How I Became That Guy / The JavaScript Twofer

I’ve set as a basic test visiting sites under test without JavaScript enabled, without Flash enabled, and without cookies enabled. It was a bit of an exercise for me, because who would visit the Web with JavaScript enabled?

Well, suddenly, that’s me.

I was running an old version of Safari on my iPhone because my client required a lot of backward compatibility testing. I don’t do a lot of processing on my phone, but I do a lot of reading, and suddenly Safari was crashing all the time. It was the ad content JavaScript, and once I turned it off, I could read on my phone again.

I’ve since updated the phone, but I’ve kept the JavaScript off because the pages load faster (if at all) and I’m using less data.

Which means I see all sorts of bad behavior. Not just counting unresponsive forms, but sites completely failing to load because they’re doing something JavaScript before page load with no alternative.

So I’ve set one of my browsers to block JavaScript by default just to see what happens when I hit a new test site. A lot of the time, I encounter something weird and start to log a defect before I realize nothing’s working because I have JavaScript disabled.

So I log a bug to indicate that the page should display a message in this case. That’s the first part of the two-fer.

Then, nine times out of ten, I retest and close that issue and open a new one to capitalize JavaScript correctly. Although I’m pretty clear in the defect, the developers type Javascript. All. The. Time. The JavaScript Disabled message is two bugs in one.

I’ve read memes and jokes on the Internet and Twitter that people who don’t use JavaScript are like vegans and CrossFit people and must tell everyone. Apparently, with this post, I have become that guy.

Oh, and I look forward to the first through one hundredth times I have to log a bug about capitalizing CrossFit correctly.

(Meanwhile, while we’re on the topic of JavaScript, also read Maybe we could tone down the JavaScript.)

One Response to “How I Became That Guy / The JavaScript Twofer”

  1. Tom Kyle Says:

    I recently had the “pleasure” of troubleshooting a *server side* JS problem. You see, it isn’t good enough to cram JS down to the user’s browser, oh no, we must first BUILD the JS on the server side into a cache. And then the minification and the poking with soft cushions, of course.

    Oh, but of course we aren’t just building OUR OWN .js files, we saved time on our application (and reduced supportability!) by stitching together forked and/or old and moldy versions of other projects. Some of which are encoded in ASCII, others in UTF-8, ISO-8859-1, and possibly EBCDIC. Throw in a web server with opcode caching, and have fun when Developer Tools simply say “App.init not defined.”

    As you can imagine, the dudes with MacBook Pros had to be called in, and were initially very skeptical that Internet Explorer still existed. The culprit turned out to be a required PHP module, APC, that encoded some things incorrectly and produced some magnificent corruption.

    So, all in all, a pretty common method for building a project. But it certainly increases the complexity when troubleshooting production issues…


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