On Sat, 09 Jun 2001, Robert Shiels wrote:
> From: "Jonathan Stowe" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: www.gateway.gov.uk
> > As a public service I would exhort all of you to go to this site and then
> > complain when it tells you that you are using an 'Unsupported Browser'
> > (which I guess will be more than half of you :)
> >
> I agree that this is pants. I don't see why I need cookies, javascript and
> Java enabled. But I don't fully understand digital certificates.
> Assume for a moment that I'm using lynx on Linux, and I want to send the
> government my tax return securely. What are the security implications, can
> it actually be done. 

yes .. its just SSL .. the digital certificate is just to identify who
you are .. like a digital signature.  so the SSL layer provides the
transport security .. the digital certificate ( that you get from an
issuing authority ) proves who you are ( maybe ).

> I don't want to go off half-cocked and complain about
> something when I don't fully understand why the alternative is better.

the new site is a fine example of something that was dreamt up by
webdesigneers with no concept of 'cross platform coding' or standards
compliance. its suppose to ditribute information in a clear and concise
way .. not piss about with animated sliding panles and multilayer
flirtations with art design .. you can do good and attrctive designs in
simple HTML, you don;t need Java to getthe message across.

> Could someone explain it to me, and give me an address to send my complaint
> to, and I'll definitely do it.

well .. consider this.

the old ( apache / Linux ) driven site (www.open.gov.uk IIRC ) was a
testament to good web design. graphics light and W3C html compliant AND
it met the W3C accessibility guidelines .. 

the new site is a stinking pile of shit.  all the backgrounds are fixed
colour, the text fixed colour and the text size is pixed in pixels ..
what use is that to anyone with colour blindness/poor vision.

try feeding any single page of the new shite ( oops type put 'shite'
instead of site .. )  through validator @ w3c and laugh at the error
output ... kilobytes of it.

and if it decides it doesn;t like your browser it won;t even let you in!
.. never mind that it might not display correctly .. it simply wont let
you in full stop. pile of crap.

this is supposed to be a government info site .. not some web designers
multimedia experience .. the first priority should be making the
information available THEN making it animated etc .. its feck all use if
I cant actually even get onto the site to use it. 

I complained  to the UK Online helpdesk .. they deny all responsiblity
for the thing .. but can give you helpdesk contacts for the 3 government
agencies contained within the 'government gateway' site .. of course they
deny all responsiblity for it as well...

Robin Szemeti                       
Redpoint Consulting Limited
Real Solutions For A Virtual World 

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