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dear javascript webdevelopers - please don't break the web

Julian
see https://dev.to/c33s/comment/3eck
・5 min read
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actually i wanted to write about emco ping monitor but login with email was disabled again here, so i wrote a post about it only to notice that the upload image button does not do anything anymore on my waterfox, so i took this as sign to write this post. until the picture upload is fixed, i will have to stick to ascii art.

i use waterfox classic. why? because it allows me to customize itself to fit my needs (it runs the legacy firefox addons). additional i have a quite "strict" browser (umatrix, ublock and other security enhancing addons) because i try to have a little bit more security.

i am used to see a white page on accessing a new url or even "better" to see the content like a phone number or opening times for half a second, only to see it disappear after the css file was loaded which hides the content 🀦, to wait to load more stuff and javascript, which unhides the content again (after my old smartphone loaded additional 30sec (no not everybody has the latest iphone)).

but until a few month ago, allowing some javascript or cookie was enough. now even allowing most javascript expect tracking and ads leads to being not able to submit a simple form with two fields, click a button to upload a file or click a link.

  • on amazon.de i can't access some sections of my business account (like my connected payment method for prime)
  • on github from time to time parts of the content is not accessible (tabbed)
  • on gitlab, which i use most of the time: from complete empty content section (fixed from the awesome gitlab developers) to contact forms i can't submit or code lint forms where i can't enter content

welcome to javascript-flash - please install the latest google-javascript-flash player (=google chrome) to continue.

for me, the web breaks apart. more and more webdevelopers and their chief executives give a fu!k about basic webstandards and simply require the latest browser. for developers it's because they want use their favorite javascript framework with its latest features. chief executives only look at conversion rates and don't care about 1.5% firefox user on their webpage if the rest uses auto updated chrome and safaris, even if the webpage simple does not work.

maybe those executives will have a fun time as soon as let's encrypts certificates does not work any more on older android phones found in the telegram channel NoGooLag (no the users still don't have the latest iphone), where suddenly firefox is the only way to get access to such a site.

having no fallback to plain html is like constructing a new building in 2020 and you need to climb 30 steps over a strair to get to the front door and the constructor is looking at a wheelchair user who is staring at the first step searching for an elevator (=plain html submitable forms). the only comment: sorry you are only in the 1.5%, you don't matter.

it sould be the target to make the web most accessible and not to rush to the newest features and latest versions.

i am in the lucky situation, that i can switch browser and i am not tied to a wheelchair but switching browser or enable javascript is always at the cost of security. everybody is tracking, the criminal energy of humanity is really endless. so allowing javascript really openes many attack vectors. today a browser is the new operation system.

so browsers are almost operating systems if they want to keep up. Nowadays you only find few websites, but plenty webapps

Izzy

simple text and forms are digged behind cpu and ram eating javascript which can access my graphic card, mine bitcoin in background and other things which are simply not required to access text and some forms. but i can't (easily) restrict sections of javascript, it's all or nothing. there is no unobtrusive javascript and webpages are not barrier-free (have you ever used a screenreader or used your page with a different browser or disabled javascript or used a phone like a samsuns s4 mini to view the webpage you created?).

moonchild from palemoon wrote an open letter to web developers which brings up some points which are quite dangerous if we stay on this path of browser monoculture and version rush.

Google currently controls 95% of the web due to its Blink engine in Chromium, and hence has no issue in forcing its own standards and initiatives without thinking of other browsers. Google plans – for example – to introduce what’s known as Web Bundles, breaking all privacy efforts and ad-blocking capabilities in the last two decades. But if Mozilla is ever to compete, then it needs to fix all of this mess.

quote from m.hanny sabbagh

also a good reading from jeff huang about webpages designed to last

dear javascript developers, i beg you - please build unobtrusive and barrier free webpages, where the basic content is also visible without javascript, where screenreaders easily work, where my browser does not freeze for 3sec just because i leave a tab, where i can simply click a button which submits a form (without javascript) and where i can right click a link to open it in a new tab.

please don't break the web

cover image by Ann H https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-pwd-sign-3095954/ converted with https://www.text-image.com/convert/

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