The browser war was raging and Netscape was the clear leader. There was pretty much one screen standard : 1024x768 resolution replaced the legacy 800x600. It seemed huge! Screens were bulky analog monitors. Of course, we used
<table> and loads of 1px-square transparent gif files as spacers to make interfaces, conceived by print(!) designers.
There was no other choice than code like a pyromaniac bastard.
AS often is the case, "Fast" for the developer means "bad" for the end-user.
As developers, for the sake of keeping the universal access of the information we put online (and the very reason we exist), we need to re-claim the Progressive Enhancement methodology. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Disabled people, for whom static rendering and full-page reloads are typically still more (not exclusively, but more, and more easily) accessible.
- It's not hard : the
<noscript>tag, at the very least, so that everyone (including the GoogleBot) gets access to your content.
- It's not expensive, on the contrary : you gain time because your code is more maintainable and easier to debug. Thank you miss Separation of Concern.
- you have no idea what devices your code will run on in two years. Build "future-proof" digital products, not sand castles, crushed by the next wave.
Here is a presentation I did for my bad-ass junior developers at BeCode. Have a browse.
Stil not convinced ? Head over this Reddit thread.
I leave the final word to Tiffany Tse (Shopify) (source)
Considering how quickly things change, and how many new devices there are every year, it’s imperative that we continue to build websites and applications that can scale, change, and employ new features as they become available. To do this, and continue to make sure that the web is accessible for all, we need to ensure progressive enhancement is at the heart of everything we do.