Excessive Enhancement: JavaScript’s Dark Side

Are we being seduced by the animation and rich UI capabilities of modern browsers at the expense of the underlying platform of the Web?

The Web has entered a new phase in its evolution: The proliferation of a JavaScript enabled audience with increased processing grunt in their devices, better and more ambitious JavaScript developers, and users with an appetite for sophisticated experiences, all seem to be helping to move the web in a rich and exciting direction.

Good developers understand about graceful degradation, progressive enhancement, unobtrusive JavaScript and the like, so why are we seeing big companies building web offerings with little apparent thought for their impact on the Web?

We’ll explore this by looking at what the Web was, is now, and might become. We’ll look at examples of exciting user interfaces and sophisticated interactions. We’ll also examine some emerging techniques for providing rich user interactions without hurting the web or killing kittens.

Phil Hawksworth, Technical Director, R/GA

Phil began his career building web applications for financial institutions such as Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, and the London Stock Exchange in the late nineties. A focus on web architectures and real-time data delivery lead Phil to a variety of web development roles with particular attention to emerging front-end development techniques and JavaScript application development.

After several years working on web applications and consulting on web best practices at technology companies such as Verisign, VMware and BT, Phil made the move into the agency world where he managed development teams and architected solutions on projects for clients including of eBay, Sony and BP.

Phil Hawksworth is a Technical Director at R/GA and enjoys talking about himself in the third person.

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