Then there was the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches."
Those who have no choice
- Web TV devices
- Corporate restrictions
- Screen Readers/Accessibility devices
Most of these are a secondary means of browsing the web (excluding the accessibility devices which are a requirement for those with disabilities). While your at work, you could be browsing in a restricted environment; Those using handhelds are probably not using them as there primary source for browsing the web.
Is it really just a matter of ethics
I think ethics drives the decision to degrade more than business benefits. Acceptance from your peers, fear of being called out for not practicing what your preaching, or judgement passed on your talent as a web developer are all reasons some choose to degrade. There are also those of us who do it just because we can, or we choose to do so as a learning experience.
I recently blogged about Particletree and their Treehouse publication. Ryan published an article entitled “The Hows and Whys of Degradable Ajax” explaining the method they used to ensure all of their users would have a flawless experience.
While working on Particletree's shopping cart system for our magazine, we decided that we wanted to create a flawless user experience for all users without having to sacrifice the added user interface benefits provided by Ajax goodness.
Should you degrade
I’ll leave that answer up to you, but you should probably ask yourself a few questions first.
- Do the business benefits outweigh the cost in time, money and sanity?
Recapping the finer points
- Statistics are skewed
- Ethics play a role in degradation
- The Importance of Degrading Gracefully
- The Hows and Whys of Degradable Ajax
Update: [Ryan has responded][rr] and there is also a discussion taking place at Particletree.
Update Again: [Jeremy Keith][jka] has responded as well.