Chris Ashton

dai11y 10/05/2022

Routing: I’m not smart enough for a SPA

I came across this via Anselm Hannemann’s Web Development Reading List. The author, Taylor Hunt, goes into a lot of detail about why they chose a traditional website over a Single Page Application (SPA), for a recent project.

There are a lot of accessibility concerns to consider when building an SPA, including:

  • Restoring scroll positions between navigations
  • Focussing on the last-used element when going ‘back’
  • Focussing on an appropriate element when going ‘forward’
  • And all the other client-side gubbins: back/forward history buttons, double-clicks, timeouts, ‘CMD + Click’, etc…

But the bit that struck me the most was this guideline from the article. We should favour:

  • Security even over accessibility (“downgrading HTTPS ciphers for old browsers isn’t worth letting credit cards be stolen”)
  • Accessibility even over speed (“a fast site for only the able creates inequality, but a slower site for everyone creates equality”).
  • Speed even over slickness (deliver a fast site rather than an unnecessarily fancy one).

The battle of security vs accessibility was something that struck me in my article, I Used The Web For A Day On Internet Explorer 8, where I was faced with the dilemma that certain sites forced TLS 1.1, and my browser was only capable of TLS 1.0. The sites’ security policies made them inaccessible to me, but I had to concede that this was probably the right call.

Did you know that you can subscribe to dai11y, week11y, fortnight11y or month11y updates! Every newsletter gets the same content; it is your choice to have short, regular emails or longer, less frequent ones. Curated with ♥ by developer @ChrisBAshton.