Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Activist.js?
- Activist.js is a library which attempts to provide resilience for
websites without cooperation from visitors, browsers, or the
network. It does this by caching a script when visitors access your
server, which will make additional attempts to access content when
the server cannot be directly reached.
- Which browsers does Activist.js support?
- Activist.js supports all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox,
and Internet Explorer. A full matrix of expected behavior is
maintained on our
- Why is this a thing?
- The mechanisms that Activist.js uses to cache content were designed
for accessing websites when the user is offline, and are used by
some large websites, like Google Docs and Wunderlist. Due to their
design, these mechanisms have been difficult to retrofit onto sites
which are not designed for them. Activist.js provides a minimally
invasive drop-in solution for adding an Application Cache fall-back
to most websites without additional server-side support.
- How does it work Technically?
- Activist.js works by instructing the browser to only cache three
resources for your site: The script with logic for how to handle
failures, a fallback page the browser loads when a failure occurs,
and a blank page which invokes the caching process that is included
on pages your users visit. One of the hard parts of integrating the
HTML5 Application Cache mechanism is that the page which includes
the manifest tag to configure the cache is implicitly cached itself,
this means that an extra page is required, or your real content will
be cached and visitors may unexpectedly see out of date content.
- What about first-time visitors?
- In the long term, we believe that this issue can be mitigated
through a more robust name resolution protocol, a lessened set of
issues with fetching content indirectly that will come with widened
adoption of SSL, and more agressive attempts to load content by
browsers. In the short term, we're looking at ways to make the URLs
on your page include the logic of Activist.js. We believe that
more robust URLs can be created in a way that is still largely
recognizable, but can be loaded even with some forms of server
disruption. You can follow our efforts on building resilient URLs
- What else can I do?
- We are working to create web standards which make it easier to
accomplish the same goals that are accomplished by Activist.js.
You can join our
mailing list to stay up-to-date on these issues,
and to help advocate for an Internet that is free of disruption.