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  1. #26
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    so I'll start a poll to settle this once and for all
    We shall settle this matter with our greasy opinions!

    SET SAIL VIKING WARRIORS FOR BATTLE IS UPON US

    is it bad that I'm hearing Turisas music as I type this? So epic!

  2. #27
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes;
    [...]is it bad that I'm hearing Turisas music as I type this? So epic!
    Only, if the imaginary volume is cranked too high within your head; it can lead to hearing damage with prolonged imagination. ;-)

  3. #28
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    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
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    Nah, it's little different than mom going to a shady shop with a really nice sign to buy a car and getting a shiny slightly-used Yugo (in that marigold colour she loves). She's not a mechanic and doesn't know a good car from a bad car.
    Web design is known as a "lemon market". Clients don't know good from bad unless they are coders themselves... like not knowing if a used car is mechanically sound unless you're a mechanic.
    The difference between the car sales and is in the design ( and subsequently the web-design/development world) is that the clients do come with the belief that they DO know better. Essentialy they want you not just to do what they want but the way they want to ; a LITTLE knowdge is a dangerous thing. We I mean Sometimes we blame the professionals who may actually know better , but in the end need to feed their families in these tough economic times.

    That begin said.. it seems there is no keyboard nav, because there is NO CONTENT when js is of... it's also quite unusable even if js is on but css is off... Leads me to believe, even as the novice designer developer that I am, the page was done to please the editor not to deliver content to an audience. Some where in there I can hear the following phrase having been uttered: " ...but 99% of our users have Facebook" and face book requires java.. .so we are no less accessible than they are.. why are you being so difficult to work with today?"

  4. #29
    SitePoint Zealot materialdesigner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    Why? Look at the page again guys. They conviently gave us a Contact Us page, and it auto fills the URL. We can all let them know.

    I guess NYT is saying people with disabilities aren't vegetarian.
    ......... Turkey nom nom nom

    Off Topic:

    no turkey day smilies SP??
    Did anyone else find it ironically funny that the Feedback link only works using javascript?

  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy C. Ankerstjerne's Avatar
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    Yep, that is a beauty. And quite convenient, too: That way, you don't get e-mails from all those annoying people, telling you they can't use your website, because they don't have Javascript installed.
    Christian Ankerstjerne
    <p<strong<abbr/HTML/ 4 teh win</>
    <>In Soviet Russia, website codes you!

  6. #31
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    I don't really see anything wrong with it. Its a little over the top, but its probably what the boss/client requested. With so many web sites and applications requiring JavaScript these days I don't find necessarily unprofessional to not provide graceful degradation. In many cases there is no possible way of providing the same user experience without JavaScript. Furthermore, the it is not cost beneficial to actually implement something that is meant to function using JavaScript, in a none persistent environment. The results of doing such a thing is normally just a convoluted mess anyway, that no one is going to use anyhow.

    In really world, non-tech savvy users love the experience a persistent environment provides, so its hard to get away from. When you say the page needs to reload, they they say but this site does it like this, than when you attempt to explain why their not evening listening at that point, since it gets to "techy". Its much easier just give people what they want, if no one is going to die over it. Much less painful than explain why something should gracefully degrade to someone who knows absolutely nothing about technology or is set on a certain aesthetic/user experience. Even if you do manage to get through to them its hard to justify the additional time being put into something that only a small amount of user *may* benefit from.

    It seems like a lot of the HTML people are gun-ho about everything functioning without JavaScript, but its not always possible or more importantly cost efficient and that is the reality. It takes time and in many cases a different development strategy to provide functionality that was meant for a persistent environment to exist in a non-persistent one.

    Also, with the advent of page weight becoming a SEO variable there seems to be a flux of using AJAX to reduce page weight for main content loading aside info secondary via JavaScript. It may considered "bad" practice but some battles you fight and some you don't, its that simple. It just comes down to what is more important or what the people above desire more.

    I'm not talking about little stupid animations here, but JavaScript use to load secondary content, manage content or provide some type of persistent user experience that is detrimental to the aesthetic and usability of a site. In most cases the things just mentioned are where javaScript is used for actual, real-world sites rather than hobby/portfolio sites that no one really cares about anyways.

    Normally I do my due diligence to inform people that an intended function will not work for a user with JavaScript turned off. Though its normally
    fine by their standards. The thing about none-technical users is that see exactly what is front of them and have a hard time considering the technical implications to others. So most cases so long as what they are seeing looks good, its hard to explain that for some people it will look a certain way or won't work. They have a hard time grasping that concept it seems. As result judging by exactly what they see, rather than different versions of what they may see given different configuration, environment, screen size, etc – all that is enough to make most normal peoples brains explode. So if it isn't important to them or they are aren't providing an adequate enough budget to make it important to me than fine, no ones going to die over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karpie
    I've seen both, and once I've even built a survey app that worked with/without JS (using PHP), only to be told 'the client doesn't care about non-JS users, so take out all the other parts you wrote, they make the end code too complicated.'
    Yep, exactly

  7. #32
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    It seems pretty easy to point fingers but the reality is functionality designed for a persistent environment rarely translates well to a non-persistent one without being clunky, convoluted or not very user friendly. Its probably hard to understand that or appreciate the decisions that have to made unless you have actually had to deal with desire for persistent functionality yourself with support for a non-persistent environment also.

  8. #33
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Hmm, what if this line of reasoning were transferred to something like engineering? Client wants a building, the engineer says—"we'll need to put in extra re-enforcements in case of earthquakes etc". But the client says—"nah, forget about that, too expensive, and not my problem". So, building is constructed, earthquake hits, people die.

    It's not good enough for the engineer to slap up any old design. There are standards. I'm sure you wouldn't say—"it's not the engineer's fault the building collapsed. The client didn't want a proper structure." Rubbish. It's not responsible practice.

    The web developer who builds a site that fails with JS off ought to be held accountable. The job should not be accepted under those conditions. The ignorant client is being lured into paying for a rubbish site.
    Last edited by ralph.m; Dec 7, 2010 at 01:43. Reason: a bit too controversial.

  9. #34
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    In many cases there is no possible way of providing the same user experience without JavaScript.
    I believe this is true.
    But, content is not a user experience, and I think that's a good place to draw the line: can the user reach the content without scripting?
    They should be able to, unless the content is a video/audio. In which case, one should have transcripts (at least if you are big and rich like this case here...).

    Javascript is just one potential roadblock for people. Luckily there are folks out there making accessible versions of things. Like, if you can't use Twitter, there's AccessibleTwitter (god that's a lifesaver). I hope they make an AccessibleReddit next.

    This is actually a potential new area for businesses to go: interacting with someone else's application, but making it an accessible version. The original company doesn't seem to notice or mind, and the main issue is probably security more than anything else.

    For big sites like CNN and the New York Times, I can totally see some third party trying to maybe earn some money doing what the original company wouldn't do... they are large and have bazillions of visitors, so that 1 or 2% (if it's really that low) who are either disabled or don't have Javascript or Flash or whatever, that's still millions of people, so there's potential for profit there.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Zealot materialdesigner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I believe this is true.
    But, content is not a user experience, and I think that's a good place to draw the line: can the user reach the content without scripting?
    They should be able to, unless the content is a video/audio. In which case, one should have transcripts (at least if you are big and rich like this case here...).
    This is the crux of the issue. It's fine if ALL you are using JS for is to enhance the UX. But not placing content on your pages unless you have JS is just unacceptable.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Javascript is just one potential roadblock for people.
    The other being bandwidth, ping times, etc. Personally I'm getting really sick of seeing megabyte PLUS sized websites being used to deliver two digit kilobytes of actual content.

    Take the offending site in question -- select the first recipe (endive and rad salad) and pull up 'document' size in the web dev toolbar for FF. (use 3.5.x since 3.6 is broken for this) and it's 5.2 MEGABYTES AFTER compression in 230+ separate files to deliver 10k of plaintext and ONE 50k image!

    Sure, we could point the finger at the 5 megabytes of images -- but what in the blue blazes are they wasting 846k of javascript on!?! Of course that TWO DIFFERENT VERSIONS of jquery are beign loaded (oh that's BRILLIANT), three different analytics packages (PICK ONE -- or use your server logs for something USEFUL instead of using that scripted nonsense), etc, etc, etc...

    That is ineptitude of the highest order before we even talk the complete accessibility train wreck! I don't even want to THINK what their hosting costs are for that mess!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    For big sites like CNN and the New York Times, I can totally see some third party trying to maybe earn some money doing what the original company wouldn't do... they are large and have bazillions of visitors, so that 1 or 2% (if it's really that low) who are either disabled or don't have Javascript or Flash or whatever, that's still millions of people, so there's potential for profit there.
    Thing is, don't think the 1-2%, think the bazillions of users grabbing megabytes each per PAGE.

    A page that if written 'properly' should have less than 20k of markup, 20-30k of CSS, less than 100k of images, and I don't see ANY javascript the page couldn't do without -- cutting their hosting needs by 99.9666~%.

    Seriously, 6 megabytes reduced to 200k total? That would be 1/30th the size... which is ALL that should be needed for that page if you took an axe to the unnecessary crap that completely ruins anything approaching a decent user experience. Yes, you'd have to cut out some of the images, but frankly those images are too big to put on a website in the first place.

    It's a perfect example of scripting for nothing other than intentionally shooting the website in the foot and exactly what I mean when I talk about my increasing disgust with the bloated train wrecks people vomit up and call a website.

    ... and if the 'client' doesn't understand that, EDUCATE THEM!

    Though the best way is to speak to their wallet -- tell them that with the 6 megabyte per page disaster they'll need a small cluster of servers costing hundreds if not thousands a month to host what could probably be handled by a single $60/mo dual core Atom server if you just threw all the bloat away and concentrated on delivering *SHOCK* content in a properly written accessible manner instead.

    But then that was my specialty before I retired -- taking monstrous megabyte websites and trimming them down... hence my rule of "70k" in 16 files as the upper limit for a page without content; that's HTML+CSS+SCRIPTS+OBJECTS+IMAGES.... and with content it should only double that figure.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    I'm convinced that if the rules were up to deathshadow60 every website would look like the same with black and white text and that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m
    Hmm, what if this line of reasoning were transferred to something like engineering? Client wants a building, the engineer says—"we'll need to put in extra re-enforcements in case of earthquakes etc". But the client says—"nah, forget about that, too expensive, and not my problem". So, building is constructed, earthquake hits, people die.

    It's not good enough for the engineer to slap up any old design. There are standards. I'm sure you wouldn't say—"it's not the engineer's fault the building collapsed. The client didn't want a proper structure." Rubbish. It's not responsible practice.

    The web developer who builds a site that fails with JS off ought to be held accountable. The job should not be accepted under those conditions. The ignorant client is being lured into paying for a rubbish site.
    Nothing is going to collapse or kill anyone, it just won't function as well for them. If the client doesn't care or budget doesn't suffice than sorry 2% or whatever. I guess majority of developers out there are unprofessional than because have you turned JavaScript off lately in many of your favorite, well established sites – Normally it ain't pretty. I use to be die-hard about graceful degradation but even with the big guys saying screw it these days, its not a battle worth fighting in many cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by materialdesigner
    It's fine if ALL you are using JS for is to enhance the UX. But not placing content on your pages unless you have JS is just unacceptable.
    Not sure how you enhance the UX without placing anything on the page. Unless your just talking stupid JavaScript effects rather than adding controls to manipulate content or provide extra info.

  13. #38
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    Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddz View Post
    I'm convinced that if the rules were up to deathshadow60 every website would look like the same with black and white text and that's all.
    I very much doubt it. There are lots of us here who absolutely abhor crappy code, ridiculous framework bloat, distracting effects and the usual rubbish that we see, but who still value good design, good use of colours, graphics, images, design placement, fonts etc. But you do that by building up from an accessible baseline of rock-solid code, not by using a WYSINWYG editor and a load of different frameworks that you don't understand to inefficiently create effects that don't actually contribute anything to the page as a whole.

    Nothing is going to collapse or kill anyone, it just won't function as well for them. If the client doesn't care or budget doesn't suffice than sorry 2% or whatever. I guess majority of developers out there are unprofessional than because have you turned JavaScript off lately in many of your favorite, well established sites Normally it ain't pretty. I use to be die-hard about graceful degradation but even with the big guys saying screw it these days, its not a battle worth fighting in many cases.
    That isn't a good attitude to take - "I know it's crap, but so's everyone else's, so at least mine isn't any worse". The frustrating thing is that most of the time, there is absolutely no reason why the content and functionality can't be made available through plain and simple accessible HTML+CSS, except the arrogance, incompetence or ignorance of the author/designer.

    And I'm not asking for 'pretty' if you turn off scripting and styling - I'm asking for 'functional'. That shouldn't be too much to ask.

    Not sure how you enhance the UX without placing anything on the page. Unless your just talking stupid JavaScript effects rather than adding controls to manipulate content or provide extra info.
    The distinction is that you shouldn't be using Javascript to generate the content - you can use it to alter the way it is presented, you can show and hide sections of the page, you can use AJAX to seamlessly load additional content if there's a plain HTML alternative for those without JS, you can offer ways to manipulate the contents - as long as the basic content is there and available for people without JS.

  14. #39
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I guess majority of developers out there are unprofessional than because have you turned JavaScript off lately in many of your favorite, well established sites Normally it ain't pretty. I use to be die-hard about graceful degradation but even with the big guys saying screw it these days, its not a battle worth fighting in many cases.
    I sometimes get that same feeling of despair too, but so far I haven't had a roadblock + deadline that ever forced me to have to imitate others in that way.
    I do feel kinda lucky that I've been able to adhere to my principle of "it works either way, all the time" and I realise you can't always do that as a developer (maybe the client demands something you just can't think your way out of, or you simply don't have time to do it another way), but I also suspect a lot of the crap of bigger sites is more from developers who simply aren't aware or don't care than anything else.

    So I don't see the "big guys" saying "screw it" as any reason for me to let down my fanaticism. So long as I can keep it up, I will. Why wouldn't I?

    Besides, that you were ever a "die-hard about graceful degradation" means you cared at some point. Which means you're already aware of the issue(s). I think that's more than what the devs for most of the "big guys" have (barring possibly google and mozilla empoyees).

  15. #40
    SitePoint Zealot materialdesigner's Avatar
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    The debate about generating content is the heart of the matter. The website that started this discussion isn't doing anything super fancy with their javascript.

    The <div>s could all be generated server side. The content could easily be loaded server side. I don't see ANYTHING EXTRA the javascript is doing other than showing/hiding certain sections and changing opacities.

    Let the content exist on its own. Do the extra stuff with javascript, if you'd like.


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