I recently browsed this question about changing the appearance of an HTML select with CSS and HTML.

I was wondering when use JavaScript is an acceptable solution to a "how do I do X with HTML/CSS" question.

This is the most related question I found



  • there is no practical solution not using JavaScript
  • OP didn't explicitly ask for a non-JavaScript solution

Then, considering that JavaScript tend to be available everywhere, it might be considered useful to answer with a JavaScript-based solution. Of course it has to be a real solution, not simply the recommendation to "use JavaScript".

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    Yes, but I'd also like to point out that just saying "use JavaScript" or "use jQuery" is not an answer. You do actually have to provide the solution in JavaScript/jQuery. – animuson Mar 28 '13 at 22:39
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    @animuson In fact I didn't even read the question like this. Of course this kind of answer would never be acceptable, as it's not really a solution. I edit my answer for more clarity. – Denys Séguret Mar 29 '13 at 6:58

I agree with Benjamin in that the question wasn't answered fully and that any answer that uses JavaScript here should at least allude to the reason why an alternative is either less preferable or impossible. However, I disagree with the idea of discouraging these kinds of answers outright, simply because sometimes the people asking the questions are thinking inside a box, and it's often hard to tell unless they say so explicitly.

For example, if someone posted a question about trying to align two elements horizontally and said, "Is there a general way to figure out how many
tags I need to make these words even with this picture," I'd hope that someone would alert the asker to the existence of better ways to do that with CSS.

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    I disagree with you, but I'd just like you to know that I really appreciate that you came here and voiced your opinion on the subject. – Benjamin Gruenbaum Mar 28 '13 at 20:17
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    Likewise. And I like the way you phrased it here, because that's a broad topic and I know how annoying it is when the majority of advice you see amounts to discarding your requirements! – atw13 Mar 28 '13 at 20:23

The same applies with people using JQuery in JavaScript questions. Mine (and I think others in the tag) go under the assumption that if the OP tags either JavaScript or JQuery, then they can be used.

Otherwise, either comment to say there's no CSS solution, or add that as an answer and provide a JavaScript alternative.

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    That's not the same problem in my opinion : there is no case where a problem can be solved with jQuery and can't be solved without. – Denys Séguret Mar 28 '13 at 21:25
  • @dystroy True, but not everyone uses jQuery and some are against it. – mattytommo Mar 28 '13 at 21:31
  • @dystroy true, but sometimes the no-library solution is veeery awkward (addEventListener, anyone? Or the luxury of textContent? Who uses Internet Explorer anyways? Not to mention implicit iteration as well as one-liner AJAX are pretty cool IMO) – John Dvorak Jul 4 '13 at 20:31

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