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I'm using stackoverflow.com with JavaScript off. I accept this comes with somewhat less functionality, however for the most part SO works fine.

If I look at the home page (http://stackoverflow.com/), every single button on there except for two types works with JS off.

The first second is that the "x Votes; y answers;z views" mouse-over indicates they're links but clicking them does nothing. This one is less of an issue because the user can still click the question title, and they're only implied buttons anyway.

The second (and bigger) issue is the "Add" buttons next to "Favorite Tags" and "Ignored Tags". These are explicit buttons that don't do anything with JS off. There is no working JS substitute for them (the "tag subscriptions" link itself works, but the page it goes to doesn't work with JS off, but that's another bug report).

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As far as I know, Favorite and Ignored-marking is JavaScript only...so favorites/ignored would be useless anyway, or? –  Time Traveling Bobby Apr 6 '12 at 9:27
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If you don't mind, would you share your "Anti-JavaScript" motives with us? I'm curious. –  Time Traveling Bobby Apr 6 '12 at 9:47
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If you don't like javascript, from where will you recieve the blessing of the hallowed jQuery? –  Manishearth Apr 6 '12 at 10:42
    
@Bobby - I have javascript off by default. I can enable it on a site if I need to but prefer not too for security, privacy and performance reasons. Not to mention few websites are actually improved by JS (i.e. google maps is, google search isn't) –  GIS-Jonathan Apr 6 '12 at 11:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes, this is accurate....and by-design.

For the questions: you can still get to the questions via the title, so we're fine with this behavior.

Since the favorite and ignored tags for almost all pages is a client-side algorithm that runs in JavaScript, being able to add/remove tags from that requires JavaScript as well...even if it didn't, adding and removing tags wouldn't gain you anything since it would have no effect on most pages, separating the two doesn't make sense it'd only serve to kick the bug report down the road where it cannot move any further.

If you run our sites without JavaScript, prepare for a degraded experience. Many things will still work, but you'll get limited functionality in other areas. Basically, we're not going to ignore the fact that JavaScript exists and not take advantage of it...we will use it to enhance the experience wherever we can, if you choose not to do the same that's your choice.

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Well, it would be a good idea either to hide the non-working functionality, or at least to disable the buttons (possibly adding a relevant tooltip). –  Vlad Apr 6 '12 at 11:05
    
@Vlad - Should we hide the voting arrows too? They don't work either. It's a long slippery slope, and hiding them means the possibility of blinking as they come in for everyone who does have JavaScript enabled. We're optimizing for the 99.9% case here (disclaimer: that number pulled out of my butt, I don't know our current JS/non-JS split). –  Nick Craver Apr 6 '12 at 11:07
    
(I am not a UI expert, but) I would expect all the visible chrome to be working (or at least be able to hint why it fails to), otherwise it looks like a bug. If it's impossible to allow the user to edit the site without JS, I would switch to the read-only UI (without buttons, arrows, etc.) when JS is off (issuing a relevant message at the page top). –  Vlad Apr 6 '12 at 11:09
    
About blinking, maybe the page can redirect itself to a read-only version unless JS is on? (I am not an expert on JS either.) –  Vlad Apr 6 '12 at 11:12
    
I'm with @Vlad, you shouldn't show things that don't work. It's all well and good saying JavaScript enhances the experience, but that implies basic functionality (i.e., all buttons) should work without it. There's no good non-technical reason that most of the stuff SO does in JS can't be done without JS. I suspect your JS/No-JS stats will be scewed by the fact most of the site doesn't work well without JS (can't even comment!) –  GIS-Jonathan Apr 6 '12 at 11:26
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@Jonathan - I agree, basic functionality does work though - and that's all we promise. Favorite and Ignored tags are not basic, nor is voting...they are extras. If you want them, enable JS. –  Nick Craver Apr 6 '12 at 11:28
    
Voting doesn't work with JavaScript disabled? That doesn't seem like an "extra" to me. The up/down vote arrows are about as basic a feature you can get. In my mind, users should really be sharply discouraged from running around without the ability to vote on questions and answers. (But agreed, I couldn't care less if they can use favorite tags.) –  Cody Gray Apr 6 '12 at 16:13
    
@The - Your voting (having opted out of JS in this instance) is not essential to the site's operation or you finding answers, it works for all the other JS users. As for sharply discouraging, we are doing that...if we go out of our way to make every non-essential function operate without JS enabled, we'd be encouraging it. –  Nick Craver Apr 6 '12 at 16:23

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