HyperTextMatters
19 June 2005
 
AJAX' Achilles Heel
maps.google.com with Javascript disabled
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AJAX -- "Asynchronous Javascript and XML" -- is certainly getting a lot of attention lately.  Too bad it, and the so-called XmlHttpRequest upon which it relies, are misnamed: XML is not necessarily required.  Of much greater consequence, however, is that AJAX applications may not work if the user disables Javascript.

Try it yourself: disable Javascript in your browser, then visit maps.google.com, which arguably started the AJAX buzz.  You will receive the message that "JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use Google Maps".

Enablement of Javascript is outside of the control of the developer and cannot be relied upon, except perhaps for a private intranet application.   For a public website however you should consider alternative strategies alongside of, or instead of, AJAX.  We will consider such a strategy next month.
Addendum, Dec 2005: The image below is a screenshot, dated Aug 2005, of visiting maps.google.com with Javascript disabled. Now instead they provide verbiage ("Your web browser is not fully supported by Google Local.") followed by this unhelpful link

Posted by htmatters at 6:27 AM | Comments (41)
 
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Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Developers need to concern themselves with users who disable JavaScript in 2005.

Posted by pb on July 5, 2005 at 1:44 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Given that it's Asynchronous Javascript and XML, it does make sense that if you take Javascript out of the equation by disabling it, that it wouldn't work. Realize that any technical solution fits within a certain context (i.e. that in this case Javascript is not disabled). If you don't have control over whether Javascript is disabled, then you should be looking at other solutions to providing a rich web experience (i.e. JSF).

Posted by John Boyd on July 5, 2005 at 4:27 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Images do not work if the user disables them in his browser. Stylesheets do not work either if disabled. Cookies do not work when disabled. Your operating system doesn't work if you unplug computer from power socket. Just because something can be turned off doesn't mean it's is not a good solution. And Javascript is supported by all browsers and turned on by default. Wake up buddy

Posted by MrOczny on July 6, 2005 at 2:19 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Anything that can be turned off by either the browser or security software should never be top priority in a web developers toolset period! (that does not include style sheets as your page should still display content if you are doing semantic markup in XHTML).

This AJAX junk Ive been doing in limited form the past three years...whats the big deal. I rarely use such a solution for the very reason sited here. Looks liek some hot-shot kids at Google discoverd the browser DOM and JScripting here in 2005 and clearly have not looked at all the downsides to these circus tricks.

You should ONLY apply Flash, Javascript, client-side solutions, and cookie-based sessions as last resort and use them strictly as "icing on your xhtml web page cake"....never the opposite. Otherwise youget loads of people calling and writing asking for support or piles of browser-sniffing which further erode the useability and kilobytes sent to the browser...not good. Anyone who builds sites today should start with CSS and XHTML and then pile on top these client side solutions...never the opposite. And always remember......Javascript is still EVIL!!!

Posted by wildranger on July 6, 2005 at 4:06 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
To blanket the conversation by saying any technology should be avoided "Flash, JavaScript, client-side solutions and cookie based sessions" results in a site built in 1994; A site with a white background and a ton of blue links. The users experience is horrible. True, AJaX is not anything new, but has its place for "snappy" sites that are geared for the end users experience. Keeping in mind that Xml can quickly become bloated if not properly used.

Technology always depends on something...A remote for a TV wont work without batteries. A car wont run without gas. To say that disabling JScript is the biggest problem for this pattern is in my opinion very minor.

Posted by FooMan on July 7, 2005 at 12:54 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
One of the comments interchangably uses the term JScript with JavaScript. If you want to talk about Achilles' Heel, talk about using browser-dependent JavaScript (JScript is the IE-only ECMAScript implementation). If AJAX catches on (and it's been around for years, in practice if not in name), it's because things are becoming more "standard" in the browser, rather than the original reason JavaScript was "Evil" - it was because each browser, and each version of each browser, implemented JavaScript (and DOM and CSS and [X]HTML and frames) differently.

Posted by Michael on July 7, 2005 at 3:09 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
maps.google.com started the buzz not because it was the first site to use the technology, but instead because it bunked the traditional thought of needing to program to the least common denominator in order to maximize traffic. The problem is that it's opened a pandora's box of designers destined to repeat the errors of 90% of sites designed in Flash--great graphics, no usability. That's what we need to get past. A year ago I would have said that 99% of Flash sites were unusable, so I'm optimistic that we'll eventually get there with AJAX as well (but no bet on the timeframe).

Posted by mkluemper on July 8, 2005 at 7:36 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Just finding out what the hell ajax is, and what to do with the information. cheers glenn

Posted by glenn on July 13, 2005 at 8:37 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
46456

Posted by 65456 on July 14, 2005 at 7:28 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
JavaScript isn't evil anymore than CSS. Both of these technologies don't work perfectly in ALL browsers. There are hacks and problems in both. So stop ranting and don't be lazy about learning the language. Both CNN and MSNBC use JavaScript and CSS. These sites and millions of other web sites use them.

Posted by Patrick Whittingham on July 14, 2005 at 10:24 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
AJAX is an old bad idea ? I think it was the cause of most of the dot-com bubbles bursting right next to Java applets (a great could have been). Excessive client scripting really limits users to owning a windows box and being amazed by idiot programming tricks. Most programmers try to push the envelope with Javascript and the DOM just to create a maintenance nightmare down the road (debugging large code bases bite). I think XHTML or XML with server side XSLT and minimal use of Javascript sounds a lot safer than expecting every browser to support a JS locked-in site. With AJAX don?t even think about c-phones, PDAs, or text-to-speech apps. Isn?t Microsoft rich enough to keep feeding pig with clunky site architecture?

Posted by William VanMeter on July 15, 2005 at 6:04 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
AJAX limits the user body to Windows? Huh? I must have been sleeping that day in class. I have neither seen anything which by definition forces AJAX to be Windows-only, nor have I seen anything which says it's IE-only.
This is like saying ASP was Windows- and IE-only; or JavaScript is Windows- and IE-only. Yes, there are specific things you can implement to reduce the size of your audience, but that's not a given.

If someone wants to bellyache about a particular technology limiting which people can use it, make all of the noise you want to. If enough people feel the way you do, those sites will have an audience level dwindle and they'll reconsider what they've done. When I write my own web material, it's generic. When I do it for someone paying the bills, it's their call. Yes, I point out the pitfalls of limiting themselves to particular browsers, versions of browsers, etc. but ultimately, it's their money, and they make the calls.

As far as whether it's old or bad, it is older than most people realize. It's basically a renamed technology known as "remote scripting". But like everything else, it's a matter of timing. The world wasn't ready for it before now. As far as what set the world on fire, I'll go with Gmail instead of Maps.Google. If you think it to be antiquated or bad, don't use it. Who is forcing you? If you want to be a crybaby about it, go invent the "next big thing". Who is stopping you other than yourself?

Posted by Anders Tomilsson on July 26, 2005 at 8:36 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
How about AJAX support for ASP.NET Web controls will that be free from Microsoft . And is there any reference to get the latest update on the same.

Posted by mandar on August 2, 2005 at 3:23 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Hi ,
How about the AJAX support for ASP.NET Web controls...will that be free from ATLAS.
Is there any link to get update on the same.

Posted by mandar on August 2, 2005 at 3:24 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
The XMLHttpRequest object is implemented as an ActiveX control in IE, which would be a problem if it is unsigned.

However, concerning JavaScript, I think it's a great idea to use for things like form validation, to cut down server load, and allow the user to correct errors easier. As long as people keep allowing accessibility to take control of them to the degree where they never support/try anything new, then this won't really encourage makers of browsers to better support technologies.

Posted by curtis on August 3, 2005 at 3:54 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
This is one of the most inane things I have ever read? AJAX no good if Javascript disabled? DUH! What if the end user refuses to run a web browser? What if they don't turn on their computer? How well will AJAX work then? The reason AJAX is interesting is because everyone on almost every platform has the tools and software to play already, with nothing else to install.

Posted by bobo on August 19, 2005 at 12:11 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Let me provide both an illustration and some statistics to show why this is not inane. Illustration, from my market research experience. You don't just pick a random sample of phone numbers to call for surveys out of a phone book. Why not? Because then you miss people with unlisted numbers. Instead, random numbers from 0000 to 9999 are generated for each exchange. This is even more important today with the prevalance of cell phones.

Statistics: see the following page that indicates that 10% of users have Javascript turned off.

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

Do you really want to turn your backs on them? Again, AJAX is only a viable alternative on an intranet where you can dictate standards to your users: thou shalt have Javascript enabled. Otherwise, JSON provides a possible alternative for most tasks everybody is rushing to address with AJAX, because JSON can be resolved in the client if Javascript is turned on, and on the server if it is not.

Posted by htmatters on August 19, 2005 at 2:13 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
You can't please em all. Target the majority and they will follow. A few stragglers will be left behind. but what is 10% of computer users to that other 90%? If that 10% has JavaScript turned off or a browser that does support it, it is most likely they are no power user, or a important user for that matter. And if they turned it off and are a power user, THEN THEY CAN TURN IT BACK ON *GASPS*

When you're cold calling for statistics or sales, that's a different ball game. why the hell would you randomly phone people anyways? why not, oh I don't know, ADVERTISE? all businesses are listed. leave people at home alone.

Posted by Sean on August 19, 2005 at 6:42 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
ok this is going off topic but random sampling is the cornerstone of market research, it is what put George Gallup on the map:

http://centralsurveys.com/history.htm

User's with Javascript turned off are like the unlisted numbers of the web. That 10% figure has not varied for years so in all likelihood they are not going to turn Javascript on just because you ask. Treating them as though don't exist or don't matter could be an unwise decision in the business world.

Posted by htmatters on August 19, 2005 at 8:19 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Isn't it great that a big company is willing to risk market share to push the technology of the web along?

I don't think it's a problem with javascript itself. It's possible to make all sorts of applications still "work" to various degrees without javascript. See for example this chat:

http://treehouse.ofb.net/chat/?lang=en

Posted by Wesley Tanaka on September 26, 2005 at 9:00 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Good point

Posted by htmatters on September 27, 2005 at 6:43 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
What should the guys making sites in ASP.NET do? Does ASP.NET require javascript to be enabled by default?

What kind of websites those 10% of users who have javascript turned off? May be just static pages. And they probably don't need to visit the javascript programmed websites anyway.

Posted by Dan on September 27, 2005 at 10:58 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Says some guy: The problem is that it's opened a pandora's box of designers destined to repeat the errors of 90% of sites designed in Flash--great graphics, no usability.

JS on or off may be a real issue, but this aint. The reasons Flash usurps usability have very little to do with the capabilities of AJAX and everything to do with allowing designers easy access to animation without having to be programmers. AJAX has nothing to do with "great graphics." It's simply about asynchronous communication with the server. Saying that's a bad thing for usability is just stupid. You have the ability to asynchronously access your hard drive... did that ruin applications development? Quite the contrary.

Posted by CrackWilding on September 28, 2005 at 2:16 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
What's the use of turning JavaScript off ?
It's like buying a car, throwing the engine out and put a span of horses in front of it because you we're used to it in the 19th century. Get real !!

The only reasonable argument for not using JavaScript I've heard of is that it makes the site not suited for visual disabled persons. But in that case 99% of the current internet sites are not suited, with or without JavaScript.

Posted by arjeh on October 5, 2005 at 3:33 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
On a desktop or laptop, yes, Javascript is enabled by default.. but you have to consider that - nowadays especially - people visiting your webpage aren't necessarily using one of these machines. Web-enabled cell phones and PDAs are becoming quite common nowadays (personally, I own one of each), and it really shows what consideration web designers gave to accessibility when you view their sites with these devices.

Posted by Adam S on October 9, 2005 at 11:03 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
In response to Adam S's comment about cell pones/PDA's - cell phones use a different method. They use WML - similar to XML - and AFIAK JavaScript doesn't exist in WML. If you tried displaying a normal webpage (JavaScript or not) it probably won't display right anyway unless plain text.

Posted by James T on October 10, 2005 at 5:51 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Come on htmatters, you MUST BE joking! getting .js statistics from w3schools is just about the most non-representative thing I can imagine in this context. Man, I rely on JS for client-side scripting, I rely on HTML for Hypertext, and I rely on CSS for styling.

I rely on air for breathing.

The occasional user who has JS disabled has *turned it off*, like I do on occasion. These people are mostly developers (like on w3schools)

Those people who don't know what they've disabled and don't miss it are to dangerous for the internet anyway and should have their internet connection revoked.

If you prefer the traffic generated by reloading every tiny bit of markup in your page just to update a row, or value in a big, styled table, go for it. I prefer to provide users with a fluid experience without the whole HTML/HTTP overhead a contemporary site produces. the people who pay for the bandwidth usually agree:)

As with everything else, if you don't need remote scripting, stay away from it though. (Like that contagious disease spreading rapidly among the non-programming population called Flash.)

/boo

Posted by boo on October 17, 2005 at 3:47 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
actually it is your comment that is a ridiculous joke. why do you think buffoons are now promoting "degradable ajax" aka, server side scripting? at least i back myself up with data. you on the other hand ignore well known common knowledge, for instance, that many users turn off Javascript because they are afraid of script-borne viruses. and what is this differentiation you make between "disabling" Javascript and "turning it off". those are pretty much synonymous.

Posted by htmatters on October 17, 2005 at 4:13 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
This is getting a bit stupid:(

The buffoons you are refering to are I believe:
http://particletree.com/features/the-hows-and-whys-of-degradable-ajax/

I wrote under the assumption that we all AT LEAST try to make our code fail gracefully, that's just common procedure. Better to provide alternatives, needless to say, isn't it?
--
I do not make a distinction between disabled/turned off but between no JS implemented/turned off on purpose. Again, users who've turned it off for their prOn/warez surfing chores, will VERY likely be able to turn it on again for trustworthy sites (the kind you & I implement). The tiny percentage who'll use LYNX or similar, while being nerdish-cool, simply no one will pay me to code for them aswell. Summary: Accessibility YES, Coding for dinosaurs NO.
--
beside the point I'd like to add that if a user wants to protect himself against scripted virii he should turn off scripting where the real danger lies: in his mail client (if you use Outlook/IE that is) or uninstall the windows scripting host!
--
We are at a turning point I think. Client-side logic in web docs will become standard, as will coding with security and accessibility in mind (I hope). If you decide to live without that logic only a subset of the functionality will be available to you - users choice. (like wanting tax cuts and getting your civil rights axed :)
--
ridiculous joke? ahh come on... we are discussing aren't we?
--

/boo

Posted by boo on October 17, 2005 at 7:08 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
just seeing who was awake out there. you, obviously ;) I don't deny the promise of AJAX. It shows no sign of being a mere "flavor of the month", but nor is it the "final say" when it comes to "Web 2.0". JSON is another Javascript based technology with lots of promise especially in conjunction with AJAX, but in my opinion needs an overhaul.

Posted by htmatters on October 17, 2005 at 7:38 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Agree. It's just a step on the way...
Like on a ladder all steps must be taken, some more cautiously than others I think.

the eventual niche for 'AJAX' probably is, well, in applications. in tasks more complex than the usual page surfing, involving any sets of data. Moving most of the UI logic to the client-side obviously has its attractions:) And XHTML(XUL,SVG)/CSS/DOM/JS are a beautiful system to do just that. HTTP? Well, we'll have to see about this one...
maybe UPS (User Protocol Secured) comes along;-)

There will likely for a long time remain some kinds of feature forking (like in FLASH/non-FLASH sites).

There might just be yet another exciting time ahead!-)
goodnight.

/boo

Posted by boo on October 17, 2005 at 8:44 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
You should not have to worry about designing applications for those with javascript disabled. If they really want to use your application they can just simply turn javascript on, or download a new browser that supports it. I don't know of anyway to create awesome web applications without you using AJAX, except for FLASH which is supported in the browser, even less then Javascript.

Posted by Daniel on October 22, 2005 at 9:50 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Large companies can and should implement technology that makes their products more useful. Why make the vast majority of users (~90%) wait for the stragglers to adopt technology that has already been around for years?

Anybody notice that MS Office 2k3 didn't come with a handy Media Content cd, as did previous versions? They expect that the vast majority of their users will have access to an internet connection, and one fast enough to allow them to download media content (including sounds and videos, not just clipart) at a reasonable rate. This means that Microsoft is willing to take the risk to alienate its users who don't have fast internet connections, or internet connections at all, for that matter. It has weighed the risks and benefits of continuing to provide its content in the CD format, and decided that the benefits of making it available online (thus making a larger library, as well as content updated, possible) outweighed the risk of cutting off its users that don't have broadband internet.

In 2009, television in the United States is going digital. Analog TV sets will be useless without an external signal converter. Will we be alienating all of those users with old TVs? Yes. It's the price of progress.

In much the same way, web applications need to develop to better meet the needs of the majority of its users. The most recent version of Windows that does not include native support for AJAX is Windows 95, which Microsoft itself stopped supporting in 2002. I deal with Windows specifics because most users that are not "power users" are using Windows.

The alternatives that remain, then, are "alternate pages" that users view when the site determines that they don't have Java enabled. This page could include--get this--instructions for enabling Java, as chances are that the user's browser supports it, but the feature is disabled. Or it could be the same site, with a reduced-functionality user interface (a la Gmail).

Or, we could all go get the internet stuck in a time vacuum--I have a serious problem with THIS site, as I can't see the images when I view it in LINKS on my Gentoo console. You're alienating me as a user.

Posted by Brad on October 23, 2005 at 12:56 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Hi Brad.

Yours was a long writeup for someone who appears to be missing the difference between Javascript (JS) and Java.

check this out, please:
http://crockford.com/javascript/javascript.html

while I'm at it: Citing microsoft in the context of innovation is a unfortunate bad example. They haven't managed to ship a standards compliant browser that would in fact enable the web developers to use their creativity to re-invent the net. that's what I call managed (or rather mutilated) innovation.

I'm just now ONCE AGAIN trying to work around some annoying JS bugs in MS IE. AAArggghh!!

/boo

Posted by boo on October 25, 2005 at 4:21 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
First rule of design:
Make it work (and work well) for the common case.
Then worry about the remaining 10%.

If I can provide a much more usable interface for most of my users, then I am willing to forego the luddite 10%.

In reality most companies will not allocate resources to code an alternate site for the remaining 10%.

And you can also work the numbers. If a more usable site increases my hit/retention rate by 10%, then I have already made up the loss of the 10% luddites.

Posted by Jay on November 6, 2005 at 8:42 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
Wow...what a discussion you've all got going! I agree that there are instances where AJAX/advanced Javascript/DOM Scripting is not going to be the most appropriate solution, but as a developer for the internet and web UI specialist with a rather long history of playing on the edge while advising clients to play safe...and doing work for some considerably large companies and government organizations, I have to say that AJAX can be a very powerful and amazing tool...in the right places. You have to use your brain sometimes when deciding when and where to implement it....but it's definitely a good tool to have. So...some people can't or won't use javascript....that doesn't mean you MUST limit the capabilities of your web app to the lowest possible level of capabilities! Instead, if you want to offer capabilities that require certain functionality of the browser, you may simply need to inform the user of this fact and then let them decide whether they want to (or can) use your web app or page by enabling or acquiring these things. Admittedly, there may be some who can't simply because they can not overcome the limitations of your requirements, but if you are able to offer substantially improved functionality that will benefit the general majority by giving up your ability to service the few that can not (or will not) be able to use your web app or page due to the browser requirements....it may be the right decision!

I specialize in usability and accessibility....it's a hot discussion in many organizations I've worked with because handicapped browsers/readers are even worse than most browsers, and there's been a lot of buzz around that recently. (I'd bet that the majority of developers don't even know how to properly implement unobtrusive javascript...if not, look it up...it's worth it). In some instances the handicapped accessability was necessary and we were able to do it while maintaining a rather rich user experience...but in others, they found that no one with "alternative browsers" would likely use their application or web-service anyway, and the amount of work required to either alter the existing or provide alternatives was going to be very detrimental to the overall product/service.

There are indeed times when the payoff for NOT killing a project by bogging it down with restrictions has had huge success. Flickr, Google Maps, Housing Maps are each a huge success in their own right which has garnered massive numbers of users(and passionate ones at that) that they never would have if they limited themselves to the "lowest potential user capabilities". Numbers drives the economy and future innovative advances. We can't always afford to pay for creating alternatives for the small percentage of "restricted" users unless you first make the numbers from the users who don't have the restrictions. Often, in the process, you find that the people who are limited can find an alternative elsewhere that's just as good as what you would provide, and it really won't benefit them much for you to create your "dumbed down" version.

Figure out what you want to do. Consider whether advanced capabilities are required to make your features/functionality something that users will rave about...and whether this functionality can be accomplished with lesser technology without killing the project. It's a decision that we can all make with a little time an thought.

Posted by David Colwell on November 10, 2005 at 11:58 AM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
I fall on the side of - so what if some people have js turned off? Obviously they turned it off for a reason; far be it from me to force someone to view my content if they really arent willing to.

For the guy who doesnt go to phone books because they dont have unlisted numbers, well perhaps the fact that they are unlisted should tell you something (if my number ends up on someones list theyd better have a decent lawyer).

Someone with an unlisted number is saying "Dont call me". Someone with js turned off is saying "I dont want the functionality". Why make 90% suffer because of the choices of 10%?

Posted by Eric on December 5, 2005 at 8:12 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
In repsonse to those who are wondering why people turn off javascript

a) you're on wap or some small device that cant run it.
b) you're a web developer ;)
c) you dont want ajax to spy on you as you have no control over what its sending back to the server.
d) javascript is slow and often crashes firefox or other broswers like java. (i have both turned off)

If i'm blind and cant see the images i'd want alt tags.
If i have javascript off i expect to be able to use the site in its fully functioning glory.
If i have css off i want to read the content in a reasonable layout.

AS a web developer you have to make your medium accessable to everyone. Stop being lazy and do yer job right.

Posted by d-fens on December 28, 2005 at 12:40 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
;-)

"Achilles Heel" Why is it a known phrase? Why has it endured for so many centuries? Because everything has one. Every strength has a weakness, that's the way of things.

And here's the fun: By using the phrase "Achilles Heel" you've aligned AJAX with Achilles, a guy who's remembered and revered for accomplishing many great and superhuman deeds, so hidden in your knocking is the admission that AJAX/RemoteScripting is doing and will do many super-web things for the majority of internet users.

And that's a bad thing?

Given a choice between being Achilles with a known heel and Jojo the begger who no one remembers because he never even tried to do anything above and beyond the status quo... I'll choose Achilles (while every day trying to remember my heel).

Posted by smith on February 11, 2006 at 6:29 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
The solution is very simple; if user javascript is enabled than provide Ajax version of web site otherwise provide alternate version(javascript free) version of web application.

Posted by Ryan on February 13, 2006 at 5:24 PM

Re: AJAX' Achilles Heel
d-fens hits the nail right on the head.

I'm afraid that those adopting the "use it and be damned" approach will suffer the same fate that Achilles did. It's a dinosaur attitude that I thought we'd walked away from with user guides that no-one but techies could understand and "browser does not support frames" messages.

Today I've found five apps written using Ajax, none of which I could use because they either do not support keyboard operation or there are no alternatives written into the code that my screen reader could read.

The most hurtful is a "cool" way of playing MP3 files without the need, (or opportunity) to use any sound player app. Very clever, very inaccessible. As sound is one of the mainstays of the web for blind users, this is like a slap in the face.

Disabled people are users with additional, expensive, technology, that enables them to use your sites. Deny access to their technology and it is you who are disabling them.

By the time you add together the disabled people, users with javascript disabled in their browsers, new and old technology users, and people with age related problems that mean they need or prefer to use a keyboard than a mouse, the affected users mount up to a significant percentage of users with spending power that runs into hundreds of billions a year. Turn your back on them and clients will be decidedly unimpressed.

Alternatives!!!! .... It's not rocket science, for heaven's sake.

Posted by bimmie on April 30, 2006 at 1:32 PM

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