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JimmyP says

Does Theme Forest have a policy when it comes to approving/disapproving templates dependent on whether or not the template complies with web standard? What I mean is, would you accept a layout done completely in tables? (If so, this worries me)

Also, what’s the ‘policy’ on JavaScript degradability – Do the reviewers insist upon it, or do they just turn a blind eye?

Many buyers don’t know any better and so will buy good-looking templates even if the underlying code is ** (excuse my french), so IMO the responsibility falls on the authors to ensure web standards and best coding practices are upheld. Am I right?

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segen says

Yeah, You’re completely right. But…

I think tables are out of question here even though I have seen some templates done in tables and I guess some reviewers must have slipped that, i don’t know.

Asking from someone to build a full working web standards based template with degrading JS for 10$-15$, I don’t know? I’ve seen some people have done it here.

Btw. what are Web standards? How many des/dev know how to correctly build a website to web standards. There have been a lot of discussion on how web standards should be understood. It’s not about supporting all browsers and making the site look the same in IE6 and FF, it’s something beyond that. To built such site takes a lot of time and thinking and not everybody knows how to do that.

I think the best thing we have on TF is that all templates should be CSS only and that we have these browser compatibility options and valid layout. That’s something that counts for a regular customer.

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danharper says

Degrading Javascript IMO , is a must for any template. It doesn’t take long to do.

And using tables is a big no (both for me, and for site rules I believe).

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JimmyP says

I understand that complying to web standards can take a lot of effort and discipline (and time) but that doesn’t mean it should be disregarded as some type of luxury.

If the authors here really believe that the price of templates makes it not-worth-it then ThemeForest is not heading in the direction I originally hoped for.

As for degrading JavaScript, it’s really not hard if you know what you’re doing.

The problem is, with new JS libraries available (such as jQuery), authors are just adding in ‘cool’ effects which look nice to potential buyers but, if a buyer is unfortunate enough to fall victim to one of the non-degradable templates here their users will be the ones to suffer in the end – the authors of these templates will continue to create websites in that incorrect fashion since it gets them what they want… money! Nobody will learn!

The question of whether it’s right to create degradable / progressively enhanced templates is clear-cut – there’s really no argument against it… other than time/money perhaps.

I’m not being elitist but if an author has insufficient knowledge about the underlying technologies of web design/development and especially the industry standards that govern the development then that author doesn’t really deserve to make money off their templates. They’re in fact taking advantage of the average buyer’s ignorance!

I know what I want and what I hope Theme Forest wants will never be reality but I just hope that it’s taken on board by a few people, not just authors but buyers as well, in fact, especially the buyers; for it is the buyers who are currently falling victim to this plague of laziness/ignorance.

This is how I feel… :)

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segen says

Calling buyer a victim only because he/she doesn’t know anything about degrading JS is not a good choice. For authors it should be no problem to degrade JS but if early mentioned popular jQuery is an option for Your design, why not include it?

Quality is at it’s level and it should continue to grow, but we should also think about TF marketing and profitability and individual authors profitability.

Coding to standards is impossible at the time.

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jremick Envato team says

In my opinion degrading JavaScript is an added feature. I compare it to the idea of PHP . If your template requires PHP to function properly then the buyer needs to be aware of that. If your template requires JavaScript to function properly (because it doesn’t include degrading JavaScript) then it’s the buyers responsibility to be aware of that.

These days, everyone has JS so it’s not that big of a deal in my opinion. The internet is a capitalist market. If there are people selling more templates than you and saving extra time by not including degrading JavaScript and buyers aren’t asking for it, don’t attack those authors.

You have to keep in mind too that a lot of the authors here are new to building web templates and are learning as they go. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to make a profit off a functional template just because their JS doesn’t degrade.

Just my 2 cents.

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JimmyP says

@Segen, I understand where you’re coming from but what’s all this pessimism? “Coding to standards is impossible at the time”... Impossible? You really think that?

@xmdsys, You’re absolutely right about JavaScript being an added feature. :) It should be used to enhance the user’s experience… But your position on who’s responsibility it is seems quite unfair – the buyer should have confidence that each author has dedicated enough time and effort to each of their templates so that stuff like JavaScript degradability is not an issue for them.

I’ve seen a lot of chatter about this in the past, on forums, IRC etc. and the most common and IMO the most feeble counter-argument is that “everyone has JavaScript enabled” – Sorry for my harsh response but I can say with absolute confidence that you’re 100% wrong! Statistics (src: http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp) show that 5% of users DO NOT HAVE JAVASCRIPT available to them (as of Jan’08), whether it be because of lack of browser capability, their choice, or a firewall is largely irrelevant because at the end of the day those users will not be able to experience the function of the website a buyer has made using what I see as a faulty template.

Being new to building templates should have nothing to do with it – being new to web development on the other hand probably is a big factor but again, why should the buyer have to suffer because of an authors lack of knowledge? Why should this author get money?

“That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be allowed to make a profit off a functional template just because their JS doesn’t degrade.” – If their JS does not degrade then their template will not be “functional” for quite a few people!

I have no idea what you were talking about with “PHP”, if a template needs PHP then that buyer can, if they want, install PHP on their server. BUT , if a template “requires JavaScript” the buyer has no control, he/she cannot go to every single user and ask them to have JavaScript enabled. (Plus, many people who don’t have JS available to them have NO choice!)

Most cases are okay to be honest, but some of the templates of here simply do not work without JS being available – you can’t even see the content on some of them! (Among the obvious usability/accessibility issues it’s a big SEO risk!)

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segen says
@Segen, “Coding to standards is impossible at the time”... Impossible? You really think that?

I was thinking about approving only items coded to standards.

btw. You’re talking so much about degrading JS and Your fresh added template is not working when js turned off (header slides). This was just a note :)

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danharper says
I was thinking about approving only items coded to standards. btw. You’re talking so much about degrading JS and Your fresh added template is not working when js turned off (header slides). This was just a note :)

Actually, his template is degrading gracefully. There really is no alternative for the sliding header. And it’s a lot better than if the images just appeared under each other.

One of the main reasons for modern techniques is to increase accessibility. Not gracefully degrading your Javascript is going completely against that.

Authors spend all this time ensuring the site looks right in IE6 , so I’m sure they can spare a few moments to fix up the Javascript.

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JimmyP says

@segen, you don’t know what I mean by JavaScript degradability, do you?

Obviously it’s not going to work – but the controls (added via JavaScript) are no longer there (hence, degradability) – the site is totally operable, viewable and usable when the user does not have JS available.

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