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Bug of the moment 2006-06-27

Some of you will know me as being something of Web Nazi (well, more generally, just a Nazi), and I am feeling particularly Web-Nazi-ish as of late. Maybe I will put it down to how frequently ntl Webmail (my ISP’s) tells me “not allowed” when I try to log out:


Now, I have seen something similar to the following site before (due to a broken comment in the source), but the sheer stupidity of this example is astonishing. Nick Shanks pointed out to me that the Web site for Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is completely blank with JavaScript disabled:

That is correct. If you are not running JavaScript, you get an empty page. If you check the source (with JavaScript off or with HTTP Werkzeug), you will see that the only purpose the page serves is to perform Flash detection. There is no <noscript> section nor any other concessions to script-free browsing, and nothing for Google or any other search engines to find. Amazingly, Google’s entry for that address does have a page description although their cached copy is equally blank, so they must have a few aces up their sleeve for dealing with nonsensical sites (thanks to silvestrij for pointing out Google’s entries to me).

The real irony is that the sum of the Flash content on the site’s front page is restricted to some poky little “Spotlight” feature in the corner. For which, the overkill Flash detection leads to a totally content-less front page.

That said, Nick and I know someone who is going to Olin College shortly, so she got one of her friends there to e-mail the powers that be to sort this horrible mess out.

For those of you who remember my rant against mail from Frappr, I should be fair and show you the great response I got from them after reporting the problem:

Hi there!

Thanks for writing in!

And thanks for the feedback! I'm not too sure what happened with that e-mail, but you're right, there is no need to send you an e-mail telling you that you were new since your last check. I'll be sure to share this e-mail with the Frappr team, and hopefully we can get this cleared up for you.

Feel free to get in touch with us anytime if you have any more problems or concerns! We always love hearing from our users, and we really value your feedback!

Have a great day!

Michael C.
Frappr! Community Support

It is always nice when people care about their work!

Posted 27th June 2006 – Comments and questions?