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Complexity or Simplicity
08-02-2006, 03:49 PM
Post: #11
Complexity or Simplicity
Well, this information has certainly proved useful. Thanks a lot for the thoughts.

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Jordan M
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08-02-2006, 04:00 PM
Post: #12
Complexity or Simplicity
Quote:I think that in 2006 we can safely write web applications that rely on cookies to maintain state. The only alternative is to put session IDs in URLs, which has its own problems.
I disagree, because it is becoming increasingly important for websites to support user agents that have either poor or no support for cookies or JavaScript. Many cellular phones, PDAs, and TVs fall in this category. Lots of folks still disable JavaScript and cookies (which I think is pretty dumb) for one reason or another.

My philosophy has always been to try and create sites that don't rely on any of these technologies, but employ them as enhancements instead.

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Simon Jessey | Keystone Websites
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08-02-2006, 04:47 PM
Post: #13
Complexity or Simplicity
I agree about JavaScript. It would be nice if we could count on it being there, but I do understand that JS support is seriously lacking in all sorts of non-traditional user-agents. I don't much care about people who intentionally disable it, as they generally know what they're getting into, although I do make sure things will still work.

Cookies though, can you actually name one user-agent that doesn't support them? I'm not being confrontational; I'm genuinely curious. I've never heard this before.

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08-02-2006, 06:59 PM
Post: #14
Complexity or Simplicity
Quote:can you actually name one user-agent that doesn't support them?
My phone doesn't support either JavaScript or Cookies (and although it claims to have an XHTML browser, it doesn't recognize the XHTML mime types).

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08-02-2006, 08:02 PM
Post: #15
Complexity or Simplicity
I definitely agree about using JS and other such features as additions and enhancements only on most sites. If you have a controlled audience, you can create a site that depends on certain technologies, but most user bases are rather varied. Everything should degrade as gracefully as possible. I've seen all kinds of web forms that require javascript in order to be submitted. There is no need to require it, but the creator was too lazy to properly code it. With the large user base I have to deal with at work, a significant portion of my time is spent ensuring content is accessible in about a half-dozen test browsers and with or without JavaScript.

Of course, it also depends on the site owners. For instance, if 99.9% of people who visit X site have JavaScript enabled, then the owner of X site might see it as a waste of money to have the developer take the time to add graceful degradability.

Now, we're getting a bit off topic. To further add to the original thought, I think accessibility needs to be the primary focus. Having user selectable interfaces is great (allowing them to control what they see). In many cases it isn't a case of whether a person would know how to use a feature, but whether it is something they might use. On a lot of forums, there is a quick reply at the bottom of a thread. If you don't need any of the extras of the "fancy" editor, you can save time and throw the content in the quick reply box.

Designing a BB system is quite a bit of work, so I'd suggest making a HUGE list of the features you COULD add and then prioritizing them. Sounds like a heck of a project!

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