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Js;dr = JavaScript Required; Didn’t Read (tantek.com)
12 points by franze on Mar 22, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

Not everyone surfs the web with Lynx. Whilst I understand the need for websites to stand the test of time and be "curlable", there are still many 'appy' websites out there that fall back to plain HTML when we need it. I'm a big fan of archival services like Pinboard which I have been running now for 3-4 years under an archival account ― it has terabytes of raw HTML data that I can peruse at any time and do a full text search for any page. The bulk of those pages are very JS dense pages that somehow, through some wizardry on the site's backend; have managed to preserve some text for me to read. GoogleBot struggled with this not so long ago, but can now crawl fragmented URIs with a hashbang in them, as if the page was a normal HTML page. I suspect GoogleBot is a stripped down Chrome that renders the page and does a scrape. Infact GoogleBot has been proven to execute JS. SEO and search aside, there is (hopefully) some server black magic that detects browsers like Lynx and then serves us some 'neckbeard text'. Webapps which are not doing that are probably not worth your time anyway.Also noteworthy:


Also, there are great proposals by the W3C to get webapps working without the need for JS. A lot of the behavior you see now in webapps could be done with simple HTML tags.

It's not just Lynx users. I surf the web with NoScript (a FireFox extension to block java script on a per-domain basis, the sake of security). That also enforces "js; dr". Some pages show absolutely no content unless you allow JS from their domain, and perhaps others. I often don't bother; just back button out of there and go somewhere else.

Yeah but adblockers, noscript, and other privacy plugins break the web. As such, they are not a magic bullet. Many of these plugins are well intentioned, but only address the problem at a surface level. I like to surf the web with no addons. By "surf" I mean properly surf and having hundreds of tabs open. I want to see a page the way the site author intended it to be, untainted by plugins. A lot of the privacy issues you see in browsers are fingerprinting issues related to useragent strings, cookies, and IPsec (or lack thereof). This is trivial to address with VMs, VPNs, and private sessions.

Thanks. I'll be sure to post this for websites that won't show anything with NoScript on.

ironic since the language used to retrieve this immortal data you speak of, will be javascript

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