Anti-anti-javascript

Mark talks about accessibility:

Dynamic menus with Javascript? Ho hum. Dynamic menus that validate and are based on real UL and LI tags and degrade gracefully all the way down to Lynx? Now you’re talking

Now, I don’t think that that is meant to sound like an anti-Javascript rant, because Mark’s a smart chap and knows fine well that it’s entirely possible to use JS to enhance pages without making it vital for navigation or anything. But it sounds like it, and it worries me that lots of people will forswear using Javascript optimisations because “Mark doesn’t like them and he wrote Dive Into Accessibility“. I hold up my own aqTree2, which converts a structure made of “real UL and LI tags” into an explorer-style expand-collapse menu, if you’ve got Javascript turned on. If you haven’t, it leaves it as the accessible structure that it is. I also ought to note that, good as Eric Meyer’s CSS menus are, you can’t do what aqTree2 does in CSS, because you can’t have more than one active thing on a page — someone did try and do the expand-collapse thing on hover rather than on click, and it wasn’t good. I’m the first to admit that relying on Javascript to make a page navigable is bad. If my scripts make pages somehow inaccessible I’d like to hear about it and will endeavour to fix them. But until then I wish people wouldn’t tar all Javascript with the same brush, the one that dragged through all the IE-only-coders and the fancy-menus-with-no-point-coders and the javascript-pseudo-protocol-coders (My defence of a few uses of the javascript: pseudo-protocol to work around IE bugs) before it got to me. ——-

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