Web Directions North: Day 1

ActiveState at Web Directions NorthI’m sitting in on the Ajax Kung Fu talk by Jeremy Keith and doing a lot of nodding.

I couldn’t agree more with his position on maintaining the thin client status of the browser. In the past, I’ve strongly argued from this position. I remember specifically arguing against returning XML from the server, parsing it, and transforming it into XHTML all on the client-side instead of just returning XHTML and inserting it into the DOM.

I have to agree with Chad on the coining of the whole “Hijax” buzzword. Sounds more like a joke than an important concept like progressive enhancement. And I have to say although the label “progressive enhancement” is new to me, the concept isn’t. Back when I actually used pop-up windows, I used to fill in the href as well, so that if JavaScript was off, the user would still be taken to a page with the same content as the pop-up. Probably an old-school example of progressive enhancement that is still valid today.

Update: Oops, my progressive enhancement example about filling in the href above is incorrect. That is actually an example of graceful degradation, which is sort of a reversed way of thinking of progressive enhancement and precisely why progressive enhancement is so important.

If I had said I used to go through my sites after creating them and add the onclick event to some links to provide pop-ups as a convenience feature for users with Javascript, then that would have been progressive enhancement. Thanks to Chad for correcting me.