Handling browsers with Javascript turned off: W3C way?

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Retlak

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Feb 13, 2004, 5:51:08 AM2/13/04
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The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a browser
has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:

<noscript>
<meta http-equiv="refresh"
content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
</noscript>

This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
Javascript".

This works, so what's the problem? It doesn't validate at
http://validator.w3.org, and there's no way to modify it so that it
will. W3C standards don't allow <noscript> in the header (illogical,
since <script> IS allowed in the header), and <meta> is not allowed
anywhere except in the header.

Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C
validator, to this problem? A real solution is one that redirects to a
page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar. If
Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
original page.

Kris

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Feb 13, 2004, 6:15:22 AM2/13/04
to
In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

> The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
> Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a browser
> has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:
>
> <noscript>
> <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> </noscript>

The way to detect JavaScript is to use it. The NOSCRIPT section has only
effect in browsers that have JavaScript *enabled*: they ignore the
section. When unavailable in any way, the section gets treated like any
unknown tag; the content is rendered.

>
> This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> Javascript".

What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
on an optional browserfeature? Pity.

>
> This works, so what's the problem?

"works".. see above.

> It doesn't validate at
> http://validator.w3.org, and there's no way to modify it so that it
> will.

Why redirect?

<noscript>
Your browser does not seem to support JavaScript. We suggest you take
your business elsewhere. Bye.
</noscript>

> W3C standards don't allow <noscript> in the header (illogical,
> since <script> IS allowed in the header)

<script> is also allowed in the Body.

> and <meta> is not allowed
> anywhere except in the header.
>
> Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C
> validator, to this problem?

Validation is the least of your problems if you continue to build
websites like this.

> A real solution is one that redirects to a
> page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar.

What if I cannot enable it, or won't enable it? What makes your design
dependant on it in the first place? Can't I use your site at all without
JavaScript? Are you convinced you made the right decision? Are you fine
with people taking their business elsewhere because of that decision?

> If
> Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
> original page.

Why do you need JavaScript to do that in the first place?

--
Kris
<kris...@xs4all.netherlands> (nl)
<http://www.cinnamon.nl/>

Jukka K. Korpela

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Feb 13, 2004, 6:18:01 AM2/13/04
to
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

> The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
> Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a
> browser has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:
>
> <noscript>
> <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> </noscript>

No, it is definitely not recommended - the HTML specification says
explicitly that authors should not use meta refresh for redirection.
Are you trolling, or just fundamentally ignorant?

> This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> Javascript".

I smell a troll.

> This works, so what's the problem?

There's no problem if you want to make a fool of yourself. It is worse
than idiotic, since real idiots (people with very low IQ) are not
responsible for their actions.

> It doesn't validate at
> http://validator.w3.org

Why do you bother if you have already decided to violate W3C
recommendations? Are you worried about the fact that if you ask a
validator verify whether your document complies with the DTD you
purport it to comply with, it will do exactly that=

> A real solution is one that redirects
> to a page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or
> similar. If Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any
> of the original page.

If you didn't smell like a troll, I might explain that on a page that
uses JavaScript for something useful that cannot currently be better
done otherwise (it is extremely improbable that you could have been
able to soup up something like that when you cannot even write an
RFC 1036 compliant From field), you would naturally include the
explanation into the <noscript> element itself, using a link to further
information if needed.

Such as
<noscript><big>This page contains nothing but a JavaScript-based tax
calculator for income tax in Southern Borduria. Your browser has
JavaScript disabled, or does not support JavaScript.</big></noscript>

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Bertilo Wennergren

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Feb 13, 2004, 6:27:10 AM2/13/04
to
Retlak:

> <noscript>
> <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> </noscript>

> Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C


> validator, to this problem? A real solution is one that redirects to a
> page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar. If
> Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
> original page.

Why does it have to redirect?

Try this:

<body>
<noscript>
<p>This page is dependant on JavaScript. Activate it or begone.</p>
</noscript>
<script type="text/javascript">
// The entire JavaScript-dependant content
document.write('...');
</script>
</body>

Actually it's better to load the JavaScript-depeandant content without
"document.write", using DOM-stuff etc., but it's easier to demonstrate
the idea this way. It would also be better to include actual alternative
content in the "noscript" element, or at least include a link to an
alternative page there. Or you could start with a non-JavaScript,
content-filled, page, that does a JavaScript redirect to a JavaScript
version of the page. Etc...

Page content that does not make any sense without JavaScript activated,
should be generated entirely with JavaScript.

--
Bertilo Wennergren <bert...@gmx.net> <http://www.bertilow.com>

Bertilo Wennergren

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Feb 13, 2004, 6:29:55 AM2/13/04
to
Kris:

> The way to detect JavaScript is to use it. The NOSCRIPT section has only
> effect in browsers that have JavaScript *enabled*: they ignore the
> section. When unavailable in any way, the section gets treated like any
> unknown tag; the content is rendered.

Which currently used browsers do not know the "noscript" tag?

Kris

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Feb 13, 2004, 6:37:03 AM2/13/04
to
In article <c0icer$v22$03$2...@news.t-online.com>,
Bertilo Wennergren <bert...@gmx.net> wrote:

> > The way to detect JavaScript is to use it. The NOSCRIPT section has only
> > effect in browsers that have JavaScript *enabled*: they ignore the
> > section. When unavailable in any way, the section gets treated like any
> > unknown tag; the content is rendered.
>
> Which currently used browsers do not know the "noscript" tag?

Generally, they all know it. They all comply with not rendering the
content of NOSCRIPT when JavaScript is available. If JavaScript is
disabled, they render it. Browsers that do not know any JavaScript
purposely render the NOSCRIPT section because they are explicitly
programmed to do so, or they render it anyway because that is the
general rule for HTML: to render the contents between unknown tags.

Alan J. Flavell

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Feb 13, 2004, 6:33:18 AM2/13/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, Kris wrote:

> <noscript>
> Your browser does not seem to support JavaScript. We suggest you take
> your business elsewhere. Bye.
> </noscript>

Well, quite. Maybe they should add something like "of course this
violates national legislation on disability access, but why should we
care? - we're offshore, so pffffffffft to them". It'll probably get
them lots of extra business. (I hope your irony detector has been
serviced recently).

Retlak

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Feb 13, 2004, 10:08:00 AM2/13/04
to
Kris <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message news:<kristiaan-28460...@newszilla.xs4all.nl>...

> In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
> ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:
>

> >
> > This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> > Javascript".
>
> What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
> on an optional browserfeature? Pity.
>

In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
Javascript since the 1990s.

Neal

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Feb 13, 2004, 10:20:53 AM2/13/04
to
On 13 Feb 2004 07:08:00 -0800, Retlak <ret...@go.com> wrote:

> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
> remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
> Javascript since the 1990s.

In realistic terms, Javascript is capable of being turned off in nearly
every browser. Why on earth would they give the user the right to do that
if it wasn't optional?

My mom would say, "And if 70% of all web sites jumped off a bridge, you'd
do it too?" Seriously, I disagree about that number. You ought to find the
source of this information.

Retlak

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Feb 13, 2004, 10:20:51 AM2/13/04
to
Bertilo Wennergren <bert...@gmx.net> wrote in message news:<c0ic9n$v22$03$1...@news.t-online.com>...

> Retlak:
>
> > <noscript>
> > <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> > content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> > </noscript>
>
> > Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C
> > validator, to this problem? A real solution is one that redirects to a
> > page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar.
...

> Try this:
>
> <body>
> <noscript>
> <p>This page is dependant on JavaScript. Activate it or begone.</p>
> </noscript>
> <script type="text/javascript">
> // The entire JavaScript-dependant content
> document.write('...');
> </script>
> </body>
...
>
> Page content that does not make any sense without JavaScript activated,
> should be generated entirely with JavaScript.

That last sentence does make a point. However, what I really don't
like about this is that the page will pass the W3C validator too
trivially - all the page content is in quoted strings, so the
validator will ignore it completely!

Neal

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Feb 13, 2004, 10:32:55 AM2/13/04
to
On 13 Feb 2004 07:20:51 -0800, Retlak <ret...@go.com> wrote:

> That last sentence does make a point. However, what I really don't
> like about this is that the page will pass the W3C validator too
> trivially - all the page content is in quoted strings, so the
> validator will ignore it completely!


But as the page as designed is useless to those who are parsing HTML and
not JS, is it necessary that it validates?

Harlan Messinger

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Feb 13, 2004, 10:38:17 AM2/13/04
to

"Kris" <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message
news:kristiaan-28460...@newszilla.xs4all.nl...
> In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
> ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:
>
> > The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
> > Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a browser
> > has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:
> >
> > <noscript>
> > <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> > content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> > </noscript>
>
> The way to detect JavaScript is to use it. The NOSCRIPT section has only
> effect in browsers that have JavaScript *enabled*: they ignore the
> section. When unavailable in any way, the section gets treated like any
> unknown tag; the content is rendered.
>
> >
> > This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> > Javascript".
>
> What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
> on an optional browserfeature? Pity.

Enjoyment of many television programs is difficult if accessed via a radio
with a TV band. Pity. All television programs should be designed so that the
audio fully conveys all the information, and any information conveyed
visually should be redundant. It is an abuse of the radio spectrum to
broadcast any sitcoms whose enjoyment relies on being able to see pratfalls,
facial expressions, outrageous outfits on sitcoms, or news and current event
programs understanding of which relies on being able to see maps and
diagrams and charts.

Yes, believe it or not, some people use the web as the propagation medium
for applications intended to run on the client, and of course they will only
work for people running browsers that support them. The concept that the
only legitimate uses of the Web are those that will be intelligible using an
HTML parser alone is absurd.

>
> Why redirect?
>
> <noscript>
> Your browser does not seem to support JavaScript. We suggest you take
> your business elsewhere. Bye.
> </noscript>

Are you similarly indignant at television? Do you expect television
companies to wring their hands at the thought of all the business they're
losing by not making their programming enjoyable via audio alone?

>
> > W3C standards don't allow <noscript> in the header (illogical,
> > since <script> IS allowed in the header)
>
> <script> is also allowed in the Body.
>
> > and <meta> is not allowed
> > anywhere except in the header.
> >
> > Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C
> > validator, to this problem?
>
> Validation is the least of your problems if you continue to build
> websites like this.

You haven't seen his web site (since he didn't give a URL). You know
absolutely nothing about it. You haven't the slightest idea why he's using
Javascript. Your reaction is mindless knee-jerking.

>
> > A real solution is one that redirects to a
> > page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar.
>
> What if I cannot enable it, or won't enable it? What makes your design
> dependant on it in the first place? Can't I use your site at all without
> JavaScript? Are you convinced you made the right decision? Are you fine
> with people taking their business elsewhere because of that decision?
>
> > If
> > Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
> > original page.
>
> Why do you need JavaScript to do that in the first place?

Oh, finally! Don't you think you should have asked this *first*? Instead of
front-loading your abuse?

And if he *is* using Javascript where it would be better not to--do you
think it might simply never have occurred to him why it isn't a good idea,
and that it would be helpful for you to have just *explained* it to him,
instead of treating him like a criminal who should have known better?

Harlan Messinger

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Feb 13, 2004, 10:43:09 AM2/13/04
to

"Jukka K. Korpela" <jkor...@cs.tut.fi> wrote in message
news:Xns948E873BFABC...@193.229.0.31...

> ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:
>
> > The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
> > Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a
> > browser has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:
> >
> > <noscript>
> > <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> > content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> > </noscript>
>
> No, it is definitely not recommended - the HTML specification says
> explicitly that authors should not use meta refresh for redirection.
> Are you trolling, or just fundamentally ignorant?

Gosh, does everybody in the world know everything there is to know about the
HTML specification in all its gory detail?

>
> > This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> > Javascript".
>
> I smell a troll.

Why? Good grief, Jukka, everyone isn't as brilliant as you are about HTML
(and I don't mean that sarcastically). If they were, no one would be coming
here asking questions, would they?

Neal

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Feb 13, 2004, 11:00:29 AM2/13/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:38:17 -0500, Harlan Messinger
<h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

>
> "Kris" <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message
> news:kristiaan-28460...@newszilla.xs4all.nl...
>> In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,

>> What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
>> on an optional browserfeature? Pity.
>
> Enjoyment of many television programs is difficult if accessed via a
> radio
> with a TV band. Pity. All television programs should be designed so that
> the
> audio fully conveys all the information, and any information conveyed
> visually should be redundant. It is an abuse of the radio spectrum to
> broadcast any sitcoms whose enjoyment relies on being able to see
> pratfalls,
> facial expressions, outrageous outfits on sitcoms, or news and current
> event
> programs understanding of which relies on being able to see maps and
> diagrams and charts.

Flaw is this: TV is not radio with pictures. It's a visual and audio
medium. Oh, and receiving pictures on your set won't ever cause the whole
set to crash. By contrast, the WWW was conceived and designed for HTML.
Javascript is an afterthought which many users choose to do without.

Plus, TV audio very often has an alternate selection which narrates the
video for the sight-impaired. So that medium does accommodate the disabled.

> Yes, believe it or not, some people use the web as the propagation medium
> for applications intended to run on the client, and of course they will
> only
> work for people running browsers that support them. The concept that the
> only legitimate uses of the Web are those that will be intelligible
> using an
> HTML parser alone is absurd.

I agree. But it's quite easy to provide either alternate content or some
polite message which instead of saying "As you don't use JS, screw you"
might say "We're providing something useful to others which isn't going to
be useful for you, and we're sorry."

>> <noscript>
>> Your browser does not seem to support JavaScript. We suggest you take
>> your business elsewhere. Bye.
>> </noscript>
>
> Are you similarly indignant at television? Do you expect television
> companies to wring their hands at the thought of all the business they're
> losing by not making their programming enjoyable via audio alone?

They often do. Don't pretend the television industry has made no
accomodations.

>> Validation is the least of your problems if you continue to build
>> websites like this.
>
> You haven't seen his web site (since he didn't give a URL). You know
> absolutely nothing about it. You haven't the slightest idea why he's
> using
> Javascript. Your reaction is mindless knee-jerking.

1) URL should have been supplied.
2) Sure, it's knee-jerking. Welcome to Usenet.
3) But you cannot deny that it's sensless to validate a page which is all
javascript anyway? If there's no useful HTML - bearing in mind that for
HTML to be useful there must be content to mark up, and in this case the
only content is a script which might not even run on the computer in
question - then why validate?

> And if he *is* using Javascript where it would be better not to--do you
> think it might simply never have occurred to him why it isn't a good
> idea,
> and that it would be helpful for you to have just *explained* it to him,
> instead of treating him like a criminal who should have known better?

It's a tradition in this forum to treat the ignorant as war criminals
first. I don't like it, but here we are.

But in arguing with someone like that, the discussion gets sidetracked,
muddied. Some would say fun.

If it bothers you, far better to simply provide the advice you wish the
others had in the first place. Lead by example.

Bertilo Wennergren

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Feb 13, 2004, 11:27:23 AM2/13/04
to
Retlak:

> Bertilo Wennergren

>> Page content that does not make any sense without JavaScript activated,
>> should be generated entirely with JavaScript.

> That last sentence does make a point. However, what I really don't
> like about this is that the page will pass the W3C validator too
> trivially - all the page content is in quoted strings, so the
> validator will ignore it completely!

The validator is just a tool to help you get your code right.
Unfortunately you can't use the validator to check if the HTML generated
by client side JavaScript is correct HTML, but there is no sinning
involved in that. You'll just have to make sure you get it right anyway.

Andreas Prilop

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Feb 13, 2004, 11:35:05 AM2/13/04
to
On 13 Feb 2004, Retlak wrote:

> Organization: http://groups.google.com


>
> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
> remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
> Javascript since the 1990s.

Trolles eunt domus!

Charles Allen

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Feb 13, 2004, 11:07:50 AM2/13/04
to
> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
> ...

> remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported

I run with javascript off 100% of the time. If a site requires
javascript... I find an alternative. No problems doing that.

I do turn on cookies (current session only) for some internal sites at
work, but I use a different profile for that. External => no cookies.

What exactly, am I missing out on?

--
Charles Allen

Harlan Messinger

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Feb 13, 2004, 11:46:13 AM2/13/04
to

"Neal" <nea...@spamrcn.com> wrote in message
news:opr3bf23...@news.rcn.com...

> On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:38:17 -0500, Harlan Messinger
> <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> >
> > "Kris" <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message
> > news:kristiaan-28460...@newszilla.xs4all.nl...
> >> In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
> >> What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website
dependant
> >> on an optional browserfeature? Pity.
> >
> > Enjoyment of many television programs is difficult if accessed via a
> > radio
> > with a TV band. Pity. All television programs should be designed so that
> > the
> > audio fully conveys all the information, and any information conveyed
> > visually should be redundant. It is an abuse of the radio spectrum to
> > broadcast any sitcoms whose enjoyment relies on being able to see
> > pratfalls,
> > facial expressions, outrageous outfits on sitcoms, or news and current
> > event
> > programs understanding of which relies on being able to see maps and
> > diagrams and charts.
>
> Flaw is this: TV is not radio with pictures. It's a visual and audio
> medium.

A web-based client-side application isn't a web page with script. It's an
application with code as well as content.

> Oh, and receiving pictures on your set won't ever cause the whole
> set to crash. By contrast, the WWW was conceived and designed for HTML.
> Javascript is an afterthought which many users choose to do without.

The <script> tag is defined in HTML. I'm certain this is evidence that
thought was given to the possibility that HTML might be used as a carrier
for client-side programming. If we go back to HTML 1.0 for all our notions
of what HTML was "conceived" and "designed" for, and therefore what
legitimate uses of it are, then we must concede that HTML is presentational,
that <font> tags are good, and the whole gamut.

I know people who choose to do without television. Is the fact that
"Frasier" or "Ab Fab" isn't available by radio a horrible affront to them?

>
> Plus, TV audio very often has an alternate selection which narrates the
> video for the sight-impaired.

Often? I've never seen anything appear in that feature. I think you mean
"almost never".

> So that medium does accommodate the disabled.
>
> > Yes, believe it or not, some people use the web as the propagation
medium
> > for applications intended to run on the client, and of course they will
> > only
> > work for people running browsers that support them. The concept that the
> > only legitimate uses of the Web are those that will be intelligible
> > using an
> > HTML parser alone is absurd.
>
> I agree.

I guess it's a difference of interpretation, but from my point of view you
seem to be changing your mind here.

> But it's quite easy to provide either alternate content or some
> polite message which instead of saying "As you don't use JS, screw you"
> might say "We're providing something useful to others which isn't going to
> be useful for you, and we're sorry."

That's a constructive suggestion for the OP.

>
> >> <noscript>
> >> Your browser does not seem to support JavaScript. We suggest you take
> >> your business elsewhere. Bye.
> >> </noscript>
> >
> > Are you similarly indignant at television? Do you expect television
> > companies to wring their hands at the thought of all the business
they're
> > losing by not making their programming enjoyable via audio alone?
>
> They often do. Don't pretend the television industry has made no
> accomodations.

Mostly when required by law (like closed captioning), at least in the US.
And they have never made the kind of accommodations I referred to. As a
person who often has the TV in the living room for background noise while
I'm in the kitchen, I know this.

>
> >> Validation is the least of your problems if you continue to build
> >> websites like this.
> >
> > You haven't seen his web site (since he didn't give a URL). You know
> > absolutely nothing about it. You haven't the slightest idea why he's
> > using
> > Javascript. Your reaction is mindless knee-jerking.
>
> 1) URL should have been supplied.

Generally. I don't think it would hurt people to keep in mind that not
everyone has ready access to a publicly accessible web site these days for
this purpose, although that's less and less true as time goes on.

> 2) Sure, it's knee-jerking. Welcome to Usenet.

Which makes it beyond reproach? Someone acts like that without due
provocation, he can expect reactions similar to mine. Welcome to Usenet,
right back at him.

> 3) But you cannot deny that it's sensless to validate a page which is all
> javascript anyway? If there's no useful HTML - bearing in mind that for
> HTML to be useful there must be content to mark up, and in this case the
> only content is a script which might not even run on the computer in
> question - then why validate?

I'd be surprised if there's *only* a script. There is generally visible
content (labels, controls) for the script to act *on*. On the other hand, if
some of the HTML itself is generate by script, then of course the validation
is incomplete anyway, since it can only validate the HTML that is
hard-coded, not the HTML that is generated by script. So, I agree that there
*may* not be much point.

>
> > And if he *is* using Javascript where it would be better not to--do you
> > think it might simply never have occurred to him why it isn't a good
> > idea,
> > and that it would be helpful for you to have just *explained* it to him,
> > instead of treating him like a criminal who should have known better?
>
> It's a tradition in this forum to treat the ignorant as war criminals
> first. I don't like it, but here we are.
>
> But in arguing with someone like that, the discussion gets sidetracked,
> muddied. Some would say fun.
>
> If it bothers you, far better to simply provide the advice you wish the
> others had in the first place. Lead by example.

<grin>I'll think about it.</grin>

Chris Morris

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 12:24:59 PM2/13/04
to
ret...@go.com (Retlak) writes:
> Kris <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote

> > In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
> > ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:
> > > This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> > > Javascript".
> >
> > What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
> > on an optional browserfeature? Pity.
>
> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".

Wrong. My browser usually has Javascript disabled. I rarely notice a
problem. I visit a wide variety of sites, most of the ones I use
regularly are non-technical in nature and fairly widely used (BBC
news, for example)

> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
> remember a URL).

Of the sites I visit regularly, none require Javascript for the
majority of the content. Some require it for minor enhancements (one
for a comments form that could be made to work near-identically
without it) (though I note the BBC news website has recently
implemented sensible fallback on their photo galleries, well done to
them)

I'm going to have to dispute that claim. I can believe that 70% of
sites [1] *use* Javascript. I can't believe that 70% require it, unless
you define rollover animations to be required.

[1] Depending on how you define sites.

> Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do anything on the
> web.

Okay, you don't need Javascript to do:
Text
Graphics
Animations
Page layout
Links and navigation
Forms
Web Applications (mostly)
etc.
What definition of 'anything' are you using that makes you think most
sites won't fit into that.

Yes, there are things that can only be (easily) done with Javascript.
But I can't think of many websites that need to use them to let you
get at the majority of the site.

> AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported Javascript since the
> 1990s.

No, w3m doesn't yet. Links has only just got basic Javascript
support, and it's somewhat unreliable as yet. Googlebot (and other
spiders) have never supported it, and aren't likely to for several
years yet. Amaya I don't think does either, but I don't have one to
test with right now. UP.Browser doesn't support Javascript, and that
barely existed (if at all) before this decade.

--
Chris

Alan J. Flavell

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 12:21:15 PM2/13/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, Retlak wrote:

> Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> anything on the web.

Google seems to do an excellent job without it.

> AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
> Javascript since the 1990s.

I only ever met one that didn't seem to have an obvious way to disable
it. Of course, I don't use that one.

OK, I know, I shouldn't let myself be provoked into feeding trolls.

--

This is done without sending any information to Microsoft.

Barry Pearson

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 1:06:11 PM2/13/04
to
Chris Morris wrote:
[snip]

> Wrong. My browser usually has Javascript disabled. I rarely notice a
> problem. I visit a wide variety of sites, most of the ones I use
> regularly are non-technical in nature and fairly widely used (BBC
> news, for example)
[snip]

> Of the sites I visit regularly, none require Javascript for the
> majority of the content. Some require it for minor enhancements (one
> for a comments form that could be made to work near-identically
> without it) (though I note the BBC news website has recently
> implemented sensible fallback on their photo galleries, well done to
> them)
> I'm going to have to dispute that claim. I can believe that 70% of
> sites [1] *use* Javascript. I can't believe that 70% require it,
> unless you define rollover animations to be required.
[snip]

> Okay, you don't need Javascript to do:
> Text
> Graphics
> Animations
> Page layout
> Links and navigation
> Forms
> Web Applications (mostly)
> etc.
> What definition of 'anything' are you using that makes you think most
> sites won't fit into that.
> Yes, there are things that can only be (easily) done with Javascript.
> But I can't think of many websites that need to use them to let you
> get at the majority of the site.
[snip]

I agree. I browse vast numbers of web sites each week. And I do so with lots
of things switched off.

Few sites that I *need* to view *require* any of those things - Javascript,
Flash, ActiveX, etc. I also inhibit unsolicited pop-up windows (which tends to
be caused by Javascript anyway). And animated GIFs.

I am hardly ever stopped from getting what I want, and I have a much better
browsing experience. It is very rare that I suffer from backing out of a site
that uses features that annoy me, because the sort of sites I *really* need
tend not to use such features. These features appear to have as much relevance
as the "go faster stripes" and those spoilers people put onto the backs of
their motor cars that I see in traffic jams.

As long as I have suitable blockers, I don't actually care if people spend
time developing those features. They can live in their world, and I'll browse
mine. I expect they have an audience who wants those things - don't they?

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/


Peter Foti

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 1:08:45 PM2/13/04
to
"Alan J. Flavell" <fla...@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:Pine.LNX.4.53.04...@ppepc56.ph.gla.ac.uk...

>
> OK, I know, I shouldn't let myself be provoked into feeding trolls.

Alan, I've seen you use the word "trolls" a couple of times in this thread,
but I'm not familiar with what it's supposed to mean. I assume this a UK
thing. :) Could you fill me in?

Thanks,
Pete


Nick Kew

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 11:41:29 AM2/13/04
to
In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,

ret...@go.com (Retlak) writes:

> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't

Nonsense.

If you'd said 70% of sites include some script, I could possibly
accept that. But that includes the huge number of sites where
it's optional for the user, as well as the deeply broken ones that
*require* it.

--
Nick Kew

Darin McGrew

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 1:51:00 PM2/13/04
to
Peter Foti <pe...@Idontwantnostinkingemailfromyou.com> wrote:
> Alan, I've seen you use the word "trolls" a couple of times in this thread,
> but I'm not familiar with what it's supposed to mean. I assume this a UK
> thing. :) Could you fill me in?

See http://info.astrian.net/jargon/terms/t/troll.html
--
Darin McGrew, mcg...@stanfordalumni.org, http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/
Web Design Group, da...@htmlhelp.com, http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

"You learn nothing new the third time a mule kicks you in the head."

Alan J. Flavell

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 1:39:59 PM2/13/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004, Peter Foti wrote:

> "Alan J. Flavell" <fla...@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote in message
> >

> > OK, I know, I shouldn't let myself be provoked into feeding trolls.
>
> Alan, I've seen you use the word "trolls" a couple of times in this thread,
> but I'm not familiar with what it's supposed to mean.

http://www.google.com/search?q=jargon+troll

A long-standing piece of usenet jargon.

> I assume this a UK thing. :)

Not really, no...

> Could you fill me in?

Have I been trolled? the troll-o-meter is quivering...

all the best

Darin McGrew

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 1:55:46 PM2/13/04
to
Retlak <ret...@go.com> wrote:
> The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
> Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a browser
> has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:
>
> <noscript>
> <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> </noscript>

And what if the META refresh hack is disabled/unsupported?

> Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C
> validator, to this problem? A real solution is one that redirects to a
> page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar. If
> Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
> original page.

Non-JavaScript functionality is a priority 1 checkpoint on the W3C's Web
Content Accessibility Guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/

Jukka K. Korpela

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 2:08:22 PM2/13/04
to
"Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

> If we go back to HTML 1.0

Isn't it wonderful that we can detect ignorance or trolling (who cares
about the difference?) on the simple basis of making our newsreader do
something with messages that contain the string "HTML 1.0" (unless
followed by a suitable phrase)?

Ignorance is excusable; we're all born ignorant, and remain ignorant in
most affairs all of our lives. But when you start an argument where you
present strong opinions and you reveal complete ignorance of the
basics, you have turned natural ignorance into something much worse.

Of course, I will present my apology as soon as you can give us the
slightest evidence of your ever having even looked at the HTML 1.0
specification.

Tim

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 12:41:30 PM2/13/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:43:09 -0500,
"Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

> Gosh, does everybody in the world know everything there is to know about the
> HTML specification in all its gory detail?

When someone is building something in a particular medium, they're
supposed to know what they're doing, or find out how to do what they're
doing.

Why do people get into website publishing if they don't want to know how
to do what they're doing?

--
My "from" address is totally fake. The reply-to address is real, but
may be only temporary. Reply to usenet postings in the same place as
you read the message you're replying to.

This message was sent without a virus, please delete some files yourself.

Tim

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 12:58:46 PM2/13/04
to
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

>>> This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
>>> Javascript".

"Kris" <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message

>> What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant


>> on an optional browserfeature? Pity.


"Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

> Enjoyment of many television programs is difficult if accessed via a radio
> with a TV band. Pity. All television programs should be designed so that the
> audio fully conveys all the information, and any information conveyed
> visually should be redundant. It is an abuse of the radio spectrum to
> broadcast any sitcoms whose enjoyment relies on being able to see pratfalls,
> facial expressions, outrageous outfits on sitcoms, or news and current event
> programs understanding of which relies on being able to see maps and
> diagrams and charts.

Analogies are never exactly appropriate. Considering the nature of
television development, you'd be closer to consider the idea of whether
you can expect every television set in existence to be able to display a
picture just because it's a video signal, regardless of what type of
video signal it is (ignoring that only some support PAL, or NTSC, or
digital, or teletext, etc.).

i.e. A dependence on something that's not dependable, such as
JavaScript, is as hostile as saying that a television program can *only*
be used if you have a 5.1 sound system, or teletext, or any other
add-on, or non-universal scheme of doing things.

JavaScript, for instance, is an inconsistently supported thing. Anybody
who really knows what they're doing, knows that. Even before you get to
the stage of whether it's enabled or even supported as a whole.

Tim

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 12:48:42 PM2/13/04
to
On 13 Feb 2004 07:08:00 -0800,
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
> remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
> Javascript since the 1990s.

Funny how on nearly every site that I visit, it's not essential. Some
don't even use it at all. It's "need," as always, depends on the
circumstances.

And, as far as I'm aware, every different browser interprets scripting
in different, and often incompatible ways. Including different versions
of the same browser. Therein lies one of the major problems, the other
major problem being exploits.

For what it's worth, "all" browsers have *not* supported is since 1990.
Many may have, and many more may have after that date.

Peter Foti

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 2:42:04 PM2/13/04
to

"Alan J. Flavell" <fla...@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:Pine.LNX.4.53.04...@ppepc56.ph.gla.ac.uk...

LOL! Thanks for the info. :)

Peter


Harlan Messinger

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 2:49:17 PM2/13/04
to

"Jukka K. Korpela" <jkor...@cs.tut.fi> wrote in message
news:Xns948ED6E71C77...@193.229.0.31...

> "Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> > If we go back to HTML 1.0
>
> Isn't it wonderful that we can detect ignorance or trolling (who cares
> about the difference?) on the simple basis of making our newsreader do
> something with messages that contain the string "HTML 1.0" (unless
> followed by a suitable phrase)?
>
> Ignorance is excusable; we're all born ignorant, and remain ignorant in
> most affairs all of our lives. But when you start an argument where you
> present strong opinions

He wrote code that he had reason to believe was acceptable, because it
followed recommendations he had read, and which experimentation proved to
function as advertised, but then it wouldn't validate, and he hoped someone
could tell him why, and could advise him on a better approach. Where in
there do you find a strong opinion or an argument? I've just reread his
inquiry twice and can't find any.

> and you reveal complete ignorance of the
> basics, you have turned natural ignorance into something much worse.
>
> Of course, I will present my apology as soon as you can give us the
> slightest evidence of your ever having even looked at the HTML 1.0
> specification.

What has that to do with whether vicious behavior is justified in response
to a simple inquiry?

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 2:51:16 PM2/13/04
to

"Tim" <T...@mail.localhost> wrote in message
news:lc3q2094su5m1b5ud...@4ax.com...

> On 13 Feb 2004 07:08:00 -0800,
> ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:
>
> > In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
> > More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
> > remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> > anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
> > Javascript since the 1990s.
>
> Funny how on nearly every site that I visit, it's not essential.

Ah, but how would you know? The comedian might tell funny stories, but
unless you can see his face, how do you know his expressions aren't half the
fun? :-)

> Some
> don't even use it at all. It's "need," as always, depends on the
> circumstances.
>
> And, as far as I'm aware, every different browser interprets scripting
> in different, and often incompatible ways. Including different versions
> of the same browser.

Heh. That's kind of true of HTML and CSS as well, ain't it?


Jim Ley

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 2:53:24 PM2/13/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 12:27:10 +0100, Bertilo Wennergren
<bert...@gmx.net> wrote:

>Actually it's better to load the JavaScript-depeandant content without
>"document.write", using DOM-stuff etc.

That's a pretty interesting definition of better...

> It would also be better to include actual alternative
>content in the "noscript" element, or at least include a link to an
>alternative page there. Or you could start with a non-JavaScript,
>content-filled, page, that does a JavaScript redirect to a JavaScript
>version of the page. Etc...

No, redirecting is a bad method either way, and NOSCRIPT is almost
certainly worse (since it hides the more likely scenario of script
available but errors)

Mix everything on the page together.

>Page content that does not make any sense without JavaScript activated,
>should be generated entirely with JavaScript.

Again, doesn't actually work, as you're assumgint that the javascript
can generate content and can execute whatever is going to happen
later, instead of only expecting it to execute whatever is going to
happen later - seen as the middle state (can generate but can't
execute) will need to make sense for when that javascript fails - if
that's going to make sense anyway, you might as well just have the
html there not generated with script.

Jim.
--
comp.lang.javascript FAQ - http://jibbering.com/faq/

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 2:59:04 PM2/13/04
to

"Tim" <T...@mail.localhost> wrote in message
news:2v2q201ro81sg32vh...@4ax.com...

> On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:43:09 -0500,
> "Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> > Gosh, does everybody in the world know everything there is to know about
the
> > HTML specification in all its gory detail?
>
> When someone is building something in a particular medium, they're
> supposed to know what they're doing, or find out how to do what they're
> doing.

The nice thing about HTML page is that it lets a great number of people who
aren't experts at it get material out there anyway. If they don't do a good
job of it, it's a problem for *them*, and it's in their own best interest to
check their product, in different browsers and using validation as
appropriate--and to ask questions. Acting like it's grievous personal
affront to *you* is--well, frankly, it's just plain strange*.

It's also entirely possible for one to think that one *has* learned how to
code HTML, because one may have been through three or four books on the
subject. Such a person may just not be aware of details from the specs that
have been left out.

>
> Why do people get into website publishing if they don't want to know how
> to do what they're doing?

I don't recall the OP giving any indication that he didn't want to know
anything.

Retlak

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 3:49:02 PM2/13/04
to
Neal <nea...@spamrcn.com> wrote in message news:<opr3bes5...@news.rcn.com>...

The page is mostly HTML with a bit of Javascript; the Javascript is
essential to its usefulness, but still a small part of the total text.
The W3C validator is one way to find errors and browser dependencies
in the HTML. It's a quick and easy way of doing some checking. If you
don't think that's useful, you've surely never written code, in any
language.

Andy Dingley

unread,
Feb 13, 2004, 7:19:36 PM2/13/04
to
On 13 Feb 2004 07:08:00 -0800, ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

>In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".

Not at all.

When one of the most common current uses of JavaScript is to annoy the
user with pop-up adverts, then it's now _more_ useful to disable it
than it was a few years ago.

Sadly it's still hard to find a way to block this where it's annoying,
yet leave it enabled elsewhere.

Neal

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 2:05:17 AM2/14/04
to
On 13 Feb 2004 12:49:02 -0800, Retlak <ret...@go.com> wrote:

> If you
> don't think that's useful, you've surely never written code, in any
> language.

Oh sure it's useful, it helps you find an error. When it fails to
validate, it's a warning sign you seem not willing to take.

Neal

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 2:31:54 AM2/14/04
to
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 11:46:13 -0500, Harlan Messinger
<h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

>
>> Plus, TV audio very often has an alternate selection which narrates the
>> video for the sight-impaired.
>
> Often? I've never seen anything appear in that feature. I think you mean
> "almost never".

You have got to be kidding me.

>> > Yes, believe it or not, some people use the web as the propagation
> medium
>> > for applications intended to run on the client, and of course they
>> will
>> > only
>> > work for people running browsers that support them. The concept that
>> the
>> > only legitimate uses of the Web are those that will be intelligible
>> > using an
>> > HTML parser alone is absurd.
>>
>> I agree.
>
> I guess it's a difference of interpretation, but from my point of view
> you
> seem to be changing your mind here.

Not at all. Script is OK, reliance on it, expectation it will be there, is
not OK. Since you like TV analogies, there was a show once called "Winky
And You" where kids would draw on the TV - on a special screen applique
Mom and Dad would buy. Of course, if you didn't have the extra plastic
sheet, the kids really messed up the TV bad. Moral: Not a good idea to
present content reliant on an optional feature unless you plan on pissing
someone off.

>> 1) URL should have been supplied.
>
> Generally. I don't think it would hurt people to keep in mind that not
> everyone has ready access to a publicly accessible web site these days
> for
> this purpose, although that's less and less true as time goes on.

Geoshitties is always an option. We can read around the crap they add to a
website. Nearly every person who's in a position to participate in this
forum has a webspace already, however, and at least a test page can be
made available.

Kris

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 2:52:25 AM2/14/04
to
In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

> > > This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> > > Javascript".
> >

> > What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
> > on an optional browserfeature? Pity.
> >
>

> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".

It is. Two clicks of my mouse and it is switched off.

> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
> remember a URL).

Not 70% of the websites that *I* visit; and that is what counts after
all.

> Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
> anything on the web.

Luckily there is a competitor for about virtually every company 'just
around the corner' who does not require you to enable JavaScript.

> AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
> Javascript since the 1990s.

One can switch it off.

--
Kris
<kris...@xs4all.netherlands> (nl)
<http://www.cinnamon.nl/>

Retlak

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 4:54:26 AM2/14/04
to
Bertilo Wennergren <bert...@gmx.net> wrote in message news:<c0itsi$mm9$07$1...@news.t-online.com>...
> Retlak:
>
> > Bertilo Wennergren
>

> The validator is just a tool to help you get your code right.

Exactly. That's the only reason I am interested in using it. Any
automated tool which checks my code saves me time by helping me to
find mistakes. Being human, and trying to accomplish a lot, I make
mistakes frequently.

> Unfortunately you can't use the validator to check if the HTML generated
> by client side JavaScript is correct HTML, but there is no sinning
> involved in that.

I don't have a religious attitude to W3C-correctness anyway, so I
don't care whether what I do is seen as "sinning" or not. But I care
very much about getting my code working properly, as quickly as
possible. That's why it's important to me to be able to use a
validator as a tool. Browsers generally are lousy at diagnosing what's
wrong with one's HTML. The validator is not great, but it's much
better than nothing. So I see the fact that one can't use the tool on
script-generated HTML as a major drawback of your suggestion. (But
thanks anyway for the idea.)

Kris

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 5:13:46 AM2/14/04
to
In article <c0ir1a$170nkf$1...@ID-114100.news.uni-berlin.de>,
"Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

> "Kris" <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message

> news:kristiaan-28460...@newszilla.xs4all.nl...


> > In article <4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com>,
> > ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:
> > >
> > > This redirects to a doc which typically says "You need to enable
> > > Javascript".
> >
> > What is the use of that? You mean, you have built your website dependant
> > on an optional browserfeature? Pity.
>

[irrelevant example of how radio should transmit TV audio]

>
> Yes, believe it or not, some people use the web as the propagation medium
> for applications intended to run on the client,

Sure there are. A very small number.

> and of course they will only
> work for people running browsers that support them.

Of course.

> The concept that the
> only legitimate uses of the Web are those that will be intelligible using an
> HTML parser alone is absurd.

Never said that.

> >
> > Why redirect?


> >
> > <noscript>
> > Your browser does not seem to support JavaScript. We suggest you take
> > your business elsewhere. Bye.
> > </noscript>
>
> Are you similarly indignant at television?

Irrelevant.

> Do you expect television
> companies to wring their hands at the thought of all the business they're
> losing by not making their programming enjoyable via audio alone?

Irrelevant.

> > Validation is the least of your problems if you continue to build
> > websites like this.
>
> You haven't seen his web site (since he didn't give a URL). You know
> absolutely nothing about it.

Since he did not give a URL, his information is all I have. Judged on
his information, he is building a website, not an application running in
a webbrowser. If it is, then he should have stated that fact upfront.

> You haven't the slightest idea why he's using
> Javascript.

That's why I ask downstairs.

> Your reaction is mindless knee-jerking.

Is it? I had not yet seen any emotional response from the OP in two
replies already over my alleged knee-jerking. I'd say, let the OP be the
judge of that. If you have a problem with my posts, you know what to do.

> > > If
> > > Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
> > > original page.
> >

> > Why do you need JavaScript to do that in the first place?
>
> Oh, finally! Don't you think you should have asked this *first*? Instead of
> front-loading your abuse?

I apologize that I forced you to read all of the above before finding
the question in the appropriate location; there where this
counter-question is the adequate reply to the OP's post.

>
> And if he *is* using Javascript where it would be better not to--do you
> think it might simply never have occurred to him why it isn't a good idea,
> and that it would be helpful for you to have just *explained* it to him,
> instead of treating him like a criminal who should have known better?

Not the OP, but you and you alone think that I treated him as a
criminal. You know what to do with posts that annoy you, so why don't
you?

Retlak

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 5:25:48 AM2/14/04
to
Darin McGrew <mcg...@stanfordalumni.org> wrote in message news:<c0j6ji$tc7$2...@blue.rahul.net>...

> Retlak <ret...@go.com> wrote:
> > The recommended (on dozens of websites) and effective (works in
> > Netscape, MSIE, Mozilla, probably others) way to detect if a browser
> > has Javascript turned off is to put this in the <head>:
> >
> > <noscript>
> > <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> > content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> > </noscript>
>
> And what if the META refresh hack is disabled/unsupported?

Do you know of environments in which it is unsupported? How can it be
disabled?
(This is not a debating point, I'm asking the questions because I'd
like to know the answers.)

>
> > Has anyone found a real solution, which validates at the W3C
> > validator, to this problem? A real solution is one that redirects to a
> > page on which I can put "You need to enable Javascript" or similar. If
> > Javascript is turned off, it is pointless to render any of the
> > original page.
>
> Non-JavaScript functionality is a priority 1 checkpoint on the W3C's Web
> Content Accessibility Guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/

Yes, the W3C folks sometimes seem to suffer from the delusion that
they are collectively God. One of the things I'm using javascript for
is pre-validation of form data, so that simple human errors get
detected on the client, avoiding a round trip to the server. As well
as giving much better response to the user, this slightly reduces the
load on my server. It's a busy server. And it's MY server, so I
consider that I have a right to do that. I'm not going to expend any
resources developing alternate content for the tiny (though evidently
vocal) minority who insist on disabling Javascript.
(Yes, I do realise that all client-side validation has to be redone on
the server.)

I'm aware that I need help, which is why I asked for advice, but I
need advice about the very specific technical problem of how best to
redirect javascript disablers to a page telling them politely that
they're not supported; while leaving the rest of the page in a form
that useful tools (like the validator) can process.

Kris

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 5:33:36 AM2/14/04
to

> > > <noscript>
> > > <meta http-equiv="refresh"
> > > content="1;url=http://yourURL/nojscript.html">
> > > </noscript>
> >
> > And what if the META refresh hack is disabled/unsupported?
>
> Do you know of environments in which it is unsupported? How can it be
> disabled?

In Lynx, AFAICS, it is supported, but there is no automatic redirection.
I get prompted to grant it my blessing.

> > Non-JavaScript functionality is a priority 1 checkpoint on the W3C's Web
> > Content Accessibility Guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/
>
> Yes, the W3C folks sometimes seem to suffer from the delusion that
> they are collectively God.

Which spec makes that claim? Don't some people also call you a bitch
because you know something they don't yet understand?

> One of the things I'm using javascript for
> is pre-validation of form data, so that simple human errors get
> detected on the client, avoiding a round trip to the server.

That is a great application.

> As well
> as giving much better response to the user, this slightly reduces the
> load on my server. It's a busy server. And it's MY server, so I
> consider that I have a right to do that. I'm not going to expend any
> resources developing alternate content for the tiny (though evidently
> vocal) minority who insist on disabling Javascript.
> (Yes, I do realise that all client-side validation has to be redone on
> the server.)

That is what I was going to add, but you are as smart, be it even
smarter than me.

> I'm aware that I need help, which is why I asked for advice, but I
> need advice about the very specific technical problem of how best to
> redirect javascript disablers to a page telling them politely that
> they're not supported; while leaving the rest of the page in a form
> that useful tools (like the validator) can process.

You can leave the entire message in a NOSCRIPT section on the page
(every page). No redirection necessary. Or it could be something like
this:

<noscript>
It seems your javascript is not available in your browser. [thing that
the site is or does] requires the availability of JavaScript to work for
you. We apologize for any inconvenience. <a
href="/more.html">Suggestions</a>
</noscript>

Bertilo Wennergren

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 5:46:14 AM2/14/04
to
Retlak:

> Bertilo Wennergren

>> Retlak:

>> > Bertilo Wennergren

Then perhaps the best option for you is to use plain simple HTML for
everything possible, adding the JavaScript parts in the normal way, and
then add a "nonscript" block at the top (inside "body") that tells the
user that the content below can't be used without JavaScript activated,
perhaps adding a plain simple link to a page that has alternative
content without JavaScript.

I can't see why you would insist on using a meta redirect (that might
fail), when a plain simple link will do the work?

--
Bertilo Wennergren <bert...@gmx.net> <http://www.bertilow.com>

Tim

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 7:11:18 AM2/14/04
to
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote:

>>> In practical terms, Javascript is not really an "optional feature".
>>> More than 70% of all web sites require Javascript (no, I can't
>>> remember a URL). Realistically, you need to enable Javascript to do
>>> anything on the web. AFAIK all browsers except Lynx have supported
>>> Javascript since the 1990s.


"Tim" <T...@mail.localhost> wrote:

>> Funny how on nearly every site that I visit, it's not essential.

"Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:

> Ah, but how would you know? The comedian might tell funny stories, but
> unless you can see his face, how do you know his expressions aren't half the
> fun? :-)

Well there's things like:

I manage to get whatever I wanted from the site without it (the most
important criteria, for me). One of the few cases where I'll agree to
the stupid sayings, "what you don't know about can't hurt you," or "you
won't miss what you haven't got."

Seeing the site on different browsers with different settings.

And things like:

<http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/noscript.html> (summary of
site-wide JavaScript functionality) mentioned at the top of the page
when you visit a page like:
<http://h50031.www5.hp.com/createuse/enhance/Windows_fails_to_shutdown.shtml>
without JavaScript running.

It seems like, for a change, HP has a sensible attitude about
JavaScript. Even now, we still see security notices from Microsoft
about exploits where you're advised to turn off scripting support.

>> Some don't even use it at all. It's "need," as always, depends on the
>> circumstances.
>>
>> And, as far as I'm aware, every different browser interprets scripting
>> in different, and often incompatible ways. Including different versions
>> of the same browser.

> Heh. That's kind of true of HTML and CSS as well, ain't it?

Well, yes, but then lack of support for some aspect of HTML usually just
means a less brilliant display, rather than nothing at all. CSS is a
little worse, in that regard. Bad JavaScript can be quite a disaster.

Dave Patton

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 8:33:46 AM2/14/04
to
ret...@go.com (Retlak) wrote in
news:4e9c40c6.04021...@posting.google.com:

> One of the things I'm using javascript for
> is pre-validation of form data, so that simple human errors get
> detected on the client

> I'm not going to expend any


> resources developing alternate content for the tiny (though evidently
> vocal) minority who insist on disabling Javascript.
> (Yes, I do realise that all client-side validation has to be redone on
> the server.)

You might want to list all the type of things you are doing
that rely on javascript.

Given your one thing(client-side data validation) listed above,
it makes no sense to worry about whether or not javascript
is disabled.

Those that have it enabled get their client-side data validation.
Those that don't, don't. Both get their data re-validated on the
server. You admit it's the minority that have javascript disabled,
so the extra server load wouldn't be significant.

Moreover, you can use javascript to 'flag' the input so you can
detect the presence of javascript when doing the server validation,
and for those without javascript, include a "nice warning message"
telling them that it would be better for them(and you) if they would
use your site with javascript enabled.

--
Dave Patton
Canadian Coordinator, Degree Confluence Project
http://www.confluence.org/
My website: http://members.shaw.ca/davepatton/

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 8:47:18 AM2/14/04
to
Neal <nea...@spamrcn.com> wrote:

>On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 11:46:13 -0500, Harlan Messinger
><h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>>
>>> Plus, TV audio very often has an alternate selection which narrates the
>>> video for the sight-impaired.
>>
>> Often? I've never seen anything appear in that feature. I think you mean
>> "almost never".
>
>You have got to be kidding me.

I just flipped through my entire channel line-up in SAP mode, and
every one of them either had (a) nothing, (b) the regular soundtrack,
or (c) an announcement saying, "This is the SAP for the xxx Channel."
I shouldn't have said "never", though. Once one of the Turner channels
showed The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"
playing on the SAP.

>
>>> > Yes, believe it or not, some people use the web as the propagation
>> medium
>>> > for applications intended to run on the client, and of course they
>>> will
>>> > only
>>> > work for people running browsers that support them. The concept that
>>> the
>>> > only legitimate uses of the Web are those that will be intelligible
>>> > using an
>>> > HTML parser alone is absurd.
>>>
>>> I agree.
>>
>> I guess it's a difference of interpretation, but from my point of view
>> you
>> seem to be changing your mind here.
>
>Not at all. Script is OK, reliance on it, expectation it will be there, is
>not OK.

So I should never write a Windows application because someone might
try to run it on a Mac, etc., etc., etc.

--
Harlan Messinger
Remove the first dot from my e-mail address.
Veuillez ôter le premier point de mon adresse de courriel.

Brian

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 9:06:52 AM2/14/04
to
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
>
> Have I been trolled? the troll-o-meter is quivering...

Have it serviced. Nothing worse than a malfunctioning troll-o-meter.

--
Brian (follow directions in my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/

Brian

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 9:29:15 AM2/14/04
to
Retlak wrote:
>
> Yes, the W3C folks sometimes seem to suffer from the delusion that
> they are collectively God.

You asked for help here. We're providing it. If you don't want it,
don't ask for it.

> One of the things I'm using javascript for is pre-validation of
> form data, so that simple human errors get detected on the client,
> avoiding a round trip to the server.

Do it correctly.

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/formval.html

OT
Finally, a practical use for those valid html icons! I knew here
someone put this formval page together, but who? A Google search for
javacript form validation did not show it. What to do? Simple! Search
for javacript form validation valid html, and voila!

:-)

Brian

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 9:33:56 AM2/14/04
to
Harlan Messinger wrote:
> "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkor...@cs.tut.fi> wrote ...

>
>> "Harlan Messinger" <h.mes...@comcast.net> wrote:
>>
>>> If we go back to HTML 1.0
>>
>> Isn't it wonderful that we can detect ignorance or trolling (who
>> cares about the difference?) on the simple basis of making our
>> newsreader do something with messages that contain the string
>> "HTML 1.0"
>>
>> when you start an argument where you present strong opinions
>
> He wrote code that he had reason to believe was acceptable, because
> it followed recommendations he had read, and which experimentation
> proved to function as advertised, but then it wouldn't validate,
> and he hoped someone could tell him why, and could advise him on a
> better approach. Where in there do you find a strong opinion or an
> argument?

He's referring to your first contribution to the thread.

BTW, where can I find the HTML 1.0 spec?

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 10:00:42 AM2/14/04
to
Brian <use...@julietremblay.com.invalid-remove-this-part> wrote:

Oh. I see. I was being ignorant about a technicality.

I suppose only people intimately familiar with all the section numbers
of their countries' tax codes are entitled to have a strong opinion on
whether their tax burden is too heavy, etc., etc. In other words, I
ought to be able to make a general point without first having perfect
knowledge of the fine details that don't bear on the basic point I'm
making.

By the way, why would there never have been an HTML 1.0? I understand
when a business plays stupid games, like Netscape jumping from 4 to 6
or Microsoft Word jumping from--what was it, directly from 2 to 5 just
to keep up with WordPerfect? But why would a non-commercial consortium
like the W3C do this?

Neal

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 10:23:27 AM2/14/04
to
On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 08:47:18 -0500, Harlan Messinger
<hmessinger...@comcast.net> wrote:


> So I should never write a Windows application because someone might
> try to run it on a Mac, etc., etc., etc.


A user seeks out and purchases a piece of software, ninny. They read the
requirements before they buy. How many websites which won't work without
JS actualy warn you and provide an alternate or at least a "sorry"?

Retlak

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 11:46:47 AM2/14/04
to
Kris <kris...@xs4all.netherlands> wrote in message news:<kristiaan-36122...@news1.news.xs4all.nl>...

>
> You can leave the entire message in a NOSCRIPT section on the page
> (every page). No redirection necessary. Or it could be something like
> this:
>
> <noscript>
> It seems your javascript is not available in your browser. [thing that
> the site is or does] requires the availability of JavaScript to work for
> you. We apologize for any inconvenience. <a
> href="/more.html">Suggestions</a>
> </noscript>

Presumably that's what the authors of the HTML 4.01 spec had in mind,
but think for a moment about what the user sees: a message about
needing to enable javascript to make the page work, followed by a page
of stuff that doesn't work because javascript isn't enabled. That
seems like terrible user-interface design to me. Stuff that is not
going to work should not be presented to the user at all. If you can
think of a standard, browser-independent way of putting something in
the <noscript> ... </noscript> that prevents the rest of the page from
appearing, please tell me. Otherwise, redirection still seems the best
practical choice to me.

Brian

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 11:56:53 AM2/14/04
to
Harlan Messinger wrote:

> Brian wrote:
>
>> BTW, where can I find the HTML 1.0 spec?
>
> Oh. I see. I was being ignorant about a technicality.
>
> I suppose only people intimately familiar with all the section
> numbers of their countries' tax codes are entitled to have a strong
> opinion on whether their tax burden is too heavy, etc., etc.

No. But someone who writes that "section 45 of the tax code is an
affont to taxpayers" ought to be certain that section 45 actually
exists, or else risk looking foolish.

> In other words, I ought to be able to make a general point without
> first having perfect knowledge of the fine details that don't bear
> on the basic point I'm making.

You ought to be able to make your point without inventing evidence.

> By the way, why would there never have been an HTML 1.0?

AFAIIK, early HTML was not written as a formal spec; after the
initial idea was created, sgml experts came in to recreate it as
an application of sgml. But others can provide more details of this.
HTML 2.0 appears to the first formal specification for the markup
language.

> I understand when a business plays stupid games, like Netscape
> jumping from 4 to 6

Because they abandoned version 5 after they started to develop it. I
don't think that's terribly stupid, since calling the first Gecko
browser version 5 might have caused confusion within Netscape.

> or Microsoft Word jumping from--what was it, directly from 2 to 5
> just to keep up with WordPerfect?

If true, that appears to be silly marketing.

> But why would a non-commercial consortium like the W3C do this?

HTML predates the W3C.

Bertilo Wennergren

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 12:01:01 PM2/14/04
to
Retlak:

> Presumably that's what the authors of the HTML 4.01 spec had in mind,
> but think for a moment about what the user sees: a message about
> needing to enable javascript to make the page work, followed by a page
> of stuff that doesn't work because javascript isn't enabled. That
> seems like terrible user-interface design to me. Stuff that is not
> going to work should not be presented to the user at all. If you can
> think of a standard, browser-independent way of putting something in
> the <noscript> ... </noscript> that prevents the rest of the page from
> appearing, please tell me.

There is no such thing. Instead you generate the entire JavaScript
dependant part with JavaScript ("document.write", DOM stuff ...).
That might not exclude all complications, but at least it protects those
that don't have any JavaScript (active) form seeing the mess that they
can't use.

On the other hand, if the user sees the stuff that he can't use (most of
it at least), then he might realise that he does want to use it, and
might make the descision to activate JavaScript for that page. If he
sees nothing, then he might not be able to judge if it's worth it or not.

Harlan Messinger

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 12:10:03 PM2/14/04
to
Brian <use...@julietremblay.com.invalid-remove-this-part> wrote:

>Harlan Messinger wrote:
>> Brian wrote:
>>
>>> BTW, where can I find the HTML 1.0 spec?
>>
>> Oh. I see. I was being ignorant about a technicality.
>>
>> I suppose only people intimately familiar with all the section
>> numbers of their countries' tax codes are entitled to have a strong
>> opinion on whether their tax burden is too heavy, etc., etc.
>
>No. But someone who writes that "section 45 of the tax code is an
>affont to taxpayers" ought to be certain that section 45 actually
>exists, or else risk looking foolish.

But I think that the assumption that the first version of HTML would
have been 1.0 was reasonable, even if not guaranteed to be correct.
Letting me know that it wasn't is one thing, and giving me a hard time
over it is something else.

<digression>I remember when fast food restaurants stopped carrying the
cups that used to be called "small". So I'd go to a restaurant and ask
for a small cola, and the server would say, "We have medium, large, or
extra-large." Well, excuse me for not being aware of the official
terminology, but when someone asks for a "small", you can assume that
whatever the sizes are called, he means, "the smallest one you
have"!</digression>

>
>> In other words, I ought to be able to make a general point without
>> first having perfect knowledge of the fine details that don't bear
>> on the basic point I'm making.
>
>You ought to be able to make your point without inventing evidence.
>
>> By the way, why would there never have been an HTML 1.0?
>
>AFAIIK, early HTML was not written as a formal spec; after the
>initial idea was created, sgml experts came in to recreate it as
>an application of sgml. But others can provide more details of this.
>HTML 2.0 appears to the first formal specification for the markup
>language.

I suspect that whoever labeled it 2.0 did so, not because they were
just feeling kookie one day, saying, "Hey, just for kicks, let's call
the first version 2.0." I suspect, whether you've ever seen any direct
evidence of it or not, that there was a 1.0 at some point.

Harlan Messinger

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Feb 14, 2004, 12:13:03 PM2/14/04
to
Neal <nea...@spamrcn.com> wrote:

>On Sat, 14 Feb 2004 08:47:18 -0500, Harlan Messinger
><hmessinger...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>
>> So I should never write a Windows application because someone might
>> try to run it on a Mac, etc., etc., etc.
>
>
>A user seeks out and purchases a piece of software, ninny.

Excuse me, but have I called you any names, asswipe? Maybe I think
*you're* a stupid, one-dimensional son of a bitch, but I've kept that
out of the conversation. In fact, I didn't feel that way until now.

>They read the
>requirements before they buy. How many websites which won't work without
>JS actualy warn you and provide an alternate or at least a "sorry"?

Exactly what the OP was trying to accomplish.

David Hasather

unread,
Feb 14, 2004, 1:59:23 PM2/14/04