or
ffff0h
feature-request planned
I know I'm the odd one out sometimes in these matters, but I'd like to suggest that the site should be possible to **read** without having Javascript and XmlHttpRequest turned on.

Currently, browsing to https://topanswers.xyz without Javascript and XHR on (for example, using uMatrix in a default-block configuration) results in a completely blank page. The site _looks_ functional, but as if there's nothing there.

Viewing a question having disabled Javascript in the browser results in a wall of unformatted text.

Yes, people in general browse with Javascript-capable browsers and everything turned on; but there is a not-insignificant minority (and I suspect that it's larger among technical people) who have their browsers' ability to run unknown third-party code locked down. By all means use Javascript to _enhance_ the experience, but please make it possible to at least _read_ the site without running Javascript and making extra asynchronous requests to the server.
Top Answer
Jack Douglas
We've taken a few steps in the right direction…

> I know I'm the odd one out sometimes in these matters, but I'd like to suggest that the site should be possible to read without having Javascript and XmlHttpRequest turned on.
>
> Currently, browsing to https://topanswers.xyz without Javascript and XHR on (for example, using uMatrix in a default-block configuration) results in a completely blank page. The site looks functional, but as if there's nothing there.

…you no longer get a completely blank page — you can see questions, answers and even chat, but you do only see the raw markdown. It doesn't look too bad and it is readable enough — but we may go further later on and if we do I'll update this post.

> By all means use Javascript to enhance the experience, but please make it possible to at least read the site without running Javascript and making extra asynchronous requests to the server.

Apart from reading the site, basic navigation should work, and not all of it does right now. This still isn't a major focus but again, we'll update this answer as and when we make more progress on this.
Answer #2
Caleb
Yes please!

This also matters for crawlers and scrapers. Google's crawler can render and parse content on sites that load it via Javascript, but not all crawlers are there.

Progressive enhancement takes a bit of thinking ahead of time to decide what to load when, but in the end it's a good thing. And for those of us that _do_ use Javascript, the experience is usually bettter, not worse, on sites that have done this right.
Please don't assume Javascript
srm
@Caleb You're worried about Bing?! How kind! :-)
Jack Douglas replying to ffff0h
Thinking about it I think we can do better than that — markdown-it has a php fork so we can render server-side for this special case. Honestly I think it will be low on the priorit list for some time though…
ffff0h replying to Jack Douglas
Yes, focusing on allowing reading Q&A without Javascript would work at least for me, though ideally chat should get some love as well. Maybe a starting point (not saying that it would give all the benefit, so more work might be needed, but for something that can be implemented reasonably easily within the existing framework) would be to allow visitors to see a reasonably-formatted Markdown source view, and the question list itself, if they don't have Javascript enabled? I haven't looked at the DOM, but it's possible that for a specific question and answer (as opposed to the question list) that might be as easy as a `<pre></pre>` surrounding the content Markdown, which gets removed by the rendering Javascript.
Jack Douglas
@ffff0h we will definitely give this some thought, but one obstacle is that we render markdown in the browser rather than server-side (SO do both). Presumably it is ok to focus on the Q&A for this, and dispense with chat if javascript is disabled?