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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    HTML 5 - Is it to soon to rely on JS?

    As I reach the second chapter of my new HTML 5 book, I now realize, I can convert a number of sites to be fully functional with the HTML5 syntax by simply applying a small snippet of javascript in my head.

    <script>
    document.createElement('nav');
    ...
    </script>

    The above will ensure that my HTML5 renders correctly in IE 6,7 and 8 (already tested and works ok).
    I'm using just a small minority of new tags: header,aside,nav to name just a few.

    Questions:

    Is this to much of a risk if the majority of my sites user base is 60% IE 6+?
    Or, everybody has javascript turned on nowadays this is nothing to worry about?

    Am I jumping the gun or should I start embracing these new standards?

    --------------
    I'm very keen to start using HTML 5 and have a lot of clients and new job specs demanding HTML 5.
    What are you thoughts on the above?

    Any information/feedback much appreciated.

    Barry
    The more you learn.... the more you learn there is more to learn.

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Interesting question. TBH, after getting my head around graceful degradation and all, it doesn't sit well to me to be building sites that depend on JS, even if most people have it turned on. Just feels wrong.

    Another discussion touching on this topic has started up today: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...66#post4979366

  3. #3
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    I keep javascript disabled by default. If I visit a site that's usable, if a bit untidy or whatever, without javascript - that's fine. I don't mind. If I visit a site that greets me with a message telling me to enable javascript to use their site, I leave and don't return. Likewise, a site that requires me to enable javascript before the navigation will work.

    So, basically, if all I'm missing is some of your styling, then you won't lose me as a site visitor by using javascript.

  4. #4
    Community Advisor ULTiMATE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    I keep javascript disabled by default.
    Out of interest, why?

  5. #5
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    Leaving aside security concerns, it's because of the large number of sites using javascript for slideshows and other effects with no method to turn them off. Sometimes, there is more than one of these things going on at a time. Unfortunately, I have neurological/perceptual problems as the result of a virus, have a little difficulty reading at the best of time, more so on screen, and I can't do it at all if parts of the screen are moving. I can watch a slide-show if I choose to, but it does really weird things to my brain if I try to concentrate on one part of the screen while another is moving.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Yes Ralph, I've felt the same for years but everything points to Javascript being enabled nowadays, especially with the popularity of social networks and the growing use of mobile devices. The loss, minimally, positive thinking of cause, I just feel like I need to start building for the future. Maybe its a lesson I need to learn?

    TechnoBear, I understand completely talking from a developers perspective and appreciate your views but realistically, how many people have Javascript turned off. I'd never demand users to have Javascript enabled to function/navigate any of my sites, but obviously, if this increases a better user experience (in a HTML 5 context) and better semantic markup who is to argue?

    I suppose this boils down to, personal preference, website stats and so forth. Is it worth the risk?
    The more you learn.... the more you learn there is more to learn.

  7. #7
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by computerbarry View Post
    Yes Ralph, I've felt the same for years but everything points to Javascript being enabled nowadays, especially with the popularity of social networks and the growing use of mobile devices. The loss, minimally, positive thinking of cause, I just feel like I need to start building for the future. Maybe its a lesson I need to learn?
    many of those with JavaScript disabled are the people who are most likely to be able to win a discrimination case if a site doesn't work for them. You should always test that your page is at least usable before you add any JavaScript.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    many of those with JavaScript disabled are the people who are most likely to be able to win a discrimination case if a site doesn't work for them.
    That applies only if the site owner and/or developer are bound by any law that requires their site works in javascript disabled browsers.

    Personally, I am not bound by any such law for the sites I build.

  9. #9
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Mainly I surf with JS disabled for various reasons and within the UK it is a legal requirement that commissioned websites can still have core functionally without client-side scripting within 'reasonable adjustment'. Going back to perspective at least 1 in 10 people will have a disability or problem with interacting with a site.

    Stephen, actually was referring to people like me that have a disability regarding being more able to claim against web accessibility discrimination and the fact user-agents aren't all visual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry
    [...]and have a lot of clients and new job specs demanding HTML 5.What are your thoughts on the above?
    HTML5 is not fully normative so what they are demanding is questionable? I suspect most of them just heard a buzzword and wouldn't even know what a DFN was if it hit them on the head. I am not saying don't experiment but unless you know they are fully tech-savvy - and wanting a very specific niche feature - the odds are they don't really know what they are asking for or have a misconception regarding semantics.

  10. #10
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    That applies only if the site owner and/or developer are bound by any law that requires their site works in javascript disabled browsers.

    Personally, I am not bound by any such law for the sites I build.
    So the country you are in, the country your web site is hosted in, and the countries all your visitors are in do not have any anti-discrimination laws?

    There's nothing to stop someone suing you in their own country in accordance with the laws of their country. They may not be able to actually collect whatever the court awards them as long as you stay out of their country but they certainly could if you ever dcided to visit there.

    Of course the extremely vocal minority with JavaScript disabled are likely to tell all their friends about how stuffed your site is so that their friends will not visito your site and will tell their friends as well. Then you go from the 6% of people with JavaScript disabled not able to use your site to the 40%+ of them and all their friends not using your site.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  11. #11
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by computerbarry View Post
    I just feel like I need to start building for the future.
    Plain old HTML / CSS will be with us into the forseeable future, so that's not really an issue. Few, if any, sites really need what HTML5 will offer. I wonder what future web design will really entail, and I don't assume it will just be about more fancy tricks and effects. Hopefully—and the rise of the mobile web might help with this—there will be an increasing focus on keeping content simple and accessible. I'm utterly sick of big, wide websites with lots of graphics, sidebars and flashy stuff all over the place. I'm not making them any more. Plain old HTML on its own is responsive web design right out of the box.

  12. #12
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Two things to remember:

    1. HTML 5 includes almost everything in HTML 4 so almost every page that is valid HTML 4 is also valid HTML 5.
    2. The doctype HTML 5 uses is equally valid for HTML 2 and so does not necessarily indicate which version of HTML that is being used.

    The only way to tell for certain that a page is HTML 5 is if it actually contains one or more HTML 5 only tags or attributes - and very few web pages actually do that because the HTML 5 draft standard is a long way from deciding whether or not thiose tags will actually be introduced or not - they are currently just there to test.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    So the country you are in, the country your web site is hosted in, and the countries all your visitors are in do not have any anti-discrimination laws?
    If you want me to take your "legal advice" seriously then state the Act of Law whose jurisdiction you claim I am under and that I would be in breach of.

    I don't take any notice of legal advice from people not adequately qualified to give it to me

  14. #14
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    If you want me to take your "legal advice" seriously then state the Act of Law whose jurisdiction you claim I am under and that I would be in breach of.

    I don't take any notice of legal advice from people not adequately qualified to give it to me
    I could answer that, but I'm not a lawyer and I don't believe you really want an answer anyway. I will, however, add just one thing.

    I mentioned that my problems are the result of a virus (20 years ago), in the hope of giving the "I'm alright, Jack" brigade pause for thought. Not all disabilities are present from birth; very many are the result of illness or accident. Tomorrow, it could be you, a member of your family or a close friend struggling to deal with other people's thoughtless or careless attitudes.

    Unless, of course, you're convinced that you're as immune to illness as to prosecution?

  15. #15
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    I could answer that too but you don't want the answer and I don't want to spend an hour or two listing all of the laws that you could be prosecuted under. Besides which the forum doesn't allow posts anywhere near long enough to list them all.
    Stephen J Chapman

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    that's ok.

    I didn't think you had the ability to state any laws whose jurisdiction you claim I would be under that I would be in breach of.

    As I said, you are not qualified to give me legal advice and I take legal advice only from lawyers adequately qualified to give it to me.

    The legal advice I have been given is that in my circumstances I would not be in breach of any laws whose jurisdiction I am under.

    If you want to be taken seriously, I am entitled to know the verifiable legal qualifications you have to give legal advice. If you choose to not post them, as you are entitled to not do, then I am fully entitled to take any "legal advice" you post as being totally rubbish for my circumstances.

    If you require your advice to be taken seriously, the onus of proof is on you to provide evidence it is accurate for my circumstances . No-one is obliged to blindly believe unsubstantiated "legal advice" posted by wannabe lawyers.

  17. #17
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    that's ok.
    Was the lawyer you consulted qualified to give advice regarding the law in England? What about Australia? Canada? India?

    I doubt it. Therefore their advise with regard to any legal actiopn that might be taken against you in any country other than the one that lawyer is in is completely meaningless.

    As I said before - any judgement against you in a particular country may not be able to be enforced unless you visit that country but that doesn't prevent the action being taken and then you'd be in big trouble if you ever decided to visit that country.

    As an example consider the situation Julian Asange is in because of his web site WikiLeaks which is perfectly legal ias far as the laws in most countries are concerned but where the USA has decided that the site breaks their laws. Of course there is nothing they can do unless they can get him to the USA because he hasn't broken any laws where he and the web site are located.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Haf of the people on here that cry out of the importance of accessibility I think they do just it as a ego boost and something to put their work above others. There is only so much that can be done taking into consideration budget. I mean… is less than 1% of an audience really worth taking the time to make a site fully accessible, maybe for those that live in a fantasy land of their own personal projects but not always for those doing professional, payed work, with clients and budgets. That isn't to say you should do what you can but I men at the end of the day a person who is disabled will never have the same experience to someone who is not. I work for a newspaper and none of websites function without JavaScript which in some cases is a pretty good marketing tack considering the ads pay the bills. It doesn't hurt use one bit, otherwise we would be fixing it. It isn't really something to be proud of but at the same time it really isn't something that needs money invested in it either. Everyone here would probably disagree but nothing is ever ideal. In addition, we are creating a sencha touch app and that will not worjk without JavaScript which examining the consequences of that decision we are perfectly fine with, considering the many advantages. As for the client wanting HTML5 the doctype is only requirement for that. You can write perfectly valid HTML4 page and swap the doctype instance html5 goodness. That could be the proper approach unless there are actual features that could leverage additions in html5.
    The only code I hate more than my own is everyone else's.

  19. #19
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    I honestly can't understand why people bother with accessibility at all. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BhHwk9qSvI

  20. #20
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=oddz;4980306There is only so much that can be done taking into consideration budget. I mean… is less than 1% of an audience really worth taking the time to make a site fully accessible, maybe for those that live in a fantasy land of their own personal projects but not always for those doing professional, payed work, with clients and budgets. That isn't to say you should do what you can but I men at the end of the day a person who is disabled will never have the same experience to someone who is not.[/QUOTE]


    Catering for accessibility for disabled people wouldn't be worth doing if it weren't for the fact that somewhere close to 60% of people have some form of disability that will affect the way that they interact with the web. Most of these are so minor that the person is not considered to be actually disabled - except by those who have done web accessibility studies and have determined that approximately that fraction of the potential web audience actually are affected by the issues dealt with under the "accessibility" heading.

    Of course if you actually want to ignore 60% of your potential audience there are plenty of other newspapers that would be happy to get the business that used to go to the one you worked for.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  21. #21
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    I was joking, of course. The link says it all. Obviously it's an extreme case, but yes, most of us experience access problems in some form--even if we are tired, and the screen is too bright or messy. All of us, at some time, get injured, too (even if temporarily) which can mean difficulty moving a mouse etc.

    The funny thing is, HTML (at least used semantically) is quite accessible, responsive etc. It's just all the junk we layer over the top of it that gradually gets in the way.

  22. #22
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    even if we are tired, and the screen is too bright or messy.
    I forgot about that - that would mean that 100% of people are disabled at least part of the time. So catering for accessibility is something that will impact significantly on 100% of visitors and so should actually have the highest priority alongside providing worthwhile content.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard cranial-bore's Avatar
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    The new HTML5 elements have a semantic purpose. Granted that purpose is not widely supported yet, but these things take time.

    Because the term HTML5 is used broadly, it makes it easy for people to associate the whole thing with the bits they don't like (fancy gimmicks et. al)

    Some of the new input types (number, email, date) can be pretty helpful from a usability point of view. When combined with feature detection (ala Modernizr) they may even reduce the amount of JavaScript compliant browsers have to download and run. They also degrade to work in older browsers.

    Elements such as nav, section, header, footer and the like will look unstyled and weird in older browsers with JS disabled. But down the track when UA support improves they may well provide a boost to accessibility. The IE6 JS-off users will get an ugly site, but it's probably perfectly usable.

    The nostalgia towards HTML4 is a bit overdone IMO. It's not perfection in markup.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Was the lawyer you consulted qualified to give advice regarding the law in England? What about Australia? Canada? India?
    Before questioning the qualifications of my lawyer, why not first post the qualifications you claim to have to give me legal advice related to any countries' laws?

    Before I answer your question, why not do me the courtesy of answering the question I asked you earlier -
    If you want to be taken seriously, I am entitled to know the verifiable legal qualifications you have to give legal advice. If you choose to not post them, as you are entitled to not do, then I am fully entitled to take any "legal advice" you post as being totally rubbish for my circumstances.
    and I also asked you earlier to post the laws whose jurisdiction you claim I would be under and in breach of in my circumstances.

    On each challenge you have run away and not provided the information to back up your "legal advice".

    If you do me the courtesy of providing me the information I first requested above, I will then return the courtesy and answer your question. In the mean time I will continue to treat your "legal advice" as total garbage since you are not qualified to give me legal advice and instead I will be continue to be advised and guided by my personal lawyer who is adequately qualified to give me legal advice.

    The qualified legal advice I have been given is that in my circumstances I would not be in breach of any laws whose jurisdiction I am under.

  25. #25
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by webdev1958 View Post
    The qualified legal advice I have been given is that in my circumstances I would not be in breach of any laws whose jurisdiction I am under.
    webdev, whilst I appreciate your passion and enthusiasm I would ask you to temper your arguments and kerb your aggressive stance towards members and staff. The advice you received was not given directly from a lawyer but from a seasoned veteran of the web world.
    At no point was it claimed that he was a lawyer and that you were wrong, merely that you should perhaps seek to further clarify WHERE the laws apply.
    If you have a tame lawyer at your end then it would be worth running this by him for his opinion - he is qualified and charges you appropriately, we offer our services free.

    As for the OP's original question.... I would start using HTML5 to build the sites but not rely on JS to make it comply.
    Make it look good and work well without the use of JS and then hang the fancy bells and whistles on it
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
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