PDA

View Full Version : New Grant System Excludes Mac Users


MacBytes
Feb 13, 2006, 01:30 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: News and Press Releases
Link: New Grant System Excludes Mac Users (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060213143047)
Description:: What if the federal government were about to give away more than $400 billion in grants, but only people whose computers ran on Microsoft software could apply?

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

alywa
Feb 13, 2006, 01:39 PM
Why would this even be an issue? Surely a PDF based form would work, no?

The government is so frustrating on so many levels. This is just icing on the cake.

-alywa

beefstu01
Feb 13, 2006, 01:42 PM
For $22 billion?! Wow. Our money is being used oh-so-well.

eva01
Feb 13, 2006, 01:44 PM
http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/29130

baleensavage
Feb 13, 2006, 01:53 PM
Why would this even be an issue? Surely a PDF based form would work, no?
-alywa
Or Java... It's so annoying that these companies (our government included) will claim that their Web apps are not Mac compatible when all that really means in most cases is that they just don't want to take the time to make sure their software works on a Mac. I rarely see a site that either Safari or Firefox can't display regardless of whether they say that they support Macs.

mkaake
Feb 13, 2006, 02:18 PM
For $22 billion?! Wow. Our money is being used oh-so-well.
that was my first thought - I mean surely, someone must have looked at that budget and though it was as weee bit too much for a website for filling out forms...

<edit>

maybe one of the available grants is getting 22 billion for creating a non-standards compliant website?

bousozoku
Feb 13, 2006, 02:42 PM
For $22 billion?! Wow. Our money is being used oh-so-well.

Northrupp Grumann needs money because they overspend. Of course, they're not paying nearly that much for the sub-contractor but, if it's typical of defence contractors, they're also charging too much.


Charles Havekost, chief information officer at the Health and Human Services Department, which helps manage Grants.gov, acknowledged that the system is "not perfect" but encouraged applicants to look at the positive side: They can go to one site and see every grant being offered by every federal agency, and use a standardized electronic form to start the process for most grants.


I'm sure this logic works for government employees, but what is the context of "use" since it doesn't run on anything but Windows machines?

quagmire
Feb 13, 2006, 02:49 PM
Northrupp Grumann needs money because they overspend. Of course, they're not paying nearly that much for the sub-contractor but, if it's typical of defence contractors, they're also charging too much.

Leave Northrop Grumman alone! Blame Lockheed Martin. :p Yeah though the Gov't is stupid.

Chacala_Nayarit
Feb 13, 2006, 02:54 PM
What IF the federal government were about to give away more than $400 billion in grants, but only people whose computers ran on Microsoft software could apply?

THEN go find a PC

I use government Web sites frequently that not to support anything but IE/Windows in Mac and Linux. I love emailing the Webmaster with screenshots. :p

macidiot
Feb 13, 2006, 03:13 PM
Chalk it up to an incompetent/lazy web developer.

On a positive note, Gap.com and Bananarepublic.com, which I check whenever I hear about these sort of incompatibilities, now loads in Safari. Though it does seem to be missing some functionality.

Congrats to Gap for fixing this. And I hope they fired the idiot that decided to put in a browser check and default to locking out Safari users even though it works fine if you set Safari to spoof as IE6.

rockandrule
Feb 13, 2006, 03:22 PM
Do I smell class-action??

nagromme
Feb 13, 2006, 03:32 PM
Isn't this old news? And I seem to recall the lack of Mac support was planned to be temporary until the next version anyway?

Some_Big_Spoon
Feb 13, 2006, 04:47 PM
You beat me to it, by a bit it seems :-)

Very glad for the multitude of talented Mac programmers. Much love and thanks.

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/29130

Some_Big_Spoon
Feb 13, 2006, 04:55 PM
Well, might very well not have been the developer's decision. The more dynamic a site is, the more likely that there will be cross-platform tweaking that needs to be done to varying degrees. I have clients that don't care. I tell them that it doesn't render or work correctly in safari, or FF, and they don't want to pay for the time it would take to fix that. Sometimes I fix it on my own time because I care about the Mac users, sometimes I can't invest all that time, so it stays broken.

It sucks, yes, but when a client's paying, then you do what the client wants. What's weird is that Steve-O was on Gap's board until a couple years ago. Would have thought they'd do a better job :-)

Chalk it up to an incompetent/lazy web developer.

On a positive note, Gap.com and Bananarepublic.com, which I check whenever I hear about these sort of incompatibilities, now loads in Safari. Though it does seem to be missing some functionality.

Congrats to Gap for fixing this. And I hope they fired the idiot that decided to put in a browser check and default to locking out Safari users even though it works fine if you set Safari to spoof as IE6.

thegreatluke
Feb 13, 2006, 05:14 PM
For $22 billion?! Wow. Our money is being used oh-so-well.
Yeah, it's quite upsetting ... but a couple-trillion dollar tax break will take our minds off of it.

Even if it does screw our country for the next couple decades, who cares? I want my "thanks-for-voting-for-me" money now! :D

thoboo
Feb 13, 2006, 07:22 PM
For $22 billion?! Wow. Our money is being used oh-so-well.

A clarification on that portion of the story. Northrop was not paid $22B to develop the website, it was done as one small part of a much bigger federal services contract.

That's not to say that they didn't waste plenty of money on the web services...

macidiot
Feb 13, 2006, 07:38 PM
Well, might very well not have been the developer's decision. The more dynamic a site is, the more likely that there will be cross-platform tweaking that needs to be done to varying degrees. I have clients that don't care. I tell them that it doesn't render or work correctly in safari, or FF, and they don't want to pay for the time it would take to fix that. Sometimes I fix it on my own time because I care about the Mac users, sometimes I can't invest all that time, so it stays broken.

It sucks, yes, but when a client's paying, then you do what the client wants. What's weird is that Steve-O was on Gap's board until a couple years ago. Would have thought they'd do a better job :-)


True. But in this case they spent 22 billion. I'm guessing getting the client to pay for development time wasn't the issue here. I would think the government mandate is to provide access for everyone. And from what I can tell Northrup Grumman and HHS made the moronic decision to use a windows only solution. Especially considering the marketshare Mac has among the scientific and academic communities. Who tend to apply for these grants.

And in Gap's case it really was an issue of a browser check put in by the developers. It would seem they didn't bother testing for Safari, so they put the browser check in to lock out Safari users. If they had checked, they would have realized that Safari worked pretty well. Like I said if you went into the Safari debug menu and simply set it to spoof IE6, the old site loaded fine. But hey, at least they fixed it. Credit where credit is due :)

dvdh
Feb 13, 2006, 08:19 PM
Note the correction in the article. Isn't slipping a 'billion' in where a 'million' would be suffice a rather large journalistic oversight? :eek:

Jerry Spoon
Feb 13, 2006, 09:20 PM
Chalk it up to an incompetent/lazy web developer.

On a positive note, Gap.com and Bananarepublic.com, which I check whenever I hear about these sort of incompatibilities, now loads in Safari. Though it does seem to be missing some functionality.

Congrats to Gap for fixing this. And I hope they fired the idiot that decided to put in a browser check and default to locking out Safari users even though it works fine if you set Safari to spoof as IE6.

Good to know that Gap and Old Navy are now working in Safari. This was the main reason I switched to Firefox. Now I might try to go back and see how I like working in Safari again, although I really do like the ability to choose which sites I block pop up windows for.

Analog Kid
Feb 13, 2006, 10:14 PM
Here's where I really support what Europe is doing-- moving everything to open standards. If whatever protocols and forms were being used were fully described in a specification you could build a client for anything you wanted to and it wouldn't be gated by Washington or their contractors. Get it running on your cell phone if you cared to.

$22b is freakin' ridiculous for something like this. It's a database. A big, stinkin' database. Yes, maybe there's some scripting around it for document tracking and what-not, and yes, I read the comment that said only a fraction of $22b went into this but I still have to ask: how small a fraction that it could possibly make this look sensible.

And what's with saying the small Canadian firm made the right decision to cut Mac support because they were on a tight schedule? Did anyone think that maybe, if there was a really tight schedule, they should subcontract to a *large* Canadian firm?

Northrup Grumman is a defense contractor, and they know the game. You do what the spec says, not what's required for a workable solution. Then, you make your money on follow on contracts to fix all the stuff they left out of the original spec. My guess is there was no mention of cross-platform support in the spec, or if there was it was written in a way that could be interpreted to mean that Win95 and Win2k are different platforms.

sjk
Feb 13, 2006, 11:55 PM
Now I might try to go back and see how I like working in Safari again, although I really do like the ability to choose which sites I block pop up windows for.You can configure site-specific pop-up window (un)blocking with Safari's PithHelmet plugin.

Am I actually missing any useful pop-up windows on sites running Safari with the global "Block Pop-up Windows? set?