From IndieWeb

photo of page 88 of “Inclusive Design Patterns” by Heydon Pickering (October 2016) quoting from Tantek’s js;dr post: “If it’s not curlable, it’s not on the web.”

js;dr is JavaScript required; Didn’t Read.

Pages that are empty without JS: dead to history (archive-org), unreliable for search results (despite any search engine claims of JS support, check it yourself), and thus ignorable. No need to waste time reading or responding.

Also known as, if it’s not curlable, it’s not on the web.


There are also many stages at which JavaScript may not load on a page, as documented in this flow chart:

  • Everyone has JavaScript, right?

    Your user requests your web app

    Has the page loaded yet?

    “All your users are non-JS while they're downloading your JS” — Jake Archibald

    Did the HTTP request for the JavaScript succeed?

    If they're on a train and their net connection goes away before your JavaScript loads, then there's no JavaScript.

IndieWeb Examples

  • Aaron Parecki lost the 1999 version of his website, and archive.org only has the front page because many pages were hidden behind Javascript popup window links.
  • Smallest Federated Wiki (software). Not sure how inherent its js;dr is; maybe possible to write a non-js;dr theme/client?

Dead To History Examples

Examples of js;dr sites that failed to be archived in the Internet Archive, subsequently died, and thus all their content is dead to history.


Readability was js;dr:

In case you ever wondered how data loss thanks to “JavaScript required” looks like… screenshot of archive.org snapshot of Readability site missing content

(Screenshot showing Readability with "Loading Readlists..." but no actual content due to js;dr).

check examples below

Check out the Web Content and Unsorted examples below for more that may be failing to be archived, and document them here in new subsections!

In Print

This book will last longer than your javascript:


"@nitox I've been handing these out." @andrew November 27, 2019 hand holding a pile of outline-cut 'js;dr' stickers, black text on a white background

Web Content Examples

Examples of primarily content-based sites that are js;dr, in other words, have no real excuse other than poor engineering (or paying for poor engineering)

Huffington Post

Huffington Post articles are js;dr as noted https://twitter.com/kevinmarks/status/651165250666938369


The Mill

https://www.themillsf.com/ is a San Francisco based cafe and bakery that serves pizza on Monday nights.

  • Solution: create your own indie venue, and in the link to their own home page, add caveats like "WARNING: Unreadable on some browsers due to Javascript. See js;dr for more."

Open Switch

What should be a very simple content-based website is rendered by Javascript instead. The initial view shows a loading icon which then renders the page after a few seconds.

Security Trap

Articles on securitytrap.com, e.g.:

ironically are empty without JS enabled:

This site requires JavaScript and Cookies to be enabled. Please change your browser settings or upgrade your browser.

As predicted in the js;dr post[1] - that securitytrap.com article is dead to history - the archive.org copy is empty of any content:

Webwewant Mozilla

2014-05-04 @seanparsons: “One that doesn't require Javascript

2016-06-10 @anseljh: “The web I want doesn't need JavaScript to render content, @Mozilla.

Screenshot of https://webwewant.mozilla.org/en/

Shows webwewant.mozilla.org loaded without Javascript, and a mostly blank screen.

2019-06-21 Webwewant.mozilla.org now (since when?) redirects to mozilla.org


https://webmaker.org displays no content without Javascript, as the entire content of the page is loaded from Javascript.

Apple Podcasts Connect Help

Apple's Podcasts Connect Help documentation is js;dr for no good reason. Just content with a tree navigation sidebar, totally doable in HTML+CSS.

However at least they tell you in dozens of languages that:

To see this page, you must enable JavaScript.

Except that one third from the bottom, looks like someone was slacking:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing JavaScript.

Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing


Suunto’s product support pages, e.g. https://www.suunto.com/en-us/Support/Product-support/suunto_smart_sensor/suunto_smart_sensor/care-and-support/troubleshooting/ (archived) only display a message like:

For full functionality, please enable Javascript.

for nothing more than a static content documentation page.

Free Code Camp

https://www.freecodecamp.org/ shows nothing but an animating loading graphic, a horrible coding example, especially for a site claiming to be a code camp.

It can't even be bothered to have a proper title element lol:

<title data-react-helmet="true"></title>

Their only page that does display without JS is https://www.freecodecamp.org/the-fastest-web-page-on-the-internet which ironically proves the opposite of the point they are trying to make. Start simple, static, and fast like that page, not like their js;dr home page.


craigslist became js;dr on 2021-08-30 with the addition of a full-page obstruction of its content:

“We've detected that JavaScript is not enabled in your browser. You must enable JavaScript to use craigslist.”
For this screenshot a slight transparency has been artificially applied to the #curtain element to show what content it obstructs.


  • ... add other js;dr content-centric examples here, along with suggested workarounds

If it's hosting of someone else's content, add it to the Silo Examples section below.

Government Examples

Government examples are particularly bad, as such sites and content should especially be accessible by a very wide array of devices, operating systems, browser etc. that may or may not support the latest Javascript which will break in a very fragile way.

California COVID dashboard

Silo Examples


Google's Blogspot weblog hosting silo's new (2014 and later?) templates tend to be js;dr, completely unnecessary and undesirable for a content-centric service. E.g. as tweeted: https://twitter.com/parkr/status/651142997564755968


Dropbox file URLs

Dropbox file URLs require loading scripts across multiple domains just to view a simple JPEG:

Google Photos

Google Photos photo post permalinks are js;dr when they should at a minimum actually display the photo:

WT Social

WT.social appears to be 100% js;dr, e.g. https://wt.social/wt/indieweb:

Only default visible text:

Loading... Please enable Javascript

News (or commentary upon) and social network profiles should be serving HTML by default, not depending on JS.

Web App Examples

Google Maps

If you load Google Maps without JS, you get a cheeky error message:

The New Flash

Other (perhaps "artistic") examples which in the 1990s/2000s would have been built and deployed with Flash/SWF, and yet now depend on JS and perhaps other technologies designed to replace many old Flash use-cases.

networkeffect io

The site networkeffect.io when browsed without JS on, says:

To view this website, please enable JavaScript in your browser.

If you do enable JS, and your browser supports whatever JS their site has, you might see a screen like:


Thus elevating WebGL to one kind of "New Flash". (As discovered from https://twitter.com/mcclure111/status/651482137464541184 )

At a minimum the site should have a static text description, with perhaps a static image screenshot of what the WebGL would render by default.

Unsorted Examples

Rando js;dr sites that no one has bothered to further define or document whatever they are or do.


Articles related to js;dr:

Commentary threads:

  • Hacker News

    I surf the web with NoScript (a FireFox extension to block java script on a per-domain basis, the sake of security). That also enforces "js; dr". Some pages show absolutely no content unless you allow JS from their domain, and perhaps others. I often don't bother; just back button out of there and go somewhere else.

  • Reddit

    I am seeing more and more single-page apps that are nothing more than documents, blogs or articles for which relying on JavaScript is not appropriate. Often this breaks down one way or another (back button, stuck "loading" screen, bad formatting).

  • Twitter: comments regarding js;dr and related
    • ... lots of individual tweets, threads, follow-ups


Tweets related to js;dr:

Related Criticism

Criticism sections elsewhere that have some conceptual overlap with the criticisms of js;dr:

See Also