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Let the fail commence [Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 7:17 pm]

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Out of curiosity, I thought I'd try a collection of random sites and see how well they fare with Javascript disabled. For added fun, this is with IE8 and so HTML5 is out of the question. In theory everything should still be possible (even video streaming - and without using Flash, too), but in practice...

Google Groups: total fail! Visiting just gives the message "To use Google Groups Discussions, please enable JavaScript in your browser settings, and then refresh this page."

Google itself: success, though a "Please click here if you're not redirected" page appeared for a moment.

Bing: success

Twitter: success!

Blogspot: success!

Livejournal: success, though the gradient fill on the navigation bar has vanished. I always thought that was an image, but apparently there's some JS wizardry involved.

A wordpress blog: success, though rounded corners have disappeared. I happen to know that site uses CSS3 PIE to achieve them, so that's to be expected.

BBC News: almost success - the regional news box has disappeared, and various tabbed/scrolling areas have now expanded to show everything.

The Register: almost success - only one top story appears, instead of cycling through 5.

Youtube: fail! A black box appears instead of the video, no thumbnails appear for other videos in the recommended list, and no user avatars appear. Interestingly the videos in the recommended list now have names like "<b>EEvBlog</b> #407 - Mailbag" - the HTML tags don't appear with JS turned on.

Slashdot: epic fail! It's amazing how much site layout relies on JS these days, though to be fair to them I think they're also relying on something like HTML5shiv.

My host's webmail: success, despite a big scary warning.

Yahoo webmail: fail - the page starts to appear, but then you get redirected to a big scary warning. Amusingly, the instructions on how to enable JS are for Firefox.

Fanfiction.net: partial success, as long as you don't want to see someone's favourites, and are only interested in the first or last chapters of any story. It also looks like they were delay-loading some images.

Craig's site: success, including the dynamic menus, the RSS feed dropdown, and the buttonless search box. CSS for the win!

Jonners' site: success, apart from the main menubar is broken - but that never rendered sensibly in IE8.

Facebook: marginal success - while the news feed does display, little else does and half the links don't do anything. The messaging section in particular is somewhat lacking in messages.

Jazz 2 online and the JCF: success!

deviantART: success - the galleries and suchlike work surprisingly well, but the messaging system doesn't.

OCRemix: almost success, as long as you don't want to actually listen to any music.

Musicbrainz: success!

Songmeanings.net: mostly success - you have to scroll down a screen's worth before you actually get to anything.

Bing maps: fail!

Google maps: epic fail - it redirects you to the main search page

Ordnance Survey Get-a-map: fail - despite using Silverlight, it relies on JS to bootstrap the page.

Streetmap: success!

National rail: amazingly, success.

Southern rail: almost success - the journey planner needs JS, but also shows a link to a non-JS wizard that mostly works.

As a side note, everything is a lot more responsive. Pages load much faster, there's no freezes while nothing appears to happen, scrolling is smoother, and links actually open where you want them to. Plus half the adverts have just disappeared.
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[User Picture]From: pleaseremove
Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 9:15 pm (UTC)
OK... But as a developer a long time ago I came to the conclusion why bother. How many people actually run with JavaScript turned off these days... And also, does the number of people not using JavaScript warrant the extra cost developing non JS functionality?
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[User Picture]From: tau_iota_mu_c
Wednesday 16th January 2013 at 9:20 pm (UTC)
Google image search and flickr is just so damn painful with JS on. Lightboxes; dynamic loading; pages where you have no idea how far you are into search results because more images keep coming every time you scroll down; non ability to actually load a given page of photos. Turn JS off (in opera, just turn it off for google.com and flickr.com - doesn't affect mail.google.com etc), and it becomes almost as usable as it was 3 years ago.

Why the *fuck* does everyone keep web2.0ifying everything that was once nice and snappy to deal with?
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[User Picture]From: crschmidt
Wednesday 16th January 2013 at 11:59 am (UTC)
To me, that looks like a massive success -- almost every site you tried worked fine for functionality.

The only type of site that just doesn't work without JS is maps, and I'd argue that maps without Javascript are barely usable anyway.
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[User Picture]From: boggyb
Wednesday 16th January 2013 at 6:32 pm (UTC)
Interestingly, maps was one thing where I found a site that worked perfectly: streetmap.co.uk. They're one of the older mapping providers, and were around long before Google. I'm not sure if they were particularly known outside the UK though.

The major fails in there were Google Groups, Youtube, Yahoo mail and Facebook, with an honourable mention to Slashdot (who appear to be relying on Javascript for IE8 compatibility).
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