Do We Leave The 20 Percent?

As we contemplate all of the improvements we want to make to the EzineArticles membership interface in 2008, a huge majority of the features requires AJAX features that would significantly add a lot of value to 80% of our users who have javascript enabled…at the expense of the minority of members who don’t have it enabled.

Essentially, our interface has been dumbed down to the lowest common tools to be usable by the widest audience possible. If we were a brand new site without any legacy concerns (like supporting odd browsers or users without javascript enabled), we’d make the decision to leave them behind and only focus on a membership base that uses ‘current’ tools.

Your thoughts? We’re all about usability but we’re at odds with not being able to take the next leap with AJAX functionality knowing that it’ll essentially break the user interface for ‘old’ members who have javascript disabled.

One solution: Detect if a user has javascript turned on; if so, feed them the AJAX improved interface; if not, feed them the current interface as it is now. The problem: There is a 1-2% of users that may be using browser plug ins or other mysterious things that will cause us to wrongly identify their javascriptness or lack thereof.

What to do?



Ohhh… you know Chris all the trouble I had figuring out RSS? I was finally able to figure it out with your help.. but if I hadn’t had that I might not have ever pursued it further.

If you change stuff I just hope there will be support. I am an artist first and my mind plays well on the right side.. Left side stuff might leave me out in the cold.



Comment provided December 30, 2007 at 2:31 PM



Humm… I have mine enabled, because nearly every site I go to nowadays has started using it for something – DIGG and Technorati have it now too. I like the idea of browser detect and redirect appropriately.

If you add a link or something that says, “If you can’t view this page properly, click here” that would take care of the 1-2% that aren’t able to be detected properly, wouldn’t it?

I’m excited to see all the new changes coming for the New Year!

Comment provided December 30, 2007 at 2:50 PM


Jim writes:

I’ll ditto what Michy says.

That 20% will eventually have to get in the 21st century.

Maybe a notification period to allow all to get up to speed.


Comment provided December 30, 2007 at 3:31 PM


Crystal writes:

I’m with Michy and Jim. Giving site visitors notice would make the change easier for many. Also, emphasize benefits of the new system to catch the fence-riders.

As for losing authors/publishers…who knows how many potential authors/publishers have bypassed because it uses “old-fashioned” technology? To say, some will be attracted to the new-ness that turns others away…it may balance out.

Looking forward to the updates/improvements, whatever form they take :)


Comment provided December 30, 2007 at 7:46 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Well, I think I would like to wish Everyone a Happy New Year!

Comment provided December 31, 2007 at 4:36 AM



Thanks for asking for our input Chris. I am new to ezine, but as for this situation I feel that the 1-2% of users that may be using browser plug ins or other mysterious things that will cause us to wrongly identify their javascriptness or lack thereof. is acceptable. Perhaps the answer would include a notification be posted for authors explaining the benefits of having the browsers javascript enabled. In addition to the benefits explaination, perhaps a downloadable pdf file “tutorial for enabling javascript” would help. I am excited about the changes. Thanks.

Comment provided December 31, 2007 at 7:55 PM



If you saw the movie “Baby Boom”, remember the part where Diane Keaton’s well runs dry to an old farm house she purchased. Diane Keaton falls to the ground in the snow in complete frustration, after saying,

“I just want water, I don’t care where its coming from!”

When I post on My Space, my blogs or just about anywhere else that I personally use, I can just copy, paste and it works. I don’t have to learn some other program, all I need do is cut, paste and click submit.

So now the discussion on EA’s blog is Javascript? and forgetting about the 20%, if that is indeed the #…. no way for you to ‘really’ know that, is there? I feel that I will probably be within that 20%. That makes me so sad and like Diane Keaton I have to say,

“I just want to post my articles, I don’t care how the company publishes it.”

I am having so many problems with what you have now. Did I hate before? Having to add all those brackets around br to make my poetry line up? Oh yes! But right now? I have two pending articles that cannot post because everything double spaces on its own. I have one other that was published that double spaced that I guess slipped by.

So at the risk of sounding stupid and stuck in the 21rst Century, out of the loop, old fashioned, within that 20%? I guess I am.

I love EzineArticles or I would not bother commenting on its blogs and choosing EzineArticles first for anything I write.

I just want to post my articles… simply.

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 12:38 PM


Carl Pruitt writes:

The times are changing fast and people need to change with them. I’m surprised the number of people behind the times is as much as 20%.

The basics of the user end of today’s technology aren’t that hard to grasp. My experience is that most of those around me who don’t grasp it are just “stuck in their ways” and could grasp it if they would really try.

Comment provided January 1, 2008 at 10:24 PM


Jorge Chavez writes:

Hey, 1-2% inconvenienced is better than 20% lost!

Go for it!

And just because javascript is enabled doesn’t mean that you HAVE TO use it, right? Plain ol’ articles should still go through, right?

So it’s a win-win as I see it, an “and”, not an “either-or” from the writers point of view…

And your quick detect software is a good way to accomodate the viewers/readers who need it.

Technology marches on and you have to keep up or get left behind… 1-2% attrition would be an acceptable trade-off for the new worlds of readers you would open…

Jorge Chavez

Comment provided January 18, 2008 at 2:39 PM


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