rnd_me, are you aware that HTML 4/XHTML 1 have been around for numerous years now?
Aside from that, I think there is a general difference in the perception of the internet here: There are those people that see the world wide web as a collection of rich internet applications (like rnd_me) and those that see the web as a bunch of websites (like me). And not every website is an “app” that requires rich interaction or offline use or whatever. Let’s take the e-commerce system, for example, from which this discussion actually originated:
I see no reason why JS would be required in current e-commerce systems except for a better shopping experience. Yet, the systems I had tested and/or struggled with relied on JS for the most basic tasks like adding a product to the cart. There is a regular form with a submit button (“add to cart”). The problem there is that the system adds a value from a select option to a hidden input dynamically upon clicking the “add” button and then submits the form. Without JS it would just submit a wrong value or nothing at all. And stuff like this just isn’t necessary. Likewise, the checkout process is disrupted because some more or less fancy show/hide effect doesn’t work and you can’t continue with the checkout. What the hell?
This is what I mean. And this is nothing that would be overly hard to implement if you do it properly before thinking about nice AJAX effects and what not. The same is valid for websites like Facebook or MySpace or even Gmail that basically live through form submissions and the plain display of data. There is nothing that wouldn’t work without JS (at least in a more basic form). In fact, Google is even providing a plain HTML version of their e-mail program but separately from the “rich” version. I would dare to claim, however, that you don’t need to maintain two separate applications, you could even have one version that works without JS which you can then enhance with all these effects and functionality that make it “fun” and “easy” to write e-mails.
Donít click this link!