[whatwg] Why not JavaScript?

doron doron at nexgenmedia.net
Wed Jun 9 14:50:18 PDT 2004

JavaScript is all powerful, but one good example in regards to forms is 
accessibility - by putting it all in markup, screen readers can gain 
semantic knowledge of what the form wants to do.  Now it could be 
possible to make JavaScript more accessible, but no one seems to want to 
try :)

Peter-Paul Koch wrote:

> JavaScript turns up regularly in this discussion, so I though I'd 
> state a few obvious points and ask a few questions that nobody else 
> seems to have asked as yet.
> First of all, when I read the (very interesting) position paper, it 
> struck me that every described feature can be implemented in 
> JavaScript *right now*, maybe except for the server sent events and 
> the clipboard api (but even in those cases it might be possible).
> Therefore I wondered why we'd have to invent a wholly new language to 
> do what can already be done, especially when we'd have to wait about 
> three to five years before browsers start to support it, and with the 
> extreme likelihood that IE won't support it anyway.
> As far as I'm concerned we have the choice of using JavaScript right 
> now, or waiting for (probably buggy and incompatible) browser 
> implementations of as yet unknown techniques in the distant future.
> Of course using JavaScript has a downside, too. My current personal 
> guesstimate is that about 2 to 3 % of the Web users have JavaScript 
> disabled, voluntarily or by Sysadmin Decree. It may be somewhat more 
> or less, but that's not the point. The point is that JavaScript is not 
> 100% reliable.
> Therefore the question becomes how important JavaScript's imprecise 
> reliability is. This depends on the *purpose* of the Web application, 
> and I haven't yet seen a single mention of this purpose, neither in 
> the position paper nor on this mailing list.
> I'm confused by the paper's mention of eBay and Amazon as examples of 
> web applications. To me, these are not applications but web sites, and 
> they can function without JavaScript (I'm not saying they do, I'm just 
> saying they can). The core tasks of these sites (bidding on items and 
> buying books) don't require richer widget sets, window-based state 
> management, predefined HTML editors or server-sent events.
> Any web application that enhances these sites is therefore not 
> critical but a nice extra. Hence the use of JavaScript to program them 
> is quite allowed. Noscript browsers can still perform the core tasks.
> HTML editors and such are very valuable for content management systems 
> and such, but these applications run in a controlled environment where 
> it is permissible to require a JavaScript enabled browser. So here, 
> too, the use of JavaScript is quite allowed.
> Can someone please give an example of an application where richer 
> widget sets, window-based state management, predefined HTML editors or 
> server-sent events are *absolutely required*, an application that, 
> when created in JavaScript, *cannot* be designed to degrade gracefully 
> in noscript browsers?
> I feel that any web application must have a strong server side 
> component, to store the data and to allow  people to add, change or 
> delete data. These tasks can be performed in the absence of a rich web 
> application and/or JavaScript, simply by entering the data in a form 
> and clicking "Submit".
> In short, I don't see any reason *not* to use JavaScript to create a 
> richer client environment. Can somebody please explain why we need a 
> new language?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> ppk, freelance web developer
> Interaction, copywriting, JavaScript, integration
> http://www.quirksmode.org/
> Column "Keep it Simple": http://www.digital-web.com/types/keep_it_simple/
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> _________________________________________________________________
> Play online games with your friends with MSN Messenger 
> http://messenger.msn.nl/

More information about the whatwg mailing list