I’m gonna be honest. These ‘turn off JavaScript, no css’ cats get on my last nerve.

The web is a beautiful platform that has allowed us a fantastic medium to share and express data.

There a places that abuse this privilege, but everyone has the freedom to choose not support places that do.

Wanting to reduce the web to a text renderer because one doesn’t like a handful of sites is ridiculous and childish.

If you just want text, go read a book. Enough already.

@Are0h Well... I don't agree :)

Hypertext is a good idea even without javascript. The ability to link between documents is really cool... a world of information as a graph! A collective database for mankind! Let's call that the "document web" and hey, it's cool!

Now add "web applications" and let's call that the "executable web". It's also cool! Though it's more challenging to make safe (especially right now with meltdown/spectre) and friendly to user freedom (but not incompatible)

@cwebber I’m not sure where your point of disagreement is.

@Are0h Well you said "If you just want text, go read a book. Enough already." I'm just saying even without javascript the web gives us something that normal books don't

@cwebber Thats not the entirety of what I said.

There is space for both on the web. My point is that I’m tired of people saying the web should be this one thing.

That’s just silly and reductive.

@Are0h I guess even with 500 chars nuance is hard to fit in too :)

Some points we probably agree on?
- Meltdown/Spectre means that atm probably all critical websites should have a "noscript compatible" version
- "app store"'ification of the web is bad, especially if JS and etc are permitted DRM (a world where nobody is imprisoned for right-click-view-source)
- Executable web security isn't great because browsers putting security after features, but we do want sandboxed execution to get better


I don’t agree with no script. I think devs need to stop writing shitty code.

I’m still on the fence about that. We’re pushing the web in a direction it was never meant to go, so there are gonna be some growing pains. I like the idea of the web a platform but we need better tools. That’s gonna take time.

I do agree with that. I think we’re starting to see a trend where security is given priority so I
I’m optimistic.

@Are0h Well at the moment "devs, don't write shitty code" can't save you against rowhammer/meltdown/spectre because it's a problem at a layer *below* browsers... so you can visit any website and it can steal your sekrets and you wouldn't know it. A lot of that isn't developers.. it's hardware manufacturers! So the only thing that can semi-save you is to turn on noscript. It sucks.

Hopefully that's not a terrifying reality we have to live with long term though!

@cwebber Ah I didn’t say it was limited to web developers. Those particular bugs exploit how hardware interfaces interact with the system.

I’m a bit lenient with that because who could have predicted it, but yeah they need to improve as well.

Nah I don’t think it’s that terrifying. We just need to adapt has the web expands.

No script seems like a panicked response to an issue that needs some real thought.

Adapt, don’t just react, you know?

@Are0h @cwebber As a user, noscript is the only real defense currently available to me. The more sites play well with that, the happier I am.

This may change over time. But it could change for the worse first - attacks often get better before defense catches up.

@HerraBRE @cwebber And that’s fine in the meantime while we figure out how to deal with these new threats.

However the idea that the entire web should get rid of scripting altogether is what I have a problem with.


@Are0h @cwebber Oh, I agree, I write JS code myself! The web is an amazing platform.

One of the things that makes it amazing is how it has the capacity to gracefully enhance/degrade.

If I proclaim "sites should work well without JS!" (give me a pint or two and I might), my intent is:

"It is both possible and potentially in your interest to work well without JS, so cautious, casual users have a good experience and can become regulars who enable scripting and have an even better experience!!"

@HerraBRE @cwebber Yeah I can definitely get down with that. It’s always a good thing to give users options.

I just don’t care for the we need to get rid off css/js altogether arguments. That is such foolish thought.

@Are0h @cwebber I agree it's mostly foolish. Especially wrt CSS!

JS is more nuanced. I will point out that the more annoying it is to browse the web with noscript, the less likely people are to do so.

Today, that means more people are put at risk of all sorts of nasty JS-based attacks. People aren't wrong to feel this is a problem.

Sticking with positive arguments, devs who make sites that gracefully degrade are helping users stay safe by making a secure browsing experience less awful. 😇

@HerraBRE @cwebber As a dev of some years, it’s always been like that and we’ve adapted through a combination of improving technologies and personal responsibility.

I don’t have a problem with people expressing concern as knowledge of the web works proliferates. I think people understanding it is a good thing for everyone.

What I do have a problem with having knee jerk reactions to issues that require more thought than tear it all down.

@Are0h @HerraBRE
> What I do have a problem with having knee jerk reactions to issues that require more thought than tear it all down.

I agree that this line of argument is rarely good. Another example I find unsatisfying is "tear it all down" when it comes to existing institutions when that call to action *isn't* coupled with an immediate plan to replace something with.

Lots of people do have suggestions on how to reform or replace systems, but calling for tear-down alone is the easy part.

@HerraBRE @Are0h So even "tear it all down" can be okay... but I want more than that :) What comes next? (And why is it better than reform?)

Perhaps the difficulty of conveying nuanced conversations in character-limited social networks results in a lot of this frustration and weak dialogue. This is one reason why I find that especially 140char twitter was the worst when it came to discussion... not enough space to elaborate.

@cwebber @Are0h I suspect a lot of the tear-it-all-down in this context comes from users who have decided NoScript (or even NoCSS) is something they need, and they rant from a place of frustration about how the web doesn't work well for them [anymore].

Maybe they're silly, maybe they have needs we're overlooking. I've seen both... but in either case, expecting frustrated people to make nuanced arguments is a tad optimistic IMO. 😜

@HerraBRE @cwebber @Are0h some of us have been building stuff for the web for rather a long time and have drifted into the conclusion that the web was in a bunch of essentials an extremely damaging mistake.

there aren't really a lot of us who feel that way who expect "tear it all down" to offer a literal solution. personally i think we're basically fucked. still, that people steeped in the tech & culture of it for so long feel that way can be instructive.

@Are0h @cwebber @HerraBRE like, it's been really liberating for me personally to despair of the web. it frees me to drop a lot of angst about the state of things and consider other paths.

@HerraBRE @cwebber Ha, I’ll agree to disagree because there a plenty of us who a frustrated with many aspects of the web but we can still talk like adults.

If anything, I’d argue people who make such outlandish comments aren’t realistic interested in improving anything.

And that’s fine, but I think we need to be very careful about who we listen to. Some folks don’t want solutions.

@Are0h @cwebber That last point, about being careful who we listen to... that's super true in many contexts.

Attention is a limited resource and the added value of yet another opinion (that isn't accompanied by action) can go down pretty quickly in our line of work.

And on that note I bid you all good-night! Thanks for the chat! 🦉

@cwebber @HerraBRE Ha well it depends on the institution in question, but I understand the sentiment.

That said, I do believe collaboration to improve is generally preferable. I’m the context of the web, that’s how we’ve gotten here.

Suggesting to remove js from the process is counter to how we got all of the cool stuff we use today. It’s just nonsensical.

@herrabre @Are0h @cwebber I generally ignore sites that require JS or cookies to work. Keep your trackers, cryptominers, brute force attacks, etc. to yourself. Not to mention the digital tons of really, really crappy JS :)

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