Best practices don’t win points

Roger Johansson sharpens his teeth and tears into Ajax/JavaScript/Web application developers with You cannot rely on JavaScript being available. Period. He poses a questions:

I have a question for people who label themselves as JavaScript developers: Have you forgotten about, never heard of, or never cared about the terms progressive enhancement, graceful degradation, and Hijax? If the answer is yes, then please tell me why.

I would also like to know whether you actually consider disregarding those best practice methods to be compatible with modern, responsible, and professional JavaScripting.

Following the question, Roger lists out several popular web sites with a description of what happens when script is blocked. I’m not surprised at Bloglines, but wouldn’t have expected Blogger to depend on JavaScript for login. That’s very limiting.

As to his question, this is a time of flash and sizzle, and anyone who programs cautiously, worrying about such things as graceful degradation or accessibility, is going to be left behind. There is a frantic need to prove that JavaScript and Ajax and the whole genre of tools is cooler than cool. This is a time of competition for eyeballs, and grabbing market shares, and wow factors, and pages so crowded with interactivity, frankly, it’s like trying to read or work with an ant hill. With angry ants.

It’s this way because if you go slow, or urge caution, or back off of some of the more ‘hip’ Ajax/JavaScript effects, you’re out of the loop–not a part of the ‘with it’ kids. This all means then you don’t get the opportunities, jobs, even the pats on the head and a well done. As for those who might provide accolades to those who do use the JS best practices, well, they’re too busy in their own world focused on web design, CSS, accessibility, XHTML–conferences here, web standard get-togethers there. The only time they might notice us ‘hacks’ is when we do something they don’t like.

So Roger, the answer to your question is: when was the last time you pointed out those who support the ‘good’ practices of JavaScript?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email