The web is incredibly empowering. Perhaps that's why when something is
so thoroughly broken, I feel it viscerally in my stomach. Nausea and
gnashing of teeth ensue.
That's what happened today when I opened up my browser to look for
monthly parking in San Francisco and found IMPark's monthly
parking search online
. At first glance, everything seems fine.
But peer deeper into this web app and you'll find the soul of a
twisted, infuriating, horribly broken waste of electrons.
Just because you set your form elements to be something in your
outgoing HTML doesn't mean that you'll be in the correct state. They're
doing an elementary AJAX call (why the hell is this in ajax anyway?) to
refresh the cities. But what if I select USA, then refresh? This JS
totally assumes that it will always be in the correct state -- but my
browser stores form values after reload so as to avoid data loss. Incidentally, this is what happens also if you use the BACK button. And contrary to popular belief, the back button is great. Users love it. I love it.
ensues isn't pretty...
OK, rookie mistake. But what happens when I select something, anything?
I should be able to click to Canada, then back to USA, right?
Nope. Amateur hour. Then click around a bit more and you get...
WHAT THE... How did we get here? Wow, total error fail. I hate you.
Lesson 2: Let me navigate the way I want to navigate
OK so I've searched for San Francisco. Here it is.
But for some reason, I can't cmd-click to open each of these lots in a
new tab. This is a habit I've picked up to avoid the general latency of
the web -- why round trip and go back/forth when you can just open a
ton of tabs and triage as you see fit there?
Actually, this is a form element, of type submit. Are we in like 1995
again? What the hell is the point of
This is bad also for SEO. OK, amateur hour web dev, what are you
thinking? You're costing IMPark money by hiding this info from Google.
Way to go. If I search for "Mission Bay Parking" I should get to the
page you're hiding behind a form input submit. TWO THUMBS DOWN.
using a POST from a form input submit. I'm starting to understand why
people are so obsessed with REST-- because if you're RESTful, you won't
do retarded things like this. Now I understand that the RESTful
formalism is like a straightjacket that keeps an insane person from
Lesson 3: Test your damn app people. Please.
OK, so I'm looking for lots cheaper than $250/month in my area.
that's a parking space, not rent. That's the extortionary fee charged
by my current apartment building in South of Market.
Oh, I guess there are none. Oh wait. That's not right.
FAIL!!! In fact pretty much all of the listings have rates that are
less than $250/month. First, that confirms SoMA Mission Bay is
basically the most god-awful overpriced yuppie-trap in all of San
Francisco. Second, that confirms that the creator of myparkingworld.com
is too busy smoking crack to test if their app works AT ALL.
IRONY OF IRONIES: The creators of this godforsaken mess were nominated for the MSDN Code Awards. Microsoft, HOW COULD YOU!?
I feel the KnowledgeTech development team should win the award because
the Monthly Parking System project is a true testament to Microsoft
technologies and tools and their high-level of integration and
For Microsoft's sake... I hope not.