Smart enough to tell me what to do, but not smart enought to do it



  • Going to sign up for an online broker, I got to an "electronic
    signature" page where I was asked to enter my name and today's date in
    lieu of a physical signature.  Today is July 7th, so I entered
    "07/07/2005".  When I hit "submit", I got a little javascript
    dialog box that said:



    You must enter the date as follows

    7/7/2005



    If the javascript code on the page is smart enough that it knows how to
    correct my entry, why can't it just change it itself before submitting?



  • Dammit!



    I guess I'm not smart "enought" to proofread first...



  • @StillNotTere said:

    Going to sign up for an online broker, I got to an "electronic
    signature" page where I was asked to enter my name and today's date in
    lieu of a physical signature.  Today is July 7th, so I entered
    "07/07/2005".  When I hit "submit", I got a little javascript
    dialog box that said:



    You must enter the date as follows

    7/7/2005



    If the javascript code on the page is smart enough that it knows how to
    correct my entry, why can't it just change it itself before submitting?




    Ah, the fear of an ambiguous entry. You see, there's no way to tell
    whether "7/7/2005" means July the Seventh or .... never mind.



    As an aside, there are few things that irk me more than "date fields"
    on a web form that allow ambiguous entries. With a dedicated client,
    you can generally count on local system settings to convert a text
    entry into an unambiguous genuinely-date-time value based on
    workstation settings. If the user screws up, it will be universally
    across all of their applications. On the web, you have the server
    settings (or the programmer's arbitrary parsing decision) to work with,
    which may or may not have anything at all to do with the user's normal
    format. Three separate fields for day, month, and year or a date picker
    that throws a value to a readonly field are the only ways to fly.



  • @StillNotTere said:

    Going to sign up for an online broker, I got to an "electronic
    signature" page where I was asked to enter my name and today's date in
    lieu of a physical signature.  Today is July 7th, so I entered
    "07/07/2005".  When I hit "submit", I got a little javascript
    dialog box that said:



    You must enter the date as follows

    7/7/2005



    If the javascript code on the page is smart enough that it knows how to
    correct my entry, why can't it just change it itself before submitting?




    Because you entered the date as DD/MM/YYYY and the system was expecting
    it as MM/DD/YYYY.  You have to enter it correctly, otherwise, how
    is it supposed to know if it is "July 7th" or the "7th of July"?  :)



        dZ.



  • Maybe it just uses today's date as an example of how to enter it instead of fixing your input and redisplaying it to you...?



  • You are all missing a biggest issue here... 

    It's asking you to enter TODAY'S date.   (I guess the server admin  couldn't figure out how to set the date on the web server properly, so the user has to enter this in themselves)



  • I can sort of understand why it asked me to enter today's date. 
    It's trying to imitate a signature line, where you "sign and
    date".  In this case, I was being asked to enter my name (which I
    already entered) and the current date, when if this was paper it would
    be the "sign here" spot.  It does seem rather pointless online,
    since the point of a signature is not the letters themselves but the
    way the penmanship looks.  There's no penmanship on a web form,
    and everybody can type my name the same.



    Come to think of it, I'll bet pixietheelf is right...it was probably
    comparing whatever I typed to exactly "7/7/2005" and not parsing it as
    a date at all.



  • @imfletcher said:

    You are all missing a biggest issue here... 

    It's asking you to enter TODAY'S date.   (I guess the server admin  couldn't figure out how to set the date on the web server properly, so the user has to enter this in themselves)



    Actually, the original poster is correct.  The app was stupid for recognizing a valid date but not being able to handle it.

    Your statement about the system asking for TODAY'S date...  isn't quite right, considering that the combination of a typed date + name == legal signature according to whatever regulations apply (assuming it was actually adhering to the regulations).  If the system filled in the date for you, it wouldn't satisfy that legal requirement.



  • @Machiavelli said:

     imfletcher wrote:

    You are all missing a biggest issue here... 

    It's asking you to enter TODAY'S date.   (I guess the server admin  couldn't figure out how to set the date on the web server properly, so the user has to enter this in themselves)



    Actually, the original poster is correct.  The app was stupid for recognizing a valid date but not being able to handle it.

    Your statement about the system asking for TODAY'S date...  isn't quite right, considering that the combination of a typed date + name == legal signature according to whatever regulations apply (assuming it was actually adhering to the regulations).  If the system filled in the date for you, it wouldn't satisfy that legal requirement.

    It took 7 years but someone finally recognized how clever your comment was.

    Nah I'm kidding, I don't know what this thread is about but if you maxed out your Amex on that day and ran away from the bank since then, tonight you are finally free (in most states). But if you haven't maxed out your Amex on that day, see how short-sighted you've been?


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