On Thursday, April 28, 2011, Ashley Sheridan wrote:

> I'm not sure if my earlier reply got through, but here it is again (or
> at least the general gist of it)

Many thanks. I got your info the first time around but didn't respond
directly to you as Tedd made similar comments and I'd responded to his

> Like everyone has mentioned thus far, it's better to use progressive
> enhancement or try to avoid relying on Javascript at all. Even a website
> as complex as Facebook allows users to go on it without needing a
> browser that runs Javascript. Something as complex as Google Docs has a
> very clear need for Javascript though, so you wouldn't expect that to
> work without it.

In my case, one of the controls I'm considering is a tiled map with up
to 16 tiles. This is on a page with four tabbed sections that takes
several seconds to load at broadband speeds. Also, the nature of the
site means that people may need to access it and use this form while
connected via mobile broadband or even GSM; connection media that are
usually both slow and paid for per unit of data transfer. I need to
record in hidden input fields the location of where a user clicks on
the map and also echo that click back in the form of a marker overlaid
on the clicked tile. Using AJAX, I can update just the two fields plus
one image. Without Javascript, the extra bandwidth needed to
unnecessarily download the entire page multiple times will cost my
users both time and money. So while I must ensure the site works
without Javascript, I really need the optimisation that JS brings.

> Lastly, if you're creating the website for a government or business, you
> really need to make it work without Javascript, as a lot of countries
> make it illegal to discriminate against a disability, which you would be
> doing if you made a site that was unusable without Javascript. After
> all, there are many speech and Braille browsers out there that can't
> take advantage of Javascript, and a lot of Javascript apps which require
> mouse interaction to run (mouseover/hover events, etc)

AIUI, a lot of countries (mine included) make it unlawful to knowingly
discriminate against the disabled. However, The Disability
Discrimination Act requires only that reasonable steps be taken to
avoid discrimination ... and making stuff accessible to the disabled
at considerable inconvenience and/or expense to everyone else is not
considered reasonable. Now where I can, I'll produce stuff that is
enhanced by images, colour, JS etc. but will still be usable in Lynx.
However, some stuff (e.g. mapping) won't work without graphics and so
is inherently unavailable to the visually impaired. It makes no sense
whatever to try to make such content work in speech and Braille
browsers. Thus making a site that's unusable without Javascript
doesn't necessarily constitute unlawful discrimination!


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