By Charlie Owen on
What could go wrong?
I know, I know, my life is simply too exciting.
This would be an incorrect assumption.
For me it's a matter of elegance and simplicity over unnecessary complexity.
Too many tabs
So, for my dreary grey day experiment I restricted myself to just the things open in my browser tabs. For normal people this might be two or three sites.
Not for me. I have approximately 17 shitmillion tabs open, because I Have a Problem With Tabs.
No seriously. I can never just close a tab. I've tried things like One Tab but I just can't get down to less than 30 in any one window ("I'll just save that tab for later" I think, each and ever time). Let's just agree that I need some kind of therapy, and we'll all be able to move on.
Oh, and for you, sweet reader, I opened these tabs in new windows, so you don't have to see the pain of 50 tabs open at once.
Let's get to it. I think I've got a pretty representative list of sites in my open tabs (perhaps due to the aforementioned Tab Problem). Howl at me on Twitter if you feel I missed anything particularly important.
My very first attempt at sans-JS and I get nothing but a blank white page.
Fuck you feedly.
Where are you going? I...
sighs, runs hands over face, shouts after Feedly.
Wait no, Feedly, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that. It was the coffee talking. Can we talk this over? I like using you to keep up with blog posts.
But why do you work like this, Feedly? Your devs could offer the site in basic HTML and use advanced features such as, er, anchor links, to move to other articles. Then when JS is available, new content can be loaded via JS.
Verdict: Relationship counselling.
Verdict: Class act. Smoooooth. Jazzz.
The site looks a little... off without JS (the myriad accordions vomit their content over the page when JS isn't there to keep them under control). But the entire site works! You can still search, you still get recommendations. You can still add items to your basket, and you can still proceed to the checkout.
Verdict: Amazonian warrior.
It's the day after the latest London terrorism attacks, and so I've got this open, just to see how the media intensifies and aids every terrorist action. The BBC is the inventor and poster-child for progressive enhancement via Cutting the Mustard, and it doesn't disappoint. The non-CTM site works fully and while it doesn't look the same as the full desktop site (it's mobile-first and so is pretty much the mobile version), it still works.
Verdict: Colman's Mustard
Google Chrome download
The Google Chrome download page just fails completely, with no notice, only a blank white page.
Following Gmail, Google Maps is perhaps one of the most heavily used Single Page Applications out there. As such I expected some kind of fallback, like Gmail provides, even if it wasn't true progressive enhancement. Maybe some kind of Streetmap style tile-by-tile navigation fallback?
But it failed completely.
Verdict: Cartography catastrophe.
Without JS, Google still does what it's best at: searching.
Okay, there's no autocomplete, the layout reverts to the early 2000s again, and image search is shockingly bad looking. But, in the best progressive enhancement manner, you can still perform your core tasks.
I'm using netflix to try and indoctrinate my girlfriend into watching Star Trek. So far she's not convinced: "Tasha Yar slept with Mr Data? But that would be like fucking your microwave!"
New York Times
Not sure why this was in my tab list, but tbh I've found rotting tabs from 2015 in there, so I'm not surprised.
A lot of images are lazy loaded, and so don't work, getting replaced with funky loading icons. But hey ho, I can still read the stories.
Verdict: Failing... to not work. Sad!
Verdict: Could try harder.
Like a good friend, Wikipedia never disappoints. The site is indistinguishable from the JS version. Keep being beautiful, Wikipedia.
Youtube really really wants to load. Really, reallllllly, wants to. But then it fucks things up at the last nanosecond and farts out, showing no video, no preview icons, and no comments (that last one is perhaps a positive).
Even if the site is doing some funky blob loading of video media, it wouldn't be hard to put a basic version on the page initially (with
preload="none"), and then have it upgrade when JS kicks in.
Verdict: Can't watch My Drunk Kitchen or Superwoman. :( :( :(
Haters, please tweet at me as you feel fit.