Interesting Articles

Saturday January 27th, 2001

Asa Dotzler writes in with pointers to a couple of interesting articles at and He says the Scott Andrews article is definitely worth reading and if you're looking for something of a lower 'slashdot-esque' quality then check out the rant at freshmeat.

#11 Flash, JavaScript and Java rant (Very very long)

by zak

Monday January 29th, 2001 8:33 PM

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This is really a reply to Splodge, but I didn't want it buried on a secondary level. Sue me.

Flash, Java and javaScript are not really appropriate technologies to use outside of the realm of a private site or intranet, where you have a controlled and quantifiable user base.

Firstly Flash - this is proprietary technology, no openness about it at all. Secondly, forces one to be running a graphics-capable browser. Many people run text-based browsers such as Lynx or Emacs-W3. Another bunch of people may have visual impairments and are browsing by way of text-to-speech tech. The resulting output is also non-scriptable - the creator is assuming immediate and absolute human consumption without catering for the possiblity of machine-driven scripts getting it first. On a slightly more fundamental note, Flash can really kill some older hardware.

Javascript has too many differing implementations and also allows remote sites too much access to my information, for example anyone with 2 brain cells and Cut and Paste javascript code can rip emial addresses from your browser via javascript code. Several js-related security issues have been discovered, go and look at the Bugtraq archives if you don't believe me. I am pretty security conscious, which is my prime reason for disabling javascript. I applaud the fact that the latest Mozilla milestones all seem to have had js disabled by default.

Java is fairly OK compared to the two afore-mentioned horrors, but in my experiance badly-writen java app(lets)s have tended to kill my browser and/or machine, or not behaved well (ie not dying when I kill them etc). For my own sanity java is disabled in my browser too.

Now, the article itself: Scott Andrews is right with a number of points, notably that IE hasn't won yet and that we mustn't throw in the towel. However, he is dead wrong about jumping forward to the post-4.x browsers only. That is exactly not what is required. It is precisely that sort of thinking that has (helped) lead us to where we are now: struggling to win back browser share from a company who until a few years ago didn't even know there *was* an internet, and didn't care anyway.

Sheesh - enough of a rant - it's 5:35 am and I need to try and get some sleep ;-)