Proof of Concept for Ajax without JavaScript

Slashdot links to what is really little more than a code sketch for driving some of Ajax’s features without using any client side scripting. The proof of concept is trivial and a bit clunky in and of itself but may have potential for helping highly dynamic applications degrade more gracefully when JavaScript is disabled. I say clumsy because it relies on a meta-refresh, a script-less way to get a page refresh itself. That refresh, unlike just about any JavaScript based technique, is pretty crude as it simply keeps refreshing the page, potentially interfering with your attempts to navigate and use its content.

However it is increasingly common to see visitors disable JavaScript despite its widespread acceptance and inclusion in all modern browsers. I for one use NoScript as an added security measure because it disables all client side scripts on first load. It gives me a more secure default when following a link to a site that is unknown to me. For convenience, I can grant a site temporary permissions that evaporate when I close the browser. Once I have determined a site can be trusted, I can mark it as such which will there after allow its scripts to load. (The sites in question are actually the source sites for various scripts. A give page may load scripts from other domains alongside its own for analytics, ads, etc. NoScript works with those fine grained distinctions, I am simplifying for the sake of making a point.)

There is a cost in having such a default. If a site doesn’t work quite right when I first visit, I have to spend a little bit of time figuring out from where it is loading scripts or just grant temporary permissions all at once. More often than not, I take the latter approach. NoScript even has a button to grant all sources on a page temporary permissions. I’d be a lot happier if more sites explored even clumsy ways to get their core functionality working without scripts. This would allow paranoiacs like me to safely preview a site before even conferring temporary trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *