faehnri.ch

Escalator Web Development

the most important part of a site should always work

2023-01-07


I'm not a web developer and I know absolutely nothing about design, but I think the actual content of a web site should still be available when things like Javascript or CSS isn't working. I'm calling this escalator web development.

The thought behind this is escalators provide great functionality. They move you up and down, what a great feature! But what if they break? Well, then they're just stairs. They don't have that neat feature, but their core function is still there, to get you up and down floors.

Now consider modern web pages. I have NoScript enabled by default in my browser. More often than not, without Javascript I don't see the main content of the web page. But the Javascript seems to just enable things like dynamic menus or something. The main content of a web site now depends on if you can open a pulldown menu.

Imagine if this was how escalators worked. While they're powered, they give you that great functionality of moving you up and down. But an escalator that worked like a web page, when it lost power and didn't have the extra feature, instead of stairs the steps would slope down becoming a slide you couldn't walk up.

I have an example of a page made with escalator development in mind. My video games list page has a list of games I recommend (not complete, also not the best looking because still not a web developer). With Javascript, I added tags with the ability to select tags you want to filter the list of games on.

Without Javascript, the list of games is still available. The tag buttons aren't displayed because they wouldn't do anything without Javascript. If this page was a typical modern web site, not even the list of games would display, despite being the main reason of the page.

I don't know if this concept was already a thing (again, not a web developer), but I'd like to see it more.