Everyone JavaScripts

The ShopTalk Show podcast had Tom Dale on a few weeks ago. The entire episode is entertaining and informative, (especially with regards to Ember, but Mr. Dale’s rant about disabling JavaScript as a means of testing “progressive enhancement” around 42:00 was particularly poignant:

The web is a platform. There’s basically three major pillars that prop it up. There’s HTML, there’s CSS and there’s JavaScript. And for some reason, people decide that they’re going to disable JavaScript and decide that that is some arbitrary hoop that people have to jump through. We need to disable this part of the platform that, by the way, no one actually does in practice…The vast, vast majority of your users aren’t going around disabling JavaScript. Almost no one uses a browser that doesn't support JavaScript anymore…

Pick a date or pick support metrics. You don’t just get to say this entire piece of technology that drives the entire freaking web, we need to be able to rip it out and basically make our websites brain dead and they should continue to operate fully functionally.

I am partially guilty of this, usually as a manner of showcasing frivolous content-blocking scripts. But, Mr. Dale’s right: everyone runs JavaScript. Even so, the Ember team is working on server-side rendering for the page load, which is exciting news for application performance, especially on slower mobile devices.