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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Thursday March 07, 2002
08:57 PM

Public regulation

[ #3367 ]

Personally, I'm all for deregulation of utility companies. But if we're going to regulate them anyway, can't we enforce legal standards for online payment websites? I can't pay my bill for Public Utility X tonight because it doesn't work with either Netscape 4.7 or IE for Macintosh. Hmm...I guess I could put Windows on that Intel at my feet. Of course, that would obliterate my Linux installation, and it's a moot point anyway since the power supply died Tuesday.

Honestly, it's so easy to write a secure CGI application that works with any browser. The only time you wind up with a nonportable webapp is when you try to do something special. Online management of accounts and secure transactions isn't special; it's textbook.

Since we're regulating the utilities anyway, shouldn't it be illegal to design an incompetent website like this? Isn't it discriminatory or something?

So, I click the "next" button, which could've been a simple submit button in a form, but instead has an icon and who-knows-what-kind of javascript behind it. Why do you need to script a submit button!? And when I click it -- the website resizes itself so that the right 1/2 of the page shows in my browser. No horizontal scrollbar; it's like the left 50% just disappeared. Not a new page, either; the same page, with all my info filled in, waiting to be submitted. When I think of all the extra hours put in to make the site "special" I want to vomit.

I could've written their payment site in a week, and it would have been better.

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