Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Graceful fallback from Ajaxian applications

Category: Ajax, JavaScript, Usability

One of the common arguments is whether or not your application “should just work” if the client doesn’t have JavaScript enabled (or an old version etc).

Jep Castelein spoke about this recently.

As always, when you are chosing technology you have decisions to make. One of them is the balance.

  • How much time are you able to spend to make the application work seemlessly in non-JavaScript mode
  • What is the target audience
  • What control do you have over the target audience
  • How much work would it be to make a non-JS version? (e.g. do you just have ‘nice to have’ features in JS with easy fall backs? Or are you going crazy UI stuff that is not trivial to implement

There is no ONE correct answer for your application.

Sam Pullara has an interesting solution to the problem. He uses the same full pages for the entire application. When in Ajax mode, he uses a server-side filter which (via XPath) grabs the piece that he wants back on the client. Obviously a trade off, but an interesting thought.

It is interesting to see that GMail has a non-JS version for people to use now. This makes sense.

It will be interesting to see if Google Maps will do the same thing though!

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:26 am
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