[kwlug-disc] DuckDuckGo.com -- an alternate search engine

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Jul 27 21:51:50 EDT 2010

Ralph Janke wrote, On 07/27/2010 9:23 PM:
> On July 27, 2010 05:21:09 pm unsolicited wrote:
>> Ralph Janke wrote, On 07/27/2010 4:51 PM:
>>> On 07/27/2010 04:38 PM, unsolicited wrote:
>>>> Ralph Janke wrote, On 07/27/2010 12:32 PM:
>>>>> I am not sure what the resistance against javascript in general is.
>>>> Because it is a hidden black box that history has demonstrated can
>>>> have nefarious elements. 'Nefarious' meaning different things to
>>>> different people. (See Khalid's note.)
>>> Well.. Javascript is exactly not a black box. You can read all the
>>> Javascript that is loaded. Furthermore, Javascript was designed from the
>>> beginning to sandbox your browser (in clear distinction to ActiveX) from
>>> the rest of the computer.
>> Think MUCH bigger.
>> In essence, your comment says that you think every user of every page
>> should pre-review the code before actually displaying the page, to vet
>> that it doesn't do anything nefarious, according to their own definition.
> Sorry, but where do I say that? There is a big difference between something not 
> being a black box and every user looking into openly available source code.
>> Not gonna happen.
>> Practically: This would be like knowing what temperature you like your
>> toast toasted at, and measure the temperature the toaster puts out,
>> adjusting the darkness dial until you get what you want - if you can.
>> Instead, people choose a setting, toast a piece or two, adjust the
>> setting, and eat the toast. Repeat until satisfied. Upon getting
>> REALLY black toast, they toss it and try again (destructive testing) -
>> on a web page, the act of going to a page also means it's too late.
> Sorry, you lost me here. I do not see the relation between one and the other.

The fact that everyone CAN read the code, doesn't mean that everyone 
has the expertise to evaluate what they are reading. To them, and to 
most, it is a black box.

>> There would seem to be two camps: I'll trust the world - (javascript
>> globally enabled, including not even knowing what javascript is and
>> that they can disable it) and they get bitten, and everyone looks at
>> them like they're just stupid; I trust nobody - javascript disabled,
>> for reasons Khalid has well laid out, and functionality decreases,
>> perhaps even to the point wherein the purpose for going to that page
>> can no longer be achieved. [Since I much prefer text only e-mail, no
>> html, I guess I'm well in this latter camp.] And everyone thinks
>> they're just paranoid (even if they're not wrong), and they're just
>> stupid.
> I never talked about unlimited trust.

But you are, given the audience to which javascript is delivered.

> And by the way, you can block javascript 
> dependent of the host it is delivered. Hence, you can make decisions that are 
> far more nuanced that the noscript/all scripts alternatives.

Perhaps so, can, and popularly do, aren't the same thing. To expect 
everyone to do is unreasonable. People shouldn't have to individually 
defend themselves against nefarious use that shouldn't be present in 
the first place.

>> But with search, we just want the text. Perhaps a picture or two. No
>> ads, no refreshes, no anything else ... just GIVE ME THE ANSWER! If we
>> knew they didn't have the answer, we wouldn't have gone there in the
>> first place. And, somehow, not having the answer almost becomes the
>> fault of the page creator. <sigh>
> No. I don't only want text. I want additional functionality like auto-
> completion of web-forms, realtime updates, etc. Only because you do not want 
> to have that, it does not mean that nobody else wants to have that.

You have lost the context - the context of the thread is the search 
page, not the search results. People use a search page to get 
somewhere else. All else, in that context, is irrelevant fluff. And 
the use of javascript, frequently, is just unavoidable irrelevant 
fluff. Thus the vehemence expressed by the contributors of this thread.

No, not all javascript is necessarily bad in a search page, however, 
javascript is sufficiently bad in all other areas in which it is used, 
for people to paint the search page with that same brush.

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