When programmers are not able to do a simple version check …


Via Cameron I just found a nice little thing: ThinkFree Office Online. Features look interesting:

With ThinkFree Office Online you can :

* Create Microsoft Office-compatible documents from the Web
* Open and edit your Office documents anywhere and anytime
* Post documents directly to your blog without any conversion
* Create powerful Web presentations using a familiar interface
* Convert your existing documents to PDF format

Cool! But when taking the tour, I do get this dialog at the last page:

Thinkfree Online needs Mozilla Firefox 1.0.1 or later

It is not possible to run ThinkFree Office Online correctly on your current browser.
Update your browser to the latest version at the Mozilla Web Site
After your browser updated, you can run Thinkfree Online correctly.

I don’t think so, because *I* do run version 1.0.6, which is clearly high enough. This happens so often around the net, that a programmer is not able to programm a decent version check, that I could scream.

Will I sign up now? Of course not, I “can’t”. Will I wait and remember to comeback? Unlikely. And all because some programmer did not do his homework.


5 Responses to “When programmers are not able to do a simple version check …”

  1. Marc Orchant says:

    Nicole – just wait until you can sign up and get a chance to see just how slowly a Java-based office application can load over the web. This is why fat clients aren’t in any danger from a 1:1 attempt to map features and functions to the browser. AJAX apps like Writely, Zoho, and the offerings from 37Signals are more on target. Deliver what’s needed and keep it light and fast.

  2. Robert Banghart says:

    Marc makes a great point but what also has me worried when I run into this type of situation is what other things have the programmers for these “next great things” not done their homework on?

    I often come to the conclusion that if they don’t care enough to handle the simple stuff, there is no reason for me or others to care about their product at all.

    Who wants to download a potential boatload of misery when it comes to applications central to the functioning of our daily digital lives?

  3. Peter says:

    I think your comments are a bit harsh Nicole.


  4. Nicole says:

    Robert, exactly the kind of thing I have to think about.

    Peter, being harsh on what? Showing my frustration with sites like that? Should I keep my mouth shut and pretend it does not highly annoy me? Do you really think it will go away by just simply waiting for it?

    There may be a lot of people out there, who do exactly that: keep quite on their blogs and not talk about it. Is that the preferred version?

    Or would the preferred version be feeling annoyed but write “It would be really really nice, if the programmer would also include the newest version of firefox into the version check, pretty pretty please.”?

  5. DK says:

    Nicole, I’m a programmer working on ThinkFree Office Online.
    I’m very sorry for your disappointment and also very appreciate your advice.

    To be honest, I’m ashamed of this silly bug. We are trying to find the specific circumstance that may occur the problem. But It’s not easy to reproduce the problem on our systems for us. I would appreciate it very much if you give me more detail.

    I frankly admit that still we have many bugs in this beta stage. But I really hope you know we are doing our best to make it more stable and better support for Firefox and other platforms in the next release.

    Thank you again Nicole:-)