No JS

Yesterday I decided to try something crazy and disabled JavaScript on my phone. The reason for this had more to do with how hot the device would get every time I'd try to visit popular websites than privacy or any other concern that would justify disabling the scripting language. As one would expect, a number of sites stopped working, such as Nice.Social and certain elements on this blog. What was not expected, however, were the number of heavily-trafficked websites that just would not show a single character on the screen without JavaScript. Engadget and The Verge both presented blank pages, which probably shouldn't be that surprising given their parent companies, and so did some of the local news sites that I read, such as The Hamilton Spectator. Other news sites loaded just fine, but were devoid of advertisements, custom fonts and, most interesting of all, warnings about how many articles I've read in the last 30 calendar days.

The experiment ran for just over 30 hours before being put to an end so that I could go back to using Nice on my phone, but there was one other interesting benefit to having JavaScript disabled on the device: the battery life was amazing.

My phone is a 4 year old iPhone 6S that sees a good amount of use every day. Safari is the most commonly used application followed by PocketCasts, Byword, Evernote, and Galaxy on Fire 2. In an average day, I'll see the battery drop from 100% at breakfast time to 80% by lunch, then 70% by dinner, and end up somewhere around 40% by the time I crawl into bed. When JavaScript was disabled, the battery never dropped below 80%. Mind you, I wasn't really "incentivized" to use the device for much beyond listening to podcasts, but it's still interesting to see that the battery is barely touched when JavaScript is disabled in Safari.

Of course, with some of the things I've learned by using the web without JavaScript, there will be new issues recorded into GitHub for me to tackle when time permits. The Anri blogging theme on 10C really should be able to work without any JavaScript, as that was one of my targets. Nice should also have some basic support for people who choose to use the web differently. Given the current workload, I'm not sure when I'll get to these updates, but they will be tended to.