement. For those, blame should go to a programmer if something is broken. Also, there is no such thing as bug free application. You must be out of your mind if you want JavaScript to have read/write access to your drive. I am 100% sure that Adobe Air that's running in your web browser can not access the drive.

  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    You must be out of your mind if you want JavaScript to have read/write access to your drive.
    I hope Stephen wasn't saying that was a good thing! Javascript was specifically built not to be able to do that for a reason... so what's Air's excuse (for breaking that rule)?

    For those, blame should go to a programmer if something is broken.
    Yes. Though often even if they are aware of what they did wrong, they have already moved on to another project. It seems jQuery has brought scripting into more hands than plain Javascript ever could, so people in general are just using scripting more than they used to... again, with the same consequences of not being aware of how to do it "right" (or at least "good enough").

    A note on Andy's twitter: After at least a week of getting the nasty message, it vanished. But it seems to be hitting pages randomly. A twitter bug? Or twitter admins trying to stop the various insidious ways Javascript makes you add pr0n to your tweets? (there's even a variant which could do this on any mouseover... anywhere on the page, so, the whole viewport)

    So I'm pretty sure Andy was unaware of it:
    http://stommepoes.nl/twitgoogle.png (some of those pages are straight twitter pages while others are apparently pages who redirect to twitter pages)

    Some other person's random page had it:
    http://stommepoes.nl/twit3.png

    Turning on Javascript gives you... some ordinary twitter page. Without Chewbacca. Or, for now, pr0n.

  8. #33
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Yes, I'd agree with the jQuery statement regarding people are using scripts they don't have a clue on about what on earth it contains or how it really works. It could be like offering a 11-year old they keys to a car and tell them it's fine to take it out for a spin on the road, it could work but it's a potential high risk.

    As for JavaScript being the overruling force for the web content (for it [a site] to function) in the "futuristic next generation web" that sounds pretty dire state of affairs and hopefully won't happen.

  9. #34
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I hope Stephen wasn't saying that was a good thing! Javascript was specifically built not to be able to do that for a reason... so what's Air's excuse (for breaking that rule)?
    Adobe Air applications are regular desktop applications some of which just happen to be written in JavaScript. Like all other desktop applications they need read and write access to files on your computer in order to be useful. That some Adobe Air applications also have limited read and write access to the web.

    JavaScript running inside Adobe Air is a regular programming language and is all installed by you on your computer and so the security restrictions needed in cnnection with scripts attached to web pages that you download from the web doesn't apply.

    An equivalent would be to suggest that Microsoft Word shouldn't have read or write access on your computer.
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  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Guess there is hope:
    http://pressroom.target.com/pr/news/...d-release.aspx

    Then again, it is light grey text on white, just so those of us without screen readers have to work extra hard to read it, lawlz. Plus the text is microscopic because they're using that body {font-size: 62.5%} thing.

    ...damn prissy artsy designers and their "9px light grey on white looks more professional!" meh

  11. #36
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Time for me to get my two cents in I guess (as I'm all about accessibility).

    1) sg707, it's a well established fact that the largest sites on the web have a lot of shortfalls when it comes to how they produce their code. Stephen regularly tells about Google's poor JavaScript implementations and he's entirely correct. If you want a classic example of how the major sites fail at a basic level to consider their code correctly, try pushing any of the top 1,000 websites through the W3C validator. Several studies have been published independently which clearly show time and again that of the most popular sites on the web, less than 25&#37; of them even pass (x)HTML validation on the front page of their sites. While that may seem like a non-issue, it's just a perfect reflection of how poorly code is maintained or produced at heavy industry levels.

    2) Regarding the usefulness of a JavaScript forced site, the statistics of around 5-10% are entirely true (note to donboe, W3Schools is not a good source of anything, it's not associated with the W3C and it's stats reflect only it's geeky user base). There have (again) been many studies done on measurements of JavaScript availability - which is quite difficult as statistics software cannot determine the availability of scripting (Google Analytics for example requires JS in order to get the details from your machine). Therefore the estimates are provided entirely on the availability of devices (mobile or otherwise) that have no scripting, the usage numbers of tools like NoScript (which cripple scripting - malicious and otherwise - and have millions of users), and the likelihood of corporations and businesses to turn off scripting to prevent anything that may be exploitable outside of the sandbox. Long story short, the figures are as close as they can be and it's an accurate number.

    3) Regarding accessibility. With the large sites, it does seem crazy to dump such a potentially large proportion of individuals who may have scripting disabled as non-customers however this goes on all the time. Millions of people suffer disabilities of some sort yet only around 2% (approx) of websites even meet the basic accessibility standards (like WCAG AA), because many sites simply don't understand the disabled they ignore them and hope they go away (discrimination exists online, as offline). While the web is getting better the unfortunate consequences are that we live in a society where the Facebook's of the world are perfectly happy to impose restrictions on their visitors even if they lose a number of people purely because they have plenty more visitors where those came from.

    4) As for your assumption sg707, it's partly right and partly wrong. If your website is non-commercial or not a public entity (as in you're not making any money and you're not providing an important public service) your liability as far as disability law is somewhat restricted (though that's not to say that you couldn't be legally pursued to make your site compliant if you were found to be purposefully discriminating against them - which obtrusive scripting could qualify as). In addition, those who are disabled are more likely to go to your competition than simply go after you. What I would say though is that killing 10% of your potential audience (with the % of disabled individuals on top) by simply using scripting which could be made unobtrusive is like shooting yourself in the foot. Not only do you leave yourself open to potential lawsuits (if someone really was offended by the obvious discrimination), you're literally saying that you really don't want every visitor you could have.

    5) Regarding web apps, while it's true that some apps require scripting to undertake certain actions, in almost every case you can supplement that action with something at the server-side. In most cases if you had an app that functioned purely with server-side scripting and then had the JavaScript layered on the top in order to eliminate page refreshing (when applicable) or to provide visual or enhancements to the UI, it's fine... because you have something to fall back upon. JavaScript isn't a sin, it's just something you should use in a non-dependant manner. Something like GMail for example could easily be made using server-side scripting (without any of the JS nonsense required), but for those with scripting turned on the enhancements can be added over the top and thereby give the same look and feel. JS is intended to improve the UI and experience alone, if it was mission critical, the ability to disable it would not be available within every browser.

    6) Accessibility is all about ensuring that those who are both able and non-able bodied can as equally as possible access the services you provide. If your site demands scripting (which some won't have), they cannot access that service, thereby you are discriminating against them. Usability is about ensuring that what you have isn't too difficult or complicated to use (this is a very reduced definition). JavaScript is an ENHANCING technology, you can use it to improve a website but it cannot be depended upon to always be available thereby you need to have a fallback mechanism so that the same service is still accessible and usable to those individuals. It may be powerful but it's not about "winning" or "losing", while people can't access scripted content, you're knocking them down. There's no middle ground here, if your site requires JavaScript, you are eliminating potential visitors who may not have any other choice.

    PS: The Federal appeals court did rule that web publishers were not required to comply with the ADA, however that has now been resolved since the adaptation of the ADA to further include (explicitly) web related services. The ADA alike many disability laws were seriously out of date as when they were written the only concerns were offline stuff (or government works online AKA Section 508), now that is no longer an issue. Almost all anti-discrimination laws mention the web and in addition, you don't only have the ADA to worry about... if your website is viewed (for example) by an individual from the UK, you could be sued under British law for violating a citizen of this countries rights not to be discriminated against (and as your site is publicly visible to the UK you're liable as you're technically trading here too.

    You are not going to have the Web Standards Evangelical Movement's black-clad jack-booted ninja storm troopers break into your bedroom in the night-time and drag you away because you were making millions with your site that only works for 89% of the population (isn't that a pretty big majority??).
    Laws aren't perfect, people get away with murder, it doesn't change the fact that businesses are hurting themselves (intentionally or otherwise), their visitor numbers, their potential profit margins (million dollar button goes here) and violating the law still gives us hardcore nuts to call everyone else a criminal

    Quote Originally Posted by xhtmlcoder View Post
    Yes, I'd agree with the jQuery statement regarding people are using scripts they don't have a clue on about what on earth it contains or how it really works. It could be like offering a 11-year old they keys to a car and tell them it's fine to take it out for a spin on the road, it could work but it's a potential high risk.
    jQuery is proof enough that if you make any technology simple enough for a newbie to take control of, they'll abuse it to the point of insanity

  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Off-topic and cool: http://stacybleeks.com/facebook_tutorials.html

    yeah still needs JS on bleh

  13. #38
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme
    You are not going to have the Web Standards Evangelical Movement's black-clad jack-booted ninja storm troopers break into your bedroom in the night-time and drag you away because you were making millions with your site that only works for 89&#37; of the population (isn't that a pretty big majority??)
    That is it, I am professing my love to you now That is one of the best things i've read evar.
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