In one of those beautifully lucky moments, I found an article I was wishing I had kept track of last night. I was chatting with Chuck and Matt a week ago about the pervasion of script in web pages these days and how hardly anything degrades reasonably. For years, I refused script entirely but, now, I have fallen victim to the trend. “Everybody has script enabled anyway. Mashups are inevitable. They want AJAX. Just script it.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t still want to use ELinks deep down.

So, I read one of those articles a while back where you feel a little bump and realize someone has lighted the path – with the best kind of light, showing the unnoticed obviousness. It’s like observing that HTTP actually works pretty well when you use it as carefully built, ten years after working around it furiously. It’s like noticing that really ugly (well structured, unstyled) web pages take the most beautiful CSS easily.

But I lost the article. And my recollection didn’t do it justice or support the point that you can script the snot out of a page without breaking Lynx. Then I read the Thread on Safari support in Sakai, mentioning Yahoo! Graded Browser Support. And something snapped; I thought this may have been where I found the article…

The article was on Hijax.

This is a cute name Jeremy Keith came up with for an approach to adding AJAX magic without breaking the basic function of web pages. It’s more or less a philosophical first principle of modern web development. You should read this article daily and soak it in like the Tao. -NB

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04 August 2009