Sitting around shooting the breeze with a group of developers today, someone made a comment about how Ajax just flies in the face of all the web standards wins that we’ve made over the years. This was followed by an assertion that other places — i.e. the private sector — don’t have the same accessibility concerns that we in government and education are saddled with.
I lost it. I’m pretty sure I actually shouted, “STOP!”
One: companies do have the same accessibility concerns, they just don’t admit it. Ask Target if it’s a non-issue for them.
Two: I’ll agree that popular toolkits have a lousy record on the web standards front and are far from unobtrusive — UJS for Rails exists for a reason — but well-done Ajax and DOM scripting is predicated on a foundation of web standards. I’d even go so far as to say that following standards is necessary, at least if you’re writing code the way I want to see it done.
I am, however, on the liberal wacko fringe.