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April Update – JavaScript Framework

April Update – JavaScript Framework

What is JavaScript Framework?

JavaScript framework is an application framework written in JavaScript. It differs from a JavaScript library in its control flow: a library offers functions to be called by its parent code, whereas a framework defines the entire application design. A developer does not call a framework; instead it is the framework that will call and use the code in some particular way. Some JavaScript frameworks follow the model–view–controller paradigm designed to segregate a web application into orthogonal units to improve code quality and maintainability.

Here is the link for the popular Wiki article.

JavaScript frameworks

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January JavaScript update

January JavaScript update

As web professionals are undoubtedly aware, many changes are happening with JavaScript these days. Yes, there is a fair amount of churn in frameworks employed on various projects. We did ask the question (some time ago) – are we relying too much on JavaScript? Regardless of your opinion about that question, we need to be aware that major changes are happening to core JavaScript as well. ES6/ ES2015 (ECMAScript 6) is the latest version making its way into browsers near you (and many other places). For those who have been working with web technologies for quite a while, you may recall that ES5 was released in 2009. Yes, nearly a decade ago. (more…)

Are we relying too much on JavaScript?

As you know, we are big proponents of accessibility. We believe that content should be available to anyone at any time on any device. As 2016 draws to a close, it has become apparent that many web pages rely heavily on JavaScript (and associated frameworks). It would appear the pendulum has swung away from semantic markup towards dynamic/ generated content.

Concerns

One nagging question keeps coming to my mind – are we preventing access for some (because of reliance on these frameworks)? Although anecdotal, I ran various websites I use on a daily basis through the Functional Accessibility Evaluator (and similar tools). Some received scores as low as 29 (out of 100) resulting in automated comments such as “accessibility was not considered in the design of the website.”

Taking this one step further, I turned off JavaScript in my browser (Chrome in this case). Some of the sites I use on a daily basis (for example my school email) were rendered useless (I did receive a message that JavaScript needed to be activated and if I had problems, I could always use Internet Explorer). Similarly, the learning management system used predominantly at my school was not functional without JavaScript. As I understand, not all assistive technologies fully embrace JavaScript. This would seem to be a problem.

Let’s discuss further

I am not trying to point a finger at specific sites, I seek a broader understanding of the current state of web development. This begs the question – what has happened to graceful degradation? Are we relying too much on JavaScript? As we support web professionals (and aspiring web professionals), we seek to begin a discussion on this topic. Are we making the WWW less inclusive as we rely more on frameworks and content management systems? Have we overlooked something important? We look forward to your comments and insights.

Best always,

Mark DuBois

Community Evangelist and Executive Director