AEA Chicago 2009: JavaScript Will Save Us All

Day 2 and Session 7 of An Event Apart Chicago 2009 was Eric Meyer demonstrating how important JavaScript has become and will be.

Javascript libraries

  • fixing what doesn’t work in old browsers (IE7/IE8.js)
  • pushing the envelope of new features (e.g. modernizr)
  • Bluff – graphing (HTML5/canvas)
  • Processing.js – replace Java, etc. w/o plugin

Keep it Accessible: make sure there’s fallback

  • JavaScript is not just a barrier, way of punching through the barriers
  • video: javascript that adds keyboard support to flash videos

What can we do?

  • support for autofocus/required input attributes (html5)
  • input types in html5 (unsupported fallback to text input)
  • scan tables to pass to bluff for graphing


  • means we don’t have to wait for browser makers or standards bodies
  • speeds up the evolution of the web
  • payoff for years of web standards evangelism


Doesn’t it cause a problem to use a toolkit to solve a problem that will later be solved:
simple to just cut out a piece of JS when it’s no longer needed
What happens when JS isn’t there?
make sure it’s progressive enhancement
still > relying on plugins