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Idiotic 'new member' info-free bandwidth-wasting downloads

By Wayne T ·
I got here because I joined zdnet to peruse some feeds, fool
around in forums, and have a general look about... got
sidetracked to techRepublic, it looked vaguely interesting &
'professional' and here I am.

BUT, I passed thru a freebie page that gave me the option of 3
'free downloads'. Minimal Application info, No info on sys
requirements and a 'dynamic' buttton so I can't see where hitting
'download' is going to take me but - perhaps foolishly - I
assume that, in keeping with standard 'professional' practice
across many sites it's going to take me to a page that tells me
what I'm about to download, what size it is, what platforms it
does or does not run on ... etc. etc. [Taking into account the
fundamental truth of the huge diversity of the Net, its denizens,
connections, locations, platforms...]

Nope.

It immediately triggers the download of a 10+ meg ZIP file which
I immediately kill. Result: annoyance, wasted bandwidth and
some rubbish on disk I've got to clean up.

And on a site with the pretensions to The Professional of this
one.

What intellectually-challenged dweeb was responsible for that
piece of nonsense ?

Are there *still* people out there who think we're *all* running
XYZ Septiums with Windblows '06, Outbreak express, Internet
Exploder... and similar nonsense. Have these people learned
nothing of the 'Net ? The fundamental importance of Cross-
Platform Standards, interoperability, Net courtesy... or even
'Playing Nice with Others' ?

I've been doing this stuff for 35 years. The rate of change has
always been exponential. The curve is getting steeper very
rapidly now.

*None* of us have time for this nonsense - in fact, the *only*
legitimate claim to a justification for the existence of this site is
to *save* us all time.

If this site waste my time just once more, I'm gone - with
hundreds of excellent alternatives waiting.

Thank you for the experience.

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It's hard to read your post

by stress junkie In reply to Idiotic 'new member' info ...

The TR post editor doesn't require you to put a carriage return at the end of each line. Obviously you did enter a carriage return whenever you thought you were at the end of a line. This, combined with the line breaks automatically added by the post editor, makes your post difficult to read. Of course tech savvy people are already used to using this kind of editor so our posts don't look like yours.

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I post therefore I am

by Wayne T In reply to It's hard to read your po ...

"...Did enter a carriage return whenever you thought you were at
the end of a line..."

No - I entered a carriage return whenever I wanted a para break.

Sorry you found it hard to read - my apologies.

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Now you made me feel bad

by stress junkie In reply to I post therefore I am

I thought we'd get into a little slap fest. Instead your response is reasonable and courteous. That's no fun at all.

Actually I understand your complaints. You never know what you're going to get into when you click on a TR link. I think they use a lot of server side Java junk or something. That tends to make cruising the site a bit unpredictable as far as starting some time consuming process. It's not too bad if you have a high bandwidth connection to the Internet. I expect that it would be irritating if I used a 56K dial up connection.

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yeah - sneaky, wasn't it :)

by Wayne T In reply to Now you made me feel bad

...It's hard to be mean to someone who treats you with
courtesy ..(fortunately you don't get that much... :).

It's really just one of the Great Unwritten Rules of 'Net courtesy,
[or even UI design) isn't it ? - The site should *always* ensure
that the user/viewer/victim knows what will happen when they
click on a thing, doubly so if it's going to do something
potentially time consuming, costly, high in potential nuisance
value or unexpected - like initate the download of an
executable - which is why we put stuff like (**NB: 300Meg PDF
file Download) AFTER a link title like "Extremely dangerous new
Security flaws in Windows exposed"...

It's arrogant to assume I want (or have the time) to run whatever
piece of junk that page designer is foisting upon me (I hit the
link because I wanted more info than the 2 lines that were
there). It's rude to initiate a download to my system without my
consent and, particularly for a 'Pro-Tech' site interface, it's
incompetent not to even query the Browser or otherwise test for
my OS environment, location & link speed to see whether the
thing is practical, applicable - or even usable on my system
when it's usually trivial to do so.


I've been to the sites of ppl who proclaim themselves 'award
winning cutting-edge brilliant designers of Real World user-
friendly working-business Websites.." and other Blah! - you
know, like the ones with the N meg self-canonising Flash supa-
opener/Corporate intro (complete with sudden earsplitting
audio) to find an utterly blank static empty (did I make 'blank'
clear ?) page. Nothing. Zilch. Wordless. Devoid of content. Not a
sausage. (Is there a Norwegian Blue about ? :).

You can guess why: the usual spectrum of stupid assumptions
by a bunch of nice fresh newbie 'experts': "everyone out there is
running a fast BB-equipped multimedia-capable late-model
Wintel & OS using Internet Exploiter 9.93 with the latest Flash &
all the other extensions..." and has yet to get to the 'NOSCRIPT'
bit in his copy of "HTML for Compleat Idiots".

Bah Humbug!


[Yes, I run with scripting & all that other stuff OFF most of the
time for pretty obvious reasons & just 'Toggle modes' when I
want to...]

Nice to meet you Stressed One.. :) That day: I was rushed -
furiously researching some new stuff, had 30 windows and a
zillion Tabs loaded/loading at the time, other things running
and it happens, didn't want that particular (download target)
drive written to at that particular moment. Not Good.

Have a great weekend ("...yes, but the Dr. says if I keep taking
the pills it'll get stronger & smaller..." :)

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Didn't experience that

by mjd420nova In reply to Idiotic 'new member' info ...

I haven't found any links like that but there maybe a few from another site that a link took
you to. Also beware of some users of this site that they would rather fight over grammar and
expose their own faults. Sometimes it can be
fun and it has it's own "neighborhood"
feeling to it. Laughing can lead to better
brain function, Contempt will close it down
and increase your temperature. Stay cool

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Thanks, MJD

by Wayne T In reply to Didn't experience that

"...I haven't found any links like that but there maybe a few from
another site that a link took
you to...."

Yes, when you sign for zdnet, the last step offers you
techrepublic. Newsletters etc. If you select a TechRepublic
newsletter and continue, you come in via that route and you get
the page I spoke of.

Thanks for the courteous advice ... I'm not a 'hard case' but,
after all these years of the Net you'd think major sites could get
'the basics' right. I guess such 'time wasters' are a Pet Peeve ...

(I actually have a great S.O.H. - Article 'Headlines' like "Bill Gates
says the Internet can't be censored" with 2006 datelines have me
rolling on the floor ... *grin*)

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Web designers today

by jdclyde In reply to Idiotic 'new member' info ...

often forget that many of us don't want to have every new web wiz/bang running on our screen all the time.

In this daze of using gui tools to design sites, a lot of extra crap gets thrown into the code as well.

If a page can't load quickly using dial-up, it is a poorly designed page.

As for your downloads, there ARE a few places that could use better labeling. I think the people that do it get so caught up in what they are doing that they forget the basics.

Either way, all I can say is "you at least got your moneys worth!" But I find it hard to believe you will not fine a site that will from time to time waste your time? (lots of time there...)

I have gotten a lot of the downloads from TR and MOST are pretty good.

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Great point JD!

by Wayne T In reply to Web designers today

[I wish this Box supported formatting/quoted text & similar so I
could format this reply - maybe it does for that matter, but I
don't see a 'howto' button and I don't have the time to go
searching ... so ...]

QUOTE
often forget that many of us don't want to have every new web
wiz/bang running on our screen all the time.
RESPONSE:
Right. we want to get to the next link/article/comment/post/
page - and it's the 'meat' content we want *first* - not the Grand
Design. I appreciate that sites need the structures they have for
good commercial, advertising and other reasons - 'Free' to Air
TV is the metaphor. BUT: that doesn't mean that I want to wait
for all this Dross to load and reload once I'm inside the site -
particularly when I'm (deep?) inside Thread inside a section,
perhaps following comments etc (Think : 'Modal' ). You want the
next page to load instantly - the only necessary changes are a
few K of text - there's NO reason it should not be 'Instant'
except bad/lazy/sloppy design and/or arrogance/discourtesy
towards the user/viewer. In either case, that's a pretty serious
reason to get it right in the first place: if you don't, your best
competitors *will* - sooner or later.

QUOTE
In this daze of using gui tools to design sites, a lot of extra crap
gets thrown into the code as well.

RESPONSE:
Yeah, I understand and accept that - but it doesn't change
anything. The end result is what matters: if the thing doesn't
work or can't be auto 'cleaned-up' afterwards to slim things
down then you're using the wrong tools.

QUOTE
If a page can't load quickly using dial-up, it is a poorly designed
page.

RESPONSE:
Hear ! Hear! (Picture: gentlemen in Parliament shouting hearty
agreement...:).

I think most of the site Designer/builder/Architects have
forgotten that one - which is a pity because it is as true now as
it ever was - and always will be. It's simply rewording a simple
rule: be as bandwidth-efficient as possible and ensure that 'the
important stuff' loads and displays first, no matter what -
because there will always be 'low bandwidth situations' ranging
from faults, interference, gear failure, load
imbalances..temporary 'busy' conditions etc. Like all software/
hardware/important systems web structures/services should
'degrade/Fail softly, gracefully'... - or in other words: slap up the
few boxes with text and live links in them that your reader is
actually interested in immediately *then* build the rest of the
page around *that*... bandwidth troubles may come and go but
your user is going to be a happy, fast, efficient user.

He's also going to come to *your* site by preference if 'the Web's
a bit slow'....
etc etc..


I have no 'beef' with TR at all - [I'm interested in what I've seen
so far - and I've seen some great ideas...] If anything, I'm
actually trying to *help*: If you think about it, if all the
brainpower, knowledge and experience that visits this place
can't provide the answers necessary to turn the thing into the
best of its kind on the 'Net, there's no chance for anyone. What
about, TR ? How 'bout a contest or similar to make things
interesting ? DO you want to make this place the best of its kind
?

I haven't done any web stuff since Adam was a pup but I'd bet
you a $Thousand I could make this place faster, better & more
efficient in an Outback Minute. *grin*


Best Wishes,


Wayne T

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Feedback appreciated

by debuggist Staff In reply to Idiotic 'new member' info ...

I can pass that feedback along to the appropriate people.

FWIW, the size of those downloads is 185KB, 191KB, 129KB and 91KB respectively.

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Courtesy appreciated

by Wayne T In reply to Feedback appreciated

- particularly when it was in response to a post I wrote when I was
a little 'hot under the collar' - Thanks Doug, :- The response of a
Professional.

Re File sizes - my browser DL window may have got it wrong, I
may have misread it, the files may have changed since... in any
event it's not really pertinent.

If I got that wrong: my mistake & my apologies.

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