To script, or not?

Basic Javascript

Javascript is a computer scripting language, created at Netscape Corporation to add spice to their Netscape 2 webbrowser at the dawn of the Browser Wars around the end of the twentieth century. It has since been adopted by others and standardized and put to use in different environments, and is known to run mission-critical functions at power stations.

But as so many good things, Javascript can be employed for bad purposes. Useless popup windows are an example. Disabling Javascript on all sites is however not a measured solution. Unless pressing circumstances dictate otherwise, Javascript should be enabled by default and only turned off for malevolent sites—sites which you specifically tell the browser to treat with suspicion. The web has changed and will change again, but presently, 2009, the general climate is still worthy of this level of trust.

How to benefit

When Javascript is enabled, sites may use clever loading techniques to speed up browsing, dynamic menus to save space, etc. Javascript could even tell you which of the following pages is applicable to your situation:

Learn how to enable or disable Javascript in…

If it may be of any help in determining your browser and operating system, a serverside PHP script reveals your browser as CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/). This information is the so-called user agent string, which every browser sends with every request to a server. Scripts should not draw any conclusions from this data, as it can easily be spoofed to fool a website into thinking another browser is making the request, but if you trust your own machine, it may be of some help.