This website is not intended for use with JavaScript disabled

I’m working on materials for technical workshop. The topic is “Rapid Prototyping with JavaScript”. It is mostly about jQuery, Backbone, AJAX, RESTful APIs, NodeJS and MongoDB. So a lot of JavaScript on a client side and today I was asked a question by curious friend who saw my frequent updates about the event on Facebook:

“What about users who has JavaScript disabled?”

The questions made my smile and I intuitively answered:

“It’s 2012, right? The number of such users must be insignificant”.

And later I proved to be right — only 2% of users have JavaScript disabled.

Another article shows why data is a good source. It has almost all of the countries covered so we can get average numbers and numbers per each country.

But I wanted to analyze the change. Just about 5 years ago companies seriously considered not to innovate AJAX-y way so they can please non-JavaScript users. Now, I barely hear about such non-sense. Even the opposite is true – startups limit their environments to only WebKit browsers. What happened to that attitude? How did that happened? One theory is that Chrome and Firefox became more popular and an update to the newer and faster versions became just a click away or even automatic in most (default) cases. JavaScript de-facto became a web standard. Not using JS is a misfit.

I can’t imagine my life without Google Docs, GMail, Facebook chat and other wonderful things which are brought to us but small scripting language which started in 1995 at Netscape as a way to make text blink if not for the XMLHTTPRequest object. Brilliant minds even overcame cross-origin limitation with dynamically injecting script tags into to DOM. This technique is known as JSONP. But that is me — sort of advanced user.

Just a few days ago Adobe announced on 5th anniversary of iPhone release, which never supported Adobe Flash, that they will discontinue support of Flash plug-in in new Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. This event completes triumph of JavaScript as cross platform tool for web and mobile development.

For those unfortunate people (2% of users) and search engine bots I must remember to put noscript into my HTML:

    This website is not intended for use with JavaScript disabled.
    Unless you are a googlebot, telnet or i486-PC user, please go get the latest version of Chrome.

One side note: mission critical applications without control over clients’ environment, corporate and government organizations which must try to server all users still have to take into account a lot of things which consumer facing and startup companies could get away with. Being section 508 complaint also falls into this category.

Author: Azat

Techies, entrepreneur, 20+ years in tech/IT/software/web development expert: NodeJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS. 500 Startups (batch Fall 2011) alumnus.

One thought on “This website is not intended for use with JavaScript disabled”

  1. I’m one of the 2% – not because I have javascript disabled but because I use Ghostery to block javascript tracking as well as other forms of tracking.

    I don’t think that there is an accurate way to break that 2% further down to real javascript disabled-browsers.

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