Web 2.0 Javascript Standardization Topic

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been involved with some pretty heated debates on this topic with
some friends and associates but I would like to hear from some of the
rails community concerning some of the Web 2.0 standards in place.

The big debate for my friends and me revolves around the development of
javascript in websites.

Here’s a good example.

Javascript is meant to enhance a website and when used properly, it
makes a website function better. This adds to the user experience.

If, for instance, I wanted to create a page administration system that
uses in place editing, those administrators who did not have javascript
enabled would be unable to edit the pages on the fly, as designed. The
virtual creation of pages speeds up delivery time of producing content
and makes life easier for creating virtual pages, but without javascript
enabled, the admin would not be able to access those links. In order
for him to do so, I would have to create a separate way of
administrating that page.

Designing around users that have javascript disabled is the same as
designing two completely separate websites. I believe this to be a
waste of time. Web 2.0 standards that have been bolstered by Yahoo and
Google require javascript functionality to work. In the past, I have
always designed around these issues but I’m leaning towards a more web
2.0 compliant site.

So, my question is this:

Do you feel that web developers should design around users that have
javascript disabled, or do you feel they should place some type of logo
on their site that depicts the site as being web 2.0 compliant.

I would just like to hear some thoughts on this topic.

Alpha B. wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been involved with some pretty heated debates on this topic with
some friends and associates but I would like to hear from some of the
rails community concerning some of the Web 2.0 standards in place.

Web 2.0 is not a standard. It’s a nebulous term that has no real
meaning, and it should probably banished from your vocabulary.

The big debate for my friends and me revolves around the development of
javascript in websites.

Here’s a good example.

Javascript is meant to enhance a website and when used properly, it
makes a website function better. This adds to the user experience.

If, for instance, I wanted to create a page administration system that
uses in place editing, those administrators who did not have javascript
enabled would be unable to edit the pages on the fly, as designed. The
virtual creation of pages speeds up delivery time of producing content
and makes life easier for creating virtual pages, but without javascript
enabled, the admin would not be able to access those links. In order
for him to do so, I would have to create a separate way of
administrating that page.

Designing around users that have javascript disabled is the same as
designing two completely separate websites.

Wrong. Go look up progressive enhancement.

I believe this to be a
waste of time.

And in most cases, you are wrong. Part of the philosophy of the Web
from the beginning has been graceful degradation – you should see
something useful no matter what browser you’re using. Believe it or
not, in almost 2010, there are still browsers that don’t handle
JavaScript well. They exist and should be accommodated.

And the way to do that is with progressive enhancement in most cases.
To be sure, in some cases it isn’t possible, and you may need to create
a separate lo-fi site or give up altogether, but if you’ve designed your
site properly in the first place, those cases are quite rare indeed.

Web 2.0 standards

No such thing.

that have been bolstered by Yahoo and
Google require javascript functionality to work. In the past, I have
always designed around these issues but I’m leaning towards a more web
2.0 compliant site.

No such thing. Web 2.0 isn’t a standard! There is nothing to comply
with!

Good standards-based Web design virtually requires considering users
without JavaScript.

So, my question is this:

Do you feel that web developers should design around users that have
javascript disabled,

Yes!

or do you feel they should place some type of logo
on their site that depicts the site as being web 2.0 compliant.

No way! “Web 2.0” is a pretty bad term since it’s nearly meaningless,
and there’s no Web 2.0 standard to be compliant with, but one of the
things “Web 2.0” should not mean is “fuck off if you don’t have
JavaScript”. There’s really no excuse for that attitude.

I would just like to hear some thoughts on this topic.

You just heard mine. :slight_smile:

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

Web 2.0 is not a standard. It’s a nebulous term that has no real
meaning, and it should probably banished from your vocabulary.

http://www.web2summit.com/web2009/public/schedule/detail/10194
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

Somehow the rest of my topic was cut off.

Marnen,

I’m fully aware of progressive enhancement. However, my philosophies
mirror that of Garret Dimon’s. I do not feel that PE works well with
heavily scripted sites. I provided the links above to show where my
frame of reference towards this topic was headed. Some people might not
be familiar with the concept though so the links are provided for anyone
to read.

Alpha B. wrote:

Web 2.0 is not a standard. It’s a nebulous term that has no real
meaning, and it should probably banished from your vocabulary.

http://www.web2summit.com/web2009/public/schedule/detail/10194
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0

The Wikipedia article sort of proves my point. It shuttles back and
forth between many different meanings of the term. Really, everyone who
uses this term seems to have a different idea of what it means. There’s
no agreement on meaning, and certainly there is no standard to be
compliant with.

So…

  • There is no Web 2.0 standard. If you believe otherwise, show me the
    standard spec so I can read it.
  • Since there is no Web 2.0 standard, no one can really meaningfully
    speak of being “Web 2.0 compliant”.
  • A technical term doesn’t have to have a standard to be useful – it
    just has to have a clear meaning. “Web 2.0” does not, as evidenced by
    the fact that no two people use the term in the same sense.

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

On Dec 31, 2:47 pm, Alpha B. [email protected] wrote:


Posted viahttp://www.ruby-forum.com/.

What does your site do, who is it targeted for

I hate generalized “discussions” about technique A vs technique B
because 100% of the time they only lead to myopic dogma-flinging.
Really, just consider very deeply how you plan on the site being used,
and once its running how it is being used, and develop accordingly.

That said, PE typically isn’t too hard to pull off anyway :\

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Alpha B. wrote:

Somehow the rest of my topic was cut off.

Marnen,

I’m fully aware of progressive enhancement. However, my philosophies
mirror that of Garret Dimon’s.

And the relevant article would be…?

I do not feel that PE works well with
heavily scripted sites.

It is feasible, and it is better than having no alternative at all.

To the extent that you are right, however, that’s an argument against
depending too much on JS, not an argument against progressive
enhancement, unless you’re just going to give up and write a separate
lo-fi site (which is a bad idea for other reasons).

The one case where this does not apply is the case where there’s no
meaningful way to represent the content without JavaScript. But even
here, you should provide an alternate interface of some sort.

Remember, HTML and Rails are quite powerful together even without JS.
Excessive reliance on JS will just get you in trouble.

I provided the links above to show where my
frame of reference towards this topic was headed. Some people might not
be familiar with the concept though so the links are provided for anyone
to read.

Web 2.0 concepts, to the extent that they can be discerned, usually have
more to do with information organization than JavaScript.
Delicious.com, for example, hardly uses any JS as far as I can tell, yet
it’s quite “Web-2.0ish” for most meanings of that term.

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

On Dec 31 2009, 5:32 pm, Alpha B. [email protected] wrote:

Designing around users that have javascript disabled is the same as
designing two completely separate websites. I believe this to be a
waste of time. Web 2.0 standards that have been bolstered by Yahoo and
Google require javascript functionality to work. In the past, I have
always designed around these issues but I’m leaning towards a more web
2.0 compliant site.

As Marnen says, ‘Web 2.0’ is just a buzzword. Personally i think that
graceful degradation / progressive enhancement are good things. That
doesn’t mean they don’t have a cost and like in almost any situation
you should be weighing up the cost versus the benefit (and of course
both of those will depend on your userbase, the particular features of
your application etc.)

You could also argue that you are setting out to write a javascript
application: a javascript enabled browser is simply part of the
application requirements. Like any requirements (must have a 3d
graphics card with feature X, must have version Y of operating system
Z, must have X disk space) you will lose some users but equally you
have to set a baseline somewhere.

Fred

Fred

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Thanks everyone, and I do appreciate the comments.

Coming from a php background and being a former vbulletin developer,
I’ve decided to tackle a personal project that involves creating a
complete website portal. It’s unlike most projects so unfortunately, I
can’t give out all of the features and current issues I’m encountering.

Vbulletin houses a strong plugin/hooks framework that utilizes xml.
When used properly, you can create many addons/modifications to its
forum software. A lot of portal software and forum software exists
today, but much of it lacks certain features that I personally find
necessary.

The website I’m creating is more of a template. I’m building a very
strong administrative section for the website, which will be geared
towards novice users that need a very intuitive website, but can’t rely
on programming/development skills to create it. Therefore, the website
template I’m creating will incorporate most features you find in common
and advanced websites, but will have the ability to be modified
intuitively through an advanced user interface.

Unfortunately, some of the admin areas do require scripting and I just
can’t find a way to get around scripting without compromising the
intuitiveness of the interface. I hope that helps a little here.

The site itself (minus the administrative areas and various plugins like
built-in site search functionality) are not heavily scripted and
therefore use PE for the viewer levels of the application.

Viewers won’t encounter issues with scripting. Admins will.

On Jan 1, 5:58 pm, Alpha B. [email protected] wrote:

today, but much of it lacks certain features that I personally find
Unfortunately, some of the admin areas do require scripting and I just
can’t find a way to get around scripting without compromising the
intuitiveness of the interface. I hope that helps a little here.

The site itself (minus the administrative areas and various plugins like
built-in site search functionality) are not heavily scripted and
therefore use PE for the viewer levels of the application.

Viewers won’t encounter issues with scripting. Admins will.

Posted viahttp://www.ruby-forum.com/.

So you’re writing a CMS. I can’t imagine a situation where people use
CMSs in browsers that support don’t support Javascript, so you should
be fine making that a requirement. However, I’ve never used a CMS in
which Javascript was so fundamental to the interface that it’d be
broken without it, so eh… either you may more carefully consider
whatever approach you’re taking, or the interface is really just that
novel.

You can also take a look at some existing Rails CMSs. I’ve heard of
(and marginally played with Radiant), Google will turn up more.

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pharrington wrote:

On Jan 1, 5:58�pm, Alpha B. [email protected] wrote:

today, but much of it lacks certain features that I personally find
Unfortunately, some of the admin areas do require scripting and I just
can’t find a way to get around scripting without compromising the
intuitiveness of the interface. �I hope that helps a little here.

The site itself (minus the administrative areas and various plugins like
built-in site search functionality) are not heavily scripted and
therefore use PE for the viewer levels of the application.

Viewers won’t encounter issues with scripting. �Admins will.

Posted viahttp://www.ruby-forum.com/.

So you’re writing a CMS. I can’t imagine a situation where people use
CMSs in browsers that support don’t support Javascript,

I can. Quick updates from phones, if nothing else.

so you should
be fine making that a requirement.

No. The OP said that the UI would be unintuitive without JS, but an
unintuitive degradation is better than none at all.

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]