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Chrome for Android may start disabling JavaScript on 2G connections

This week a pull request was made on the Chromium project that, in certain situations, blocks Javascript from loading on 2G connections.

Currently the Gutenberg editor doesn’t work without Javascript; it doesn’t even have a noscript tag.

Chrome for Android may start disabling Javascript on slow connections, which would mean Gutenberg doesn’t work.This may be a non-issue: the suggestion is that there would be an ‘intervention bar’ asking the user if they want to load Javascript for a site so users would be able to make sites work.

But, the whole concept is interesting and gives an idea of how things could evolve in the future. For instance Flash used to be ‘click to play’ and is now being phased out. Of course I don’t think Javascript will be removed – Google use it all over the place – but it is a strong argument for progressive enhancement and not relying too heavily on Javascript.

I think WordPress, the editor, can probably get away with it. Users can install the WordPress app, or allow the Javascript download for the editing experience. But for themers and plugin developers; it’s a good reason to make sure the core reading experience works without Javascript.

Note: I have created a Gutenberg Issue suggesting a noscript tag is added. I think there should be at least a message explaining why the page is blank.

This post first appeared in MasterWP, a weekly newsletter for WordPress professionals.

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Ben View All

Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who also likes to build websites, and develop games. He also buys way too much Lego.

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