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Why does the Stackexchange have a website that requires javascript to post a question?

On this site, you can not post a question unless you have a javascript enabled browser, This is bad for browsers such as lynx (links improved, Text only browser). We Need a noscript question post form, /questions/ask?noscript would be good. should be

Also I see that this site also does not have the link <link rev="made" href="mailto:team@stackoverflow.com"> As that single line in lynx allows anyone to send an email stright to you guys by pressing c for comment. I'm sure other browsers will one day reimplement this feature but I don't like the chances. though its a great tag to always use as it shows more experience for the developer(s) as it shows that they test there scripts in more than the 5 most used browsers: IE,FireFox,Chromuim,Opera,Safari.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 13 '11 at 8:45

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

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Why does my kitchen have a recipe that requires butter to bake a cake? –  markus Jan 13 '11 at 10:52
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This is a perfectly reasonable question –  Pëkka Jan 13 '11 at 10:54
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@tharkun: poor analogy - you can use substitutes in place of butter... this question is asking why there's no a HTML submission in substitute of an Ajax submission. –  Andy E Jan 13 '11 at 11:35
    
:) humour not allowed, I see –  markus Jan 13 '11 at 15:13
    
Who vote down ? –  JamesM Jan 14 '11 at 4:50
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@JamesM - if you're using Lynx to browse SO, you might find this SO-API App useful: stackapps.com/questions/542/column-80-plain-text-optimised-sofu - you can't post questions (read-only API) but it makes SO much more plain-text friendly –  Mark Henderson Jan 16 '11 at 23:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I just successfully asked a question on our dev tier with JavaScript disabled in Firefox 3.6.

However, I did notice that the mandatory "How to Ask" page for new users with <= 10 reputation ...

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask

... does require JavaScript to proceed, but for a trivial reason: it submits the form through JavaScript.

So to the extent that this is true, it is only true for users with < 10 rep at the moment

edit: this is now fixed, for both http://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask and http://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-answer -- I added a <noscript> block with a traditional submit and the regular link submit is behind <script>.

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Wait are you saying, That only NEW users with less than 10 rep can post questions with no-script? –  JamesM Jan 13 '11 at 10:14
    
Jeff asked this question back in 2008 on the Stack Overflow blog blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/06/is-it-ok-to-require-javascript –  Barry Jan 13 '11 at 10:35
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No, @JamesM, the other way around: new users with less than 10 rep cannot get past the EULA page, and hence cannot ask questions. –  Arjan Jan 13 '11 at 11:00
    
So any ideas for setting a bipass for this? like a-jax request would say we clicked on the javascript link, as that would be either a get or post request you can manunaly trick it to say we clicked on Proccedd so the next time you load the page you don't get that inability of posting questions. So in other words, Does anyone know the link that the javascript requests to say we clicked on that link? With that link I can bi-pass into asking questions, Correct? –  JamesM Jan 13 '11 at 11:13
    
Let me re-word the above: If someone tells me what the link that the javascript requests I can make that request to trick stackoverflow to think that I have already clicked on Proceed. to then allow me to load the /questions/ask page and get in with no hassle? –  JamesM Jan 13 '11 at 11:16
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@Barry. When Jeff asked the question in 2008, it was about StackOverflow. It was OK to assume the audience were very technologically minded and were more likely to enable JavaScript. So it is legitimate to ask it again for StackExchange. StackExchange is supposed to be more than StackOverflow these days, theres a site for cooking now. –  MarkJ Jan 13 '11 at 11:59
    
@jeff Atwood♦ Thank you so much for enabling the no-script version. :) –  JamesM Jan 22 '11 at 2:53

Assuming users in this day all have JavaScript enabled browsers is a perfectly reasonable assumption in my opinion. Especially if the development costs would exceed the benefits of attracting a much smaller audience.

People who disable JS are usually paranoid unfortunately, and have no real basis for doing so. It's the same with the illogical fear of cookies that all my friends in real life seem to suffer.

Especially concerning StackOverflow where this question was migrated from, it's even more reasonable to assume that the technically minded audience that sites attracts will have a much larger % of people with JS enabled.

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What Every website should do Is work with no or minimal javascript, Althrough its fast is it not a great standard to trust, PHP and css are mostly all you need, Okay Javascript with Ajax requests is nice but you can not always rely on it being there and also working, There needs to be options, I as a web-developer, Know that javascript is great but not always what you want, You should only really use javascript when html, css, and php can't deal with your request, so in other words javascript should only be used to alter the page. Dynamic content, faster comments, live chat, etc. –  JamesM Jan 13 '11 at 11:05
    
Sorry James I don't think that is correct. –  Tom Jan 13 '11 at 11:12
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There are good reasons to disable JavaScript, especially certain sites. Sure, I don't have JS disabled in my browser but at least every couple of days I land on a website that makes me wish I did, one whose long-running script delays the pages rendering, for instance. It's not particularly difficult or time consuming to have a fallback form to post in JavaScript's stead - most of the work is already done for handling the submission and page rendering anyway. –  Andy E Jan 13 '11 at 11:39
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StackExchange is supposed to be more than StackOverflow these days, theres a site for cooking now. We can't assume all the users are technologically minded. –  MarkJ Jan 13 '11 at 11:57
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Technologically minded users are MORE likely to have turned off javascript, not the other way around. People who only use their computer to find cooking recipes are very unlikely to have turned off javascript. –  MatsT Jan 13 '11 at 14:58
    
for some reason, i had to re-read that twice before i realized you were talking about browser cookies. I was thinking, "why would his friends be afraid of cookies? for weight-loss or something?" –  Kip Jan 14 '11 at 14:28

Given that it is only people that wish to "prove a point" that run with JavaScript disabled, I don't think supporting non JavaScript users is worth the time.

(Screen readers these days support javascript.)

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Not everyone uses a browser that has the javascript ability. Take in my case Lynx, Text-only browser. –  JamesM Jan 13 '11 at 11:00
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Why would anyone use a text only browser anyway? –  Tom Jan 13 '11 at 11:11
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"Prove a point"? Seriously? JavaScript is the source of most online security woes. There are perfectly reasonable rasons for disabling it. –  Pëkka Jan 13 '11 at 12:06
    
@Pekka, but way disable it as it stops you using 90% of the internet, it is like bricking up all your windows and doors to make your house "safe"! –  Ian Ringrose Jan 13 '11 at 12:44
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@Ian the expectation to be able to use basic functions without JS on a major site is still not overly unreasonable. –  Pëkka Jan 13 '11 at 12:46
    
Yes, js is fast but you do not want to code to use only js, some sites are poorly built, and require MSIE and javascript to work. Now js should only be used for dynamic content, faster comments, live chat, etc. not for everysite, I don't even use js to track the page, I have my PHP and <noscript><img> dealing with my tracking. –  JamesM Jan 14 '11 at 4:47

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