I’ve written several prior articles on Climate Change, and have a huge interest in the subject, so when I saw a reference in the Guardian of a CO2 calculator, I decided to check it out.
The good news is that there is one. The bad news is that it is a disaster.
Mobile, Mobile, where is the Mobile Support
So I go there using the iPad, and get a message saying I have to download Adobe Flash Player. This was the first clue that the site was a disaster. Apple’s IOS devices don’t support Flash. From what I’ve heard, a lot of Android devices don’t support Flash either (if anyone knows differently, please comment).
Why would a Government Agency not support one of the more common platforms? After all, IOS is only the second most popular operating system.
Seems a bit silly not to support such a popular operating system.
Oh, Shiny! Chrome!
The screencap at the top of this article comes from using Chrome. The site locked up. Solid. Couldn’t get anything to happen. But wait, isn’t Chrome the most popular web browser? Why wouldn’t they support it?
Curious that they wouldn’t have checked it with Chrome.
Firing up the Fox
So I started up Firefox. Five minutes later the site had finally loaded. It didn’t take near that long on Chrome, in fact it was nearly instantaneous. When I tried to use the site in Firefox, it locked up after telling me I’d met the 20% challenge, when I hadn’t even gotten past the stupid help screens!
Firefox is the fourth most popular browser. You’d think they’d support it.
It’s Monkey Time!
OK. So why not try SeaMonkey? Great idea. I fired it up, and much to my surprise it worked perfectly. But who uses SeaMonkey, besides a few of us who do web design?
I had high hopes for Safari, which is based on WebKit, and supposed to be one of the most compatible browsers on the market. But it died the same place Firefox did.
This is what you call annoying
Now it is quite possible that the site would work under Windows. I don’t know. I don’t own any computers with Windows installed. All of these tests were done using a MacBook Pro, with fully up to date operating system, and software.
Everything I run is Unix based. I write. I can’t afford to have system problems. My other machine, a desktop running Bodhi Linux was able to load the site using Opera, Midori, and Firefox (but not Chromium – it kept saying ‘He’s dead Jim’), but not do anything.
From what the Guardian article indicated, four journalists had no issues with the site. It doesn’t say what type of computer/operating system/browser they used.
What’s even worse, is you can’t get under the hood to see if the assumptions used in programming the model are valid or not. Personally, from what I can see, I strongly doubt that they are.
Which does no one any good. This needs fixing. Fast.
But I guess that’ll have to wait. Everyone in England is watching the Scottish referendum, not working.
Thursday September 18, 2014