9I think you're making assumptions based on anecdotal evidence. Fact is, that 99.7% users do not turn off JS. In fact, if they really would have JS turned off, they wouldn't have answered question here, because this site does not work without JS.– vartecMay 28, 2011 at 18:16
2I don't know anyone who does.– kirk.burlesonMay 29, 2011 at 13:40
- Speed & Bandwidth
- Usability & Accessibility
- Platform Support
Speed & Bandwidth
We also tend to off-load more and more of the processing to the client, and if you use minimalistic (or just outdated) hardware, it's painfully slow.
Usability & Accessibility
Not all user interfaces should expressed in a dynamic fashion, and server-generated content might be perfectly acceptable in many cases. Plus, some people simply don't want this type of interfaces. You cannot please everybody, but sometimes you have the chance to and the duty to satisfy all your users alike.
Finally, some users have disabilities, and thou shalt not ignore them, ever!!!
The worst-case scenarios here, in my opinion, are government websites that try to "modernize" their UIs to appear more friendly to the public, but end up leaving behind a big chunk of their intended audience. Similarly, it's a pity when a university student cannot access his course's content: because he/she is blind and his screen-reader doesn't support the site, or because the site is so heavy and requires ad-hoc modern plug-ins that he/she doesn't get to install on that refurbished laptop bought on e-bay 2 years ago, or again because he/she goes back home to another country for the spring break and the local bandwidth constraints cannot cope with the payload of the site.
Not everybody lives in a perfect world.
However, there's no guarantee that all your users have the privilege of using modern browsers (either because of corporate constraints - which force us to support antediluvian browsers for no good reason, really - or other reasons which may or may not be valid). As mentioned by "Matthieu M." in the comments, you need to remember that a lot of people still use lower-quality hardware, and that not everybody uses the latest and coolest smartphone. As of today, there are still a significant portion of people using phones that have embedded browsers with limited support.
But, as I mentioned, things do get better in this area. But then you still need to remember the previous points about bandwidth limitations if you keep polling very regularly (or your users will enjoy a nice phone bill).
It's all very inter-related.
Your mileage may vary depending on your project.
5Facebook, for example, is a terrific drain on your CPU. I've come across some sites that were so poorly coded (or seemed to be), they would basically freeze my computer by fully loading the CPU (with a few other tabs open). Dec 14, 2010 at 3:35
3@Mark C: I consider sending back as much as 140K for clicking on "send" when I type a comment a slightly exaggerated use of web forms, honestly. Might have been in specific cases at the time and that have been fixed since then (hopefully). I lived for a short while in a country with a, hmmm, restrictive stance on internet censorship and not so great connection quality, and that makes you appreciate good ol' text-based websites a lot more! Dec 14, 2010 at 4:08
8+1 for mentioning accessibility. Half the damned web is completely unusable to me, and I'm neither a casual computer user nor do I need to rely on JAWS (yet). Dec 14, 2010 at 5:09
2@Stan Rogers: it matters a lot to me. I had a chance to work with a blind guy at university, who happened to be both student and teacher, and I was blown away by his abilities. And I find it rather sad that big companies and even educational institutions now come up with crappy artsy web-sites where these users are left out. Dec 14, 2010 at 14:00
2+1 for accessibility. I work for a site that is very heavily related to healthcare. (Thankfully not the abysmal one in the news) As much benefit as JS gives us, I'm greatly saddened of our priorities. Dec 12, 2013 at 15:18
Because trusting somebody to write a funny comic strip every morning and trusting somebody to run arbitrary Turing-complete code on my computer are two very different things.
3+1 for the funny analogy. Though the fact that it's Turing complete has *nothing to do with the dangerousness of the execution. Dec 14, 2010 at 14:56
4@haylem: Being Turing-complete means that it is impossible to mechanically prove secure in the general case. Heck, it's even impossible to prove basic things like that it doesn't run forever. For a more restrictive language, it would be possible for the client browser to prove that the script isn't doing something dangerous. Dec 14, 2010 at 15:25
23Turing-completeness is only about computability. It says nothing about whether the interpreted language is allowed to open files, make HTTP requests, etc. The only inherent danger in Turing-completeness is the possibility of an infinite loop.– dan04Feb 26, 2011 at 7:01
@dan04 and now cryptocoin mining botnets (which only require compute resources, and the ability to send results back). Apr 5, 2018 at 5:46
I am not a web developer, and I have only a moderate understanding of the way the internet works. So this is an answer from a user.
My experience leads me to believe many sites are simply poorly coded, whether out of laziness or ignorance: When I would view a basically static web page, such as a Facebook page, my CPU usage would increase by something like 15%, and drastically more with multiple tabs. Eventually it got to the point where I would have to wait for a response after clicking a button or link and my CPU would overheat and lock up.
On many of these worst offenders (sites), nothing visible is changing and nothing interactive is happening. I could only suppose the site's code was constantly making excessive refreshes, polls, and endless loops.
This drove me to install NoScript to free my CPU usage and stop browsing from becoming a frustrating chore.
The other wonderful add-on I use is FlashBlock.
2@MarkTrapp Yes, that is why I said "basically static" although it is not strictly speaking a static page. HyperPhysics would be an example of a site with static pages. I realize there is probably a need to do that kind of thing otherwise the boxes would never disappear and you would not see notifications until you refreshed the page, but: It seems each site helps itself to more of your resources than it should, similar to the situation where a professor or teacher expects you to put their work first. Dec 15, 2010 at 0:00
if you think that facebook is static page, then you shouldn't comment on this question.– DainiusJul 15, 2013 at 8:01
@Dainius You seem to be confusing jargon with English, and are not following logic here. What is it doing with all those CPU cycles here? That is the problem. Maybe it is better now, but a lot of these websites help themselves to obscene amounts of your CPU time. Mar 6, 2016 at 19:04
Mark, you call yourself webdev and asking, what does static vs dynamic page have to do with cpu cycles? or you really think that "view a basically static web page, such as a Facebook page" is true?– DainiusMar 7, 2016 at 21:55
In the end you really never know where the danger lies (nobel web site infected on techspot.com). Many zero-day (and other) exploits use javascipt; closing this one avenue of attack feels like a step in the right direction.
1You need brackets around something for that link to kick in. That reminds me, I learned only last winter that the Yahoo! Sports ads were infected with some kind of malware (or would infect you). The young man administrating the home network where we were staying blacklisted numerous sites that had infectious ads. Dec 14, 2010 at 5:11
My main reason is that it suppresses the most annoying ads. I'd rather not use AdBlock Plus, since that can affect revenue for the sites I visit (and I've used a site or two where the terms of service said I was not to disable ads). NoScript limits the potential obnoxiousness of ads, and I'm willing to live with the rest of them.
There's also the security consideration, and that's largely related to ads also, since any site that sells ads has to be considered potentially hostile.
Moreover, I don't necessarily know a site is dodgy before I visit it. Some people enjoy sending out links to sites, and aren't necessarily honest.
On a fast machine, with a modern browser, nobody in their right mind disables it all the time. Which is not to say there aren't plenty of very "security conscious" people and others without the funds, desire, or know-how to be running a modern browser on a fast computer... It was only recently that IE6 stopped being the most popular browser on the internet!
"and others without the funds, desire, or know-how to be running a modern browser on a fast computer". I can understand and agree with the "funds" part. I can understand with the "desire" part, though I'd think it usually would be more a matter of "need" as an imposed constraint that a refusal to have a decent computer. But I don't really get the "know-how" part. How can you be unskilled to the point of not buying a recent computer? Or if you do, of misusing it to the point of not installing the bundled browser and using an older one instead? :) Dec 14, 2010 at 4:20