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Re^2: I mostly browse with JavaScript... (disable)

by tye (Sage)
on Aug 14, 2003 at 20:54 UTC ( #284005=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: I mostly browse with JavaScript...
in thread I mostly browse with JavaScript...

The whole notion that javascript should be disabled by default on every site is pretty strange to me.

I have JavaScript completely disabled by default. When I find a site that "doesn't work", I consider how much I trust the site and how much I suspect I'll value what the site has to offer and decide whether to forget about the site, browse their javascript to see what kind of stupid things they are doing, or just turn on javascript and try again.

In the vast majority of cases, the javascript is extremely stupid. It warps the user interface in ways that I find annoying or even obnoxious, is often buggy, leads people to leave their servers more vulnerable (expecting the javascript to protect them). What would have been a simple, nearly trivial, clean, consistant interface w/o javascript (such as a simple link or a form with one or just a few fields) turns into something that doesn't work at all w/o javascript and works according to the quirky, inconsistant notions of the particular "web designer" and is often broken even with javascript (especially if you have a different version than the one they tested with, I presume).

This has everything to do with the quality/character of "web designer" that produced the page. However, I find that the vast majority of sites are poorly designed when it comes to javascript, usually extremely poorly designed. (The sites that manage to succeed and become popular are usually much better. To take one example, how could Wendy's have produced such a horribly broken web site??)

I also don't assume that javascript is totally secure. There certainly have been security holes in the past. I think such gets very little attention these days due to MicroSoft's great talent at providing ways to propogate malware. But when surfing, it is very easy to suddenly end up on the very wrong side of the web (with just a single click, usually from google). I don't care to just allow any bozo who can figure how to get listed high enough on a google search to run his code on my computer, no matter how cleverly some people think they've sandboxed the code.

I like knowing the difference between data and code. I like having wide access to other people's data. I don't like having to run every random bozo's code in order to see their data. I felt that way long before javascript and Outlook existed. And I like the idea of letting the browser customize the interface instead of having every bozo express their individuality by changing the way their site behaves *when other people visit it*.

Isn't it telling that an entire industry has been created for the purpose of disabling parts of javascript? I'm glad you found product(s) for that which satisfy you. On the several occasions that I've looked, I wasn't satisfied with anything I found. Note that that includes browsers that people have raved about in exactly the tones you just used. So, no, I don't run out to try a new browser every time someone tells me yet again what would be a great alternative. I make such attempts with decreasing frequency with each failure/disappointment. So I'll try again eventually, but certainly not this month.

My bank does a decent job of using javascript to let me do on-line banking (and they still do dumb things to the user interface, but they tend to slowly improve). And I think they'd do an even better job if they used much less javascript. So I'm not saying I want to ban all javascript, just 99.8% of it. (:

                - tye
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Re^3: I mostly browse with JavaScript... (disable)
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Aug 14, 2003 at 21:50 UTC
    Isn't it telling how HTML was originally conceived with the concept in mind that the reader's user agent should decide how the marked up information should be presented? I don't mind the "webdesigner" making a (strong) suggestion at how their content is best looked at, but I find it indescribably annoying when they try to impose their views on me (the worst are sites that open in fixed-size popups with all controls hidden).

    Makeshifts last the longest.

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