[erlang-questions] Two beautiful programs - or web programming made easy

Richard O'Keefe ok@REDACTED
Tue Feb 15 04:24:26 CET 2011

I just ran into trouble with a couple of "smart" pages today,
including one hosted at this very University (but not a science department).
In both cases I was seriously searching for information, on behalf of
someone else having a fairly pressing need for it.
In both cases, what *could* have been a simple static page linking to a
bunch of other static pages went through an unholy mix of Javascript
and SQL, and ended up spewing buggy SQL over my screen instead of useful

Heck, one of these was even a cross-site-scripting bug.
(Page here has Javascript that creates 'whatever?at=code, accessed at
<some date>' in a link, user clicks on harmless text of link, server
at other end trusts blindly, crashy time.)

Javascript *can* be used competently to do wonderful things.
But not for the 2-10% of visitors using browsers with Javascript
support missing or switched off.
And WebSockets will be used competently to do wonderful things.
But not for the [27% to 70% depending on who you ask] of visitors
using Internet Explorer.

We shouldn't fall into the trap of "one page sites".
(See http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/26.34.html#subj8 )

If you are providing information through the Web and it does not
get communicated, you have *failed*, no matter how wonderful the
experience might have been had it worked.

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