Deirdre Saoirse | 28 Jul 00:58 1999
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OK, I went off today

I was extremely peeved with frustration for my alma mater (I'm in grad
school) about their "upgrade" of the ESET (electronic student, electronic
teacher) system used to log homework submissions. Originally, it was a
command-line program with a primitive web interface. Now it requires
fscking javascript and ONLY supports MSIE and Netscape (though I did
successfully submit homework by hacking Omniweb once <g>).

Anyway, below is my rant, sent to my advisor, the dean, my instructor, and
one of the support staff. This has escalated from prior, politer issues
taken up with everyone BUT the dean.

--

-- 
_Deirdre   *   http://www.linuxcabal.net   *   http://www.deirdre.net
Indeed, when I design my killer language, the identifiers "foo" and "bar"
will be reserved words, never used, and not even mentioned in the 
reference manual.  Any program using one will simply dump core without 
comment. Multitudes will rejoice. -- Tim Peters

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 15:07:28 -0700 (PDT)
From: Deirdre Saoirse <deirdre <at> deirdre.net>
To: Kevin R. Richardson <kevinr <at> scis.acast.nova.edu>
Cc: whartman <at> scis.acast.nova.edu, kimsd <at> scis.acast.nova.edu,
     lieblein <at> scis.acast.nova.edu, savinod <at> scis.acast.nova.edu
Subject: Problems: ESET & extreme frustration with the SCIS program direction

I don't know who wrote your upload code, but there's something wrong with
it. It makes netscape dump core on my machine (I have previously
professionally written html upload support in Python, Java and Javascript,
therefore I can say for certain it's not my browser as I have tested that 
(Continue reading)

Heather | 28 Jul 02:11 1999

Re: OK, I went off today

> I was extremely peeved with frustration for my alma mater (I'm in grad
> school) about their "upgrade" of the ESET (electronic student, electronic
> teacher) system used to log homework submissions. Originally, it was a
> command-line program with a primitive web interface. Now it requires
> fscking javascript and ONLY supports MSIE and Netscape (though I did
> successfully submit homework by hacking Omniweb once <g>).

You go, girl!  And if they try to fight back, point them to my favorite
rant on the subject of over-optimizing for the web ... it's not mine but
it's great stuff:

	"This page optimized for ..."
                         - arguing with customers -
	http://www.htmlhelp.com/feature/art2.htm

(It's so great it was rescued long after its author left the school he was
at when he wrote it.  :)

Among other things it points out why any claim of great percentages 
of The Target Audience Browsers is statistically worthless bull s***.

I ranted out last month about how horrible American Airline's site was in
lynx - let's see if I remember how it went...

I asked them to imagine that their cashier/bag check entryway had been
remodelled by one of these wild supermodern interior decorators, with the
ductowrk and pipes showing, neon lighting at strange angles, with the usual
"travel to exotic locales" ad blocking the path of customers with luggage.
Okay, maybe it is cool from a certain point of view, and maaaaaaaaaaaybe 
some designer would actually make a bunch of bucks on a deal like that.
(Continue reading)

Deirdre Saoirse | 28 Jul 08:44 1999
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Re: OK, I went off today

Well, I decided to go off somewhat more eloquently. Forgive the rambling
for now, but first edition is up (with minor changes from what Rick first
saw) at http://www.deirdre.net/retrograde.txt

Comments welcome. I was MUCH more frustrated later in the day.

--

-- 
_Deirdre   *   http://www.linuxcabal.net   *   http://www.deirdre.net
Indeed, when I design my killer language, the identifiers "foo" and "bar"
will be reserved words, never used, and not even mentioned in the 
reference manual.  Any program using one will simply dump core without 
comment. Multitudes will rejoice. -- Tim Peters

Heather | 29 Jul 04:57 1999

Re: OK, I went off today

> Well, I decided to go off somewhat more eloquently. Forgive the rambling
> for now, but first edition is up (with minor changes from what Rick first
> saw) at http://www.deirdre.net/retrograde.txt
> 
> Comments welcome. I was MUCH more frustrated later in the day.

1) Its line lengths are wider than my screen in a few places.

2) Very eloquent description of how you feel, but I'm not sure it will
   convince them.  

   Partly this is because, reading this, I'm not sure what is valuable to 
   them.  And if they don't know either, it will be very difficult indeed 
   to get them off the fence enough to choose to Do The Right Thing.

   I hope your appeal to reason works, rather than merely causing them
   to correct their web pages so it no longer mentions telnet'ing in.

3) I wonder if they will accept your offer to re-do the interface in Python.
   I suspect, however, that they will not raed it in sufficient detail to
   find that.

4) You forgot to mention the opensource spreadsheet and slideshow formats
   they could theoretically accept, if they weren't busy kissy-kissying
   up to M$.  Especially the non-roprietary formats which MS-foo could
   easily produce.  Heck, you wouldn't even need fancy MIME to send a 
   magicpoint slide file, though it would help if you wanted charts and 
   similar bs.

Did they claim that you could complete a whole curriculum through them, or
(Continue reading)

Deirdre Saoirse | 29 Jul 08:45 1999
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Re: OK, I went off today

On Wed, 28 Jul 1999, Heather wrote:

> 1) Its line lengths are wider than my screen in a few places.

I was gonna html it when I got done.

> 2) Very eloquent description of how you feel, but I'm not sure it will
>    convince them.  

Nor am I. It wasn't really designed to persuade. I've sent them THOUSANDS
of hits over the years.

>    Partly this is because, reading this, I'm not sure what is valuable to 
>    them.  And if they don't know either, it will be very difficult indeed 
>    to get them off the fence enough to choose to Do The Right Thing.

Well, for starters, my professor has agreed to accept my work in plain
text.

>    I hope your appeal to reason works, rather than merely causing them
>    to correct their web pages so it no longer mentions telnet'ing in.

One hopes.

> 3) I wonder if they will accept your offer to re-do the interface in Python.
>    I suspect, however, that they will not raed it in sufficient detail to
>    find that.

Actually, the programmer tried to reach me by phone and then sent an
email. He's willing to work with me, but suspects it was my *professor's*
(Continue reading)


Gmane