Valentine’s Day Massacre

by Our Gentle Readers

86 Reader Comments

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  1. Big companies paying presumably vast amounts of money to produce websites that:

    i)  are hard to use
    ii)  look convoluted and as if they were designed in 2000
    iii)  use vast amounts of bandwidth for zero reason
    iv)  don’t work in Firefox
    v)  and therefore ask you to ‘upgrade’ your browser to IE

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  2. When doing a search for certain types of information, a large proportion of the results are simply mirrors of what would be considered to be the master reference, causing the already large result list to be bloated even further.
    Javadoc sites are particularly bad for this.
    For example, do a search on ‘HttpServletRequest’ and the first 2 pages of results probably only contain 3 unique hits.
    Maybe it’s time for some meta tag that can be added to a site to indicate that it is a mirror (and which site it is a mirror of) so that search engines can simply show the mirror sites, next to the master, as ‘Mirrors of this site’ (With a link, of course)

    Having said that, having the facility to search the web, like we do, should not be sneezed at – I really don’t know how we got by before.

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  3. a) the use of animated gifs like smileys and “under construction”
    b) MySpace
    c) When you think it’s new and exciting, it’s like, 2 years old. It’s hard to keep up
    d) that everything starts to be a fad.
    e) Dooce and every other person who got canned for blogging and then was suddenly cast on a throne. How DO these people still hold on to the fame?
    f) Mommy and infertility bloggers. Cripes the psychotic nature in all of them!

    But all in all, I LOVE the internet. Best. Invention. Ever.

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  4. 1) Newspapers that make you “sign up” to read articles.
    2) Sites that demand high security passwords to access low security content. Like this site, for example. Why must my password here be at least 6 characters, when I prefer an easy to remember 5 character password?

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  5. What I have hated over the past few years:

    1) The sheer amount of catchup work I’ve had to do in web development. I spent too long using tables in my designs, and finally saw the light with CSS only recently. However, knowing where to start, and know for certain that I’m using the right hacks and/or techniques has been one of my headaches. At least, ALA is one safe haven!

    2) Blogs – only because having a blog has confirmed that I have nothing much to write about, and has made me think about my life in general, and where my priorities are. Well, I guess that’s a good thing really.

    3) Buggy multi-page forms – getting 90% through a multi page form registration (typically anything to do with insurance, banking or mortgages), then getting stuck on some dynamic dropdown which only works in IE, and not any other browser.

    4) Websites which don’t tell you when they go down for maintenance. My wife spent ages filling in an online application form, only to press Submit, and it went to a blank screen (which had a maintenance message hidden in its source code!). Her form couldn’t be recovered. She was angry. Real angry. And I couldn’t do anything about it.

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  6. I have several. Since I’m chiefly an Intranet guy, I’m only slightly plagued by, but still dislike browser incompatibility. Where I get downright hostile is when it’s “intentional” or intentionally not fixed for the advantage it might bring.

    “The programmer with an idea.”
    About 4 months ago I did a search on the words “Senate ethics”, and sure enough on page one I came up with “Click here for great prices on Senate enthics!” and “Ethics? Buy them on eBay!” Can’t we just shoot these people?

    “Search Degradation”
    Time was you could simply enter the name of a questionable .EXE or .DLL you found lurking on your computer, and find out it’s bona fides. Try it nowdays and the first page of Google hits are practically worthless ads without any genuine info. There are several more examples, but that one is characteristic.

    I have never spent one cent on anything in a pop-up, pop-under, slide-out (you too, flash guys), or onunload(Buy_This(now)) and never will. Why would I hand money to anyone this inconsiderate of my time?

    “Focus People!”
    This whole notion of standards is getting a bit much, methinks. Obsessing on sites, and writing pages compliant to a standard is a bit much, considering that roughly 80% of the folk are browsing with a program intentionally non-compliant. Micro$not knows it and snickers, most users wouldn’t know either way. If the tables were turned and Redmond only had 20% of the users, don’t you think they’d change their ways over the weekend?

    Banging on developer’s heads is not really helpfull. It’s the people doing browsers that have to comply or it’s an airball. I mean, if a page I write isn’t standards compliant, how does this hurt you? If done commercially producing a page unusable, the natural order of things will lead to users going elsewhere, or you having my job. In the end all are served.

    The W3C has done a good job, up to a point, but hundreds of pages defining simple things is a bit out of hand. Kinda like NASA writing specs on a bottle rocket launch.

    Last Thing.
    The idea that it takes and understanding of 5 languages, and their interaction, how as many browsers react to this witches brew, AND the coding standards of each language is just nuts.

    Know what I’d like to see? A genuine breakthrough. A CSS grouping that would, for instance, let me define H1, H2, H3, P, LI, fonts, weights, padding, and colors into one class. Then a page body you could do with something simple like:

    <DIV class=“newsrpint” columns=“3”>
    A page worth of text
    </DIV>
    Too simple, huh?

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