Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Browsing without java, javascript or cookies: website tests.

Java and Javascript are registered trademarks of which company?

I must confess I use both java and javascript all the time and I allow most cookies, but I've decided to do some accessibility tests to see whether people not using these two additions can still have a decent web experience.

Please be aware that if you wish to duplicate these tests you may need to clear your cache and refresh certain pages to ensure you are directed to the correct version.

Site 1: http://unlimitedjargon.blogspot.com

I had to start here. The site works perfectly (as it should do), however I will admit that there isn't that much interactive content here, but I still feel happy knowing that people without j/js/cookies can do everything people with it enabled can.

Site 2: http://www.blogger.com

Here the problems begin. Firstly you need cookies enabled to be able to log in. Then I got stuck on a "redirecting" page. Then I got stuck on an "error performing your request page". Somehow I eventually managed to get in, but then you lose the "preview" facility and you can no longer change the posts you want to view (All, drafts or published). That depends on what setting you left it on last time you logged in. You also can no longer view your posts on that page by just clicking on their title, but must select view, which takes you to a separate page.

Overall however, once in, the functionality is not that bad.

Site 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Remarkably, this site seemed to function rather well. You can listen to the radio with almost no problems (if you choose listen in standalone player (realplayer)) and access text areas of the site with no problem at all. However to view video clips requires the use of cookies and javascript, but overall that is pretty good.

Site 4: http://www.cnn.com

To read the articles is generally fine, but anything else and you are stuck. I found you needed java and javascript to view the video content.

Site 5: http://www.msn.com

All the basics are covered. You can read stories, navigate the page and search with virtually no difficultly. Logging in to msn however requires cookies and javscript.

Site 6: http://www.miniclip.com

The drop down list fails as does the main flash item, but the site overall remains very accessible and provided your not trying to access a java game, flash and shockwave games function exactly as they should.

The conclusion from this brief test is as follows:

Browsing without java or javscript or cookies is possible. With these features disabled far fewer adverts appear and pages load faster. The down side is you sacrifice some functionality such as the ability to log in to pages or use certain menus. If you are looking for a no-nonsense web browsing experience or if you are stuck with a slow connection, then it may suit you. If however you want all the web has to offer, I suggest keeping the features enabled. You decide.

Answer: Sun Microsystems



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