6 Replies - 2160 Views - Last Post: 03 October 2012 - 12:27 PM

#1 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:25 PM

So on my new site which is coming along slowly but surely and I'm learning to program web stuff;; There are some handy javascript functions that would really make my site a lot nicer and cooler to use. The only problem is it would break the users ability to use my site if they are using any modern script blocking tools like SCRIPTBLOCKER.

I CAN GET BY WITHOUT IT but it would make the site nicer. Is it still worth using languages like Javascript? How many people will this effect and for the users that it will effect will most be smart enough to turn off script blocker? Opinions etc.?

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#2 e_i_pi  Icon User is offline

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Re: Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:55 AM

There are a few considerations here.

Firstly, it has to be understood that roughly 1-2% or internet users have Javascript disabled. Is this margin going to impact your traffic/income such that your site is no longer profitable? Unlikely, and if your turnover is that fragile, then your site in unlikely to be a good choice.

Secondly, if you are considering that as an impact, then you have to look at the cost to you, the developer. It will increase your development time significantly, and the increase in development time may not be worth it considering the extra traffic will be minimal, and thus the extra income/interest.

Some Anti-Javascript diehards will argue that you should always develop a no-Javascript version of a site. I disagree with this personally, as a game-developer. Installed games nowadays have minimum specifications printed on their covers/booklets - I think if your site relies on Javascript (e.g. - it is AJAX heavy), then you should post a warning on the index page, and that page should load fine regardless of whether JS is enabled or disabled, but that's as far as you need go. If people want to surf the web with JS disabled, that's their choice, but they have no right to impose upon the developer that the product works fine for them - they aren't covering the costs, they don't get a say. Mind you, if you are developing for a client, it may be a different matter :)
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#3 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 08 September 2012 - 11:05 AM

From the anti-javascript diehard:

If the reasoning behind javascript is to make something look cool or to add sparkles and flairs, don't. Only use it when absolutely necessary to improve the usability of the site. Keep it to a dead minimum, otherwise you end up with 50 scripts and 'cool effects' with a nice side effect of 2 minute load time.

Simple things such as transitions, mouseovers, and quite a few other common javascript tasks can be emulated in CSS3. When using javascript, less is more.

Get the design working first before you even consider touching it, too many people put the cart before the horse and end up with a mess. Javascript is to be the absolute last thing added in a design.
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#4 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 08 September 2012 - 12:35 PM

One concept to keep in mind is "graceful degradation." If your page has content in HTML, styling in CSS, and extra functionality in Javascript, then you've met the ideal. As long as you don't need the Javascript to use the site. More here: http://en.wikipedia....sive_Javascript

That said, welcome to the modern web. Javascript is used to render data from services via AJAX. Almost every professional site does this. Some are nice and offer a cheap seats version of their site; many don't bother.

Looking toward the future. When people talk about HTML5 driven sites, they're not talking about serving up static content. They're talking about a page that hosts scripts that drive a display. It is the semantic web nightmare! Sort of. Such sites generally talk to services that describe data as just data, either in JSON or XML. That stream establishes the ideal of markup only for data, just on a different tier.

Bottom line, Javascript is the future of the web, like it or not.
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#5 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Re: Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

Thanks guys. My site works fine with PHP etc. and the Javascript though would be a nice add on in the case of a user posting a comment the user would click a link that would show/hide the comment typing section on pages of my site. This makes it nice and all but then again a certain small percentage of people won't be able to post a comment without javascript. I'm thinking I should just maybe post a warning (to post a comment you must have javascript enabled).

This post has been edited by adn258: 08 September 2012 - 04:50 PM

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#6 xYassineHoussni  Icon User is offline

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Re: Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:00 PM

I wouldn't recommend to use Javascript as a priority, keep it as an addition to your site.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Javascript To Use Or Not To Use?

Posted 03 October 2012 - 12:27 PM

Just a bit of love for javascript here - yes, it's possible to make unholy messes in javascript, but it's actually a pretty cool language. It's probably the most widely-used functional language out there, and if you are aware of the potential tangles you can create, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

If you're seeing one to two percent of web users disabling it, think about what other sites they're disabling - are these people you really need? If so, you build a non-js view. I don't know how necessary that's going to be, though.
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