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jk2addict (4946)

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Journal of jk2addict (4946)

Tuesday July 17, 2007
01:23 PM

Rant Mode: Part IV

[ #33832 ]

With all of the technology we have these days, there are some things us programmers have to deal with every now and then that are just plain phucked. Time zones, Date conversions, Encodings, Code pages, etc.

Today, I add to my personal demons list: International Addresses.

One of my biggest pet peeves when dealing with addresses is what I affectionately call the "Guam Problem".

Todays rant is capped off by a less than stellar PayPal integration, whereby the seller only wants to accept orders from the contiguous 48 "states". PayPal has this profile setting called "Block payments from users who: Have non-U.S. PayPal Accounts".

Great me thinks. US = 50 states. Most of the way there. WRONG. Even with this setting turned on, the site still accepts orders from Guam, Puerto Rico, etc. PayPals answer? "These are US territories".

Bah. No star on the flag, not a fargin US customer I say. To put it even more harshly:

Marianas Steamship Agencies, Inc.
Commercial Port, Apra Harbor
P.O. Box 3219
Hagátña, Guam 96932

If I lived in Guam, and I said mail me something, my address is in Guam, a phucking country... not Guam, US.

Heavy damn sigh.

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  • I'm not sure what you're actually complaining about. If I get mail, it goes to:

    Ricardo SIGNES
    123 My Street
    Bethlehem, PA 18018
    which is directly analagous to "City, Guam 12345"

    The US postal service delivers to Guam at normal rates for the states. I would think that international services would deliver to the US and get the normal rate as well.

    Why do you care whether it happens to be Guam or the US?
    • 1-semic.txt []

      It's a country. It has it's own ISO country code. So when I say "US orders only", that means anything where the country code isn't US/USA/840.

      When you ask someone in Guam what country they live in, they say Guam, not the US.

      That's why it's called a rant, because I'm sick and damn tired of dealing with 3rd party systems that put it in the states box, even though it IS a seperate country in the list of countries when p
      • All the Guamanians I know have referred to themselves as Americans. Does your local postal service charge differently for delivery to it?

        Guam's government is a territorial government, analagous to a state government. It answers to the federal government. It is represented (without vote) in the House. Its citizens are FULL citizens of the United States.

        From what I can tell, you don't know what you're talking about, and you have no clear reason to care about this distinction. Having an ISO code is hardly
        • Oh for sake of pete. Stop taking yourself so seriously. It's a rant. I don't have to justify anything. It's a country. It belongs in the countries list. My rant is just that. I'm sick of dealing with multiple vendors software where no one can treat Guam the same way. For some it's allowed in a "US only" status, some it's a separate country, aka not allowed in a "US only" status. Some "US only" systems accept Guam/Puerto Rico, but not other "US territories", instead placing them as countries. (sometimes, Org
          • I am Totally Fine if it's just a rant. Seriously. You are probably happily unaware from the racist problems that underly this. American citizens of the territories get discriminated against because they're "not Americans." They get told to go back to their country, but America is their country, and it's a really ugly situation. If it's just a rant, it's just a rant. I just think it's important to be clear on the facts.
            • Just a tech rant indeed. Personally, I wish we'd just make them states and get it over with, or let them go to grow in their own direction. I hear the only reason we don't make them states is of course, $, and we'd have to then actually treat them as states completely. I;ve always thought it odd to be allowed to have House/Senate reps, without voting power.

              Of course, the nice thing about being a territory is that you dan't have to worry about us invading to 'bring you democracy'. Then again, maybe not. Does
              • Well, part of the problem is that many of them are just so darn tiny. Guam is half the area and 10% the population of Rhode Island. Does it still get a Senator? Puerto Rico should (imo) definitely get made a state (or, I suppose, cut loose). With Guam, it's a harder decision. Both Guam and the US benefit from its status. I'm not sure both would benefit much more from making it a state.

                That said, I eagerly await the day when we fulfill our manifest destiny and every square foot of land is a state.

    • Regardless, it's still definitely not the contiguous 48 states, as specified by the customer.

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • DC has no star on the flag. You don't want to sell to them either?

    And, really, what do you care if the postal rates are the same? That's the entire point of limiting international sales, aside from export restrictions.
    • The programmer may, in fact, not care, but his customer/employer has decreed he shall write software to accept orders only from the contiguous 48 states (I'm going to assume that includes DC by default as the seller probably hasn't thought about it), and events have conspired to make that uncomfortably different for the programmer.

      I don't think the seller is making the best decision, either, but the seller is still paying the programmer, so I assume the programmer either does not care or does not feel fre

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • "uncomfortably difficult," I mean. Not "uncomfortably different."

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • Actually DC is included in the contiguous 48. I feel some irony in that inclusion given the various bits of legislation over the years to try and give the people that live in DC the same level as people in States (some of the gun control issues, etc).
    • "And, really, what do you care if the postal rates are the same? That's the entire point of limiting international sales, aside from export restrictions."

      The rates AREN'T the same. We're not just talking about USPS here, it's also FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc.

      I care because in the real world, shipping products, especially ones that classify as the various levels of hazmat, have different rules and options (and problems) depending on whether that can go ground or air.

      The decisions to "go 48 for now" is a short term