17/365, ‹noscript›

This is day seventeen of my attempt to write something, anything, every day for 365 days in a row.

I remember watching Tomorrows World in 1994 when they introduced the World Wide Web as the Information Superhighway. I was only a child at the time and wouldn't have my first taste of access until two years later when as a family we visited the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station.

There they had set up five or so computers as a web-cafe with what was at the time one of the fastest connections to the internet (gigabit internet access in 1996 was rare and restricted to those with deep pockets.) For the record the first website I ever visited was the BBC homepage followed soon after by their children's sub-site.

It took until 1998 when my parents could afford to buy a family computer that I began to have weekly access to the internet via use of a noisy 56k modem; but at 6p/min it was restricted to an hour a week at most.

A combination of not having constant internet access and having to share that hour a week with two sisters resulted in offline viewing being a necessity. Downloading webpages for later reading became the norm but that was ok because most websites at that time where little more than html and a handful of small images and css that was usually included in the page <head>.

The internet today has come a long way since those days but intrinsically the content hasn't changed; its still predominantly text and images except now we find most pages also saturated with JavaScript.

I say it's come a long way, I am unsure if it's actually progress. I use a handful of single page apps almost daily and while they work and are useful they do not compare to a native executable in terms of speed.

However beyond the use-case of single page apps the concept of having JavaScript be required for a website to display or be usable is in my mind ridiculous. It should be used to add to the experience but not be required.