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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The annoying thing is that it often takes more work to make your web application incompatible with some browsers! What I mean is, a significant chunk of web applications can and should be done entirely in CGI (or other server side magic). Bill payment, web email, lots of the major stuff. (Even Yahoo! chat has an HTML client, although it's pretty crummy compared to the Java version, the Yahoo standalone version, or GYach.) It's when people want the website to do something "special" that the incompatibilities come in.

    "Special" usually means JavaScript crap. You want to automatically put the cursor in certain fields, rather than leaving that up to the user and his web browser (which will handle it in exactly the way he/she wants). You use JavaScript (and pray the user isn't blind). You want a fancy "please wait" window to pop up when the user clicks "Submit." You use JavaScript. You want to check form data on the client side. That's an irresponsible substitute for server side validation, but you use JavaScript and do it anyway.

    Along the way you adopt IE as your "official" browser, and start sending hate mail to people who complain.

    Notice that none of these features were useful. They're just "special stuff." Junk features that take more time, introduce more bugs, break your application for some browsers, and add nothing. I know that some JavaScript wizardry can be useful at times, but mostly it just seems to be a developer doing "something special" to an otherwise straightforward application and breaking it for me.

    See alsomy previous rant [perl.org] on the subject.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers