[nSLUG] Re: Any nsluggers in Valley?

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Sun Aug 28 17:36:18 ADT 2005

George White quoth:

> Buggy, ViSTA-infested systems are teaching users that erratic
> behaviour is "normal".  Most users can't separate bugs from ViSTA.

Um, what is "ViSTA", please?

And before that, Donald Teed opined:

> Many sites use javascript for business functions on their site, and
> javascript is notoriously buggy and inconsistant from browser to
> browser.

I know that wasn't supposed to be funny so I'll not ask you to replace
the *splorfed* keyboard. :-) But that *does* sound just a bit moronic,
doesn't it?

> It can be very difficult to test a web site that relies on
> javascript for every single browser brand, and browser release.

So difficult, error-prone and indeterminacy-laden, in fact, that the
guys who build their net-biz plan on doing so must be snorting a little
cognitive disonance with their morning Cheerios.

> Testing for the browser and stopping you from proceeding is a way to
> protect the user from a bad result that has usually been observed in
> web site testing.

Well, yes.  Given that you're basing an important transaction on
"notoriously buggy and inconsistant" software that has been subjected
to a difficult and error-prone twiddle.

George again:

> People need to demand much better from systems that deal with
> financial data.  My experience with the banking system says the
> major banks have not learned this: "Don't waste our time complaining
> about a $10 discrepancy in your account".

Which, along with other, similarly disconcerting observations of the
financial sector frequently reported in, e.g., comp.risks, leads one
to think of burying your money in coffee cans in the back yard.

> What we need in government is an institutional culture that insists
> more robust and reliable systems.

Going just a *bit* off <topic> here...

But in a corporate venue, the question is: "Given a proposed
expenditure, cui bono?"  Transactions that go astray, clients who sink
or explode, outraged customers who complain, lawsuits and fines; these
are all inconsequential so long as their effects remain below some
threshold of "cost of doing business".

There's rant potential there fer sure, maybe even seminar of PhD thesis
potential.  So long as IT systems serve to externalize things that
might be thought of as  "costs" to the firm, there's no incentive to
spend money eliminating those externalized costs.  That's especially
so if, in eliminating those costs, new costs are incurred or existing
revenue decreased.

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^



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