Developer drama queens present:

“This web site does not supply identity information”…

…Which is by far one of the most vague and most easily misunderstood tooltip notices you could present to any user; Even an experienced one.  And I’m quite surprised this little gem went unnoticed by me all this time in Firefox, if it weren’t for the my accidental hover over the icon left of the URL bar after I upgraded to 3.5 recently.

Normally, this sort of wording problem goes unnoticed until pointed out and then fixed quickly. Alas, I found an amusing discourse on mozillaZine (that started March of last year) which prove once again, some people may also need Midol along with their antacids before accepting a seemingly obvious point.

The notice serves no worthwhile purpose for the vast majority of web users unless they’re submitting a form or need secure access for another purpose. And it shows a lack of foresight when it comes to user interactions as they could have easily worded this in a far more intuitive way.

Back to that forum thread…
The original post was :  “So how should a server admin provide this information?”

A fair and reasonable question.

Unfortunately it all degenerates into SSL vs EV SSL, the domain “shortcomings” at not providing encryption (I didn’t realise this was a prerequisite for all connections and form fields),  there was an argument about one thing, but there isn’t an argument something else… etc… etc…  All of which have no bearing  whatsoever on the above poorly worded notification, but of course, the drama queens arrive crying foul at any arguments to the contrary. Relabel an analogy as being a straw-man argument. That always works.

How this all ended this way is a good example of why Firefox community branches could use a good pruning… And some neutering too, perhaps.  In fact most of the open source community use a good helping of humble pie on occasion. Is how you’re personally perceived as a developer more important than getting a quality product out? And when pointed out an obvious shortcoming, is ignoring, or worse yet, nagging the messenger really the appropriate reaction?

Well that’s all well and good, but here’s my suggestion :

When submitting user data, it’s helpful to have a notification in the URL bar on whether the connection is secure. Particularly when submitting form fields. However, the notification must be unambiguous or at least be as clear as possible for the average user with no knowledge of secure connections, encryption and such.

And your definition of “clear” doesn’t apply to everyone else. Be aware that you’re creating a product for the masses so it’s the masses’ opinion that counts.

R.I.P Bravo TV (1980 – 2001)

Once what used to be the “film and arts network” turned into the “watch what happens” petty drama, I was truly dismayed.

Then again, I would tune into it to see if anything has changed. Nope…
Now they’re committed to giving the rest of the world the impression that gay people and women have the worst taste in television ever!*[see notes]

Why would you encourage “arts” or “film” or even “class” when you can entertain with non-entertainment.

Former class act... Bravo TV sucks!

Former class act...

Now I’m starting to spend more and more time on IFC which has also been seeing its share of hiccups, but I think it probably won’t end in the same fate. Considering it is owned by Rainbow Media, the original owers of Bravo, I’m more hopeful. In fact, I think IFC (though a bit rough around the edges) is what Bravo should have been today.

There is some reality TV and semi-reality TV out there (ones inspired by some predicted outcome that goes horribly awry resulting in entertaining moments I.E. Mythbusters) that are actually interesting beyond the same arguments and silly banter we’re already used to only relocated to more affluent settings.

“Project Runway”…
Reinforcing my belief that fashion designers have no sense in fashion. I’ve seen abstract art from the 60′s that seem more comfortable and functional wrapped around a person (I.E. a scene from What a Way to Go!  from 1964 is a classic example). What better way to give a great first impression than to dess like a freak.

Whatever happened to “usable fashion”. As in something you could wear on a daily basis without handing out free seizures to everyone on the street?

“Sheer Genius”…
And I don’t care about hair! If I didn’t have to cut it or comb it to step out of the house, I would forget that I even have any. I understand you need to present some sort of upkeep there, but if I could, I would place a restraining order between my hair and each and every contestant in that show.

“Millionaire Matchmaker” ?
Here’s a hint for the naïve… There’s no such thing as romance. You find someone who puts up with you, produce offspring, and then you die. End of story. If you want comedy between that, then consider stubbing your toe and your partner laughing at you as your personal highlight. Excitement? The time you pretended to enjoy the company of your significant other while menacing over another unsuspecting soul. Your options are only as good as your looks and the size of your wallet.

If you’re wealthy, then chances are, your wallet is the only reason your significant other puts up with you. And that person isn’t so significant to you either, if their looks start to fade.

Then there’s Kathy Griffin’s “My Life on the D-List”…
I’m not going to bring up her personal life and difficulties as that has no bearing here. I just don’t give a flying intercourse about celebrities, their idiosyncrasies or other gossip. And if you’re not living a sham of a life with your only source of entertainment coming from the misery and suffering of famous intellectual midgets, neither would you.

As Patton Oswalt once exclaimed, we’re spending all our time watching “***holes and ****wads at work”, only to come home and watch the same on TV. Why?

People with enough privilege to afford plenty of therapy and be motivated to stick their heads out of their shells to see a world of suffering are not looking to reality TV to boost their careers. Those that don’t are media whores.

Notes

*Apparently, the network primarily caters to a gay and female audience between the ages of 18-54. If the line-up is any hint, according to the Bravo execs, the folks in this range, who also happen to be gay or female, are tasteless, pretentious dimwits. I sincerely hope that’s not the case.

Considering Agnieszka Holland co-wrote and directed Europa Europa, Sarah Jacobson wrote and directed I Was A Teenage Serial Killer, and Kathryn Bigelow directed Point Break, I also can’t believe female writers and directors are all one trick ponies a la “Romance” & “Comedy”. I put quotes around them as I’m seeing a disturbing trend in films created by women, allegedly part of these genres, that failed to induce either sentiment.