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I was trying to access a particular website in the wayback machine, but it looks like it's completely broken because it's React-based and some of the key JavaScript wasn't archived. As a result, the site doesn't load at all - it's an entirely blank page.

Starting to worry about how many pages are going to end up like this. JS-free fallbacks aren't just about people who turn JS off in their browsers!

@misty I don't have noscript on this browser, it seems, but I wonder how sites like this search.lib.umich.edu/articles? which are built primarily with Javascript will work in these kinds of cases too... It was a trend I saw at the Big Ten Academic Alliance library conference.

@platypus @misty In the meantime it looks like most bots *can* do JavaScript :(

But accidents like this do and will happen, alas.

@saper @platypus @misty javascript perhaps, but are they also archiving whatever data the JS pulls down from the backend service? then I guess the archive bot would need to wait until all that's loaded and *then* scrape the HTML?

it's a bit of a weasel phrase to say "accidents like this do and will happen" when this is the technology (fat client webapps) under criticism functioning properly.

@wrl @platypus @misty I think the problem is to replicate browser behaviour exactly. It can be complicated to figure out which JS should still be loaded. Probably impossible to do properly until a fully-blown rendering engine like Gecko is used.

I am fully with you guys that this is wrong. I believe that webpages should be simple and downloadable.

In the meantime though tools like GoogleBot learned JavaScript to deal with this... sad, but that is adjustment to reality, alas.

@misty
The web was supposed to be data-only; Javascript was a mistake.

@misty I suspect that the people drinking the React Kool-Aid either don't know or don't care about the Wayback Machine.

@misty Building on a blank canvas seems so unwebby it gives me goosebumps… a shame all these frameworks didn’t default to SSR first.

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