Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!!



  • Just saw this on another message board:

    Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!! 

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/c6a602ece72a3026d1f4288dfed035d2/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

    Cheers!



  • I don't really see hours that the system is offline as a WTF. There are things such as server maintenance that could contribute to this.

     

    If anything, I think The Real WTF is that it's offline for so long each time it's down (7hrs m-sa & all of sunday!). 



  • Maybe they take the system down to perform database backups or maybe rely on other datasources that are down for database backups.  Just the first two possibilities that popped into my head.



  • I know!  When you do a search, the support staff has to be there to receive the request, run over to the files, look up the information and type it back to you... really, really quickly.



  • @AisA said:

    Just saw this on another message board:

    Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!! 

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/c6a602ece72a3026d1f4288dfed035d2/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

    Cheers!


    It might be a WTF for a government, but, for example, the B&H camera store has a very good reason for turning off their online order form from half an hour before sunset on Friday to half an hour after sunset on Saturday.


  • At my university it's common practice to halt servers on which you hand in your assignments; reason: The grading robot needs to sleep from midnight to 6 am.

    Maybe they just want to get us used to annoying situations...
     



  • A number of companies do things like that because the web system drives a manual process.  There is a car dealership here that advertises $1000 if they don't get back to you for your online query within 30 minutes.  But only within business hours, and it's only a kick on buying a car from them.



  • @Carnildo said:

    It might be a WTF for a government, but, for example, the B&H camera store has a very good reason for turning off their online order form from half an hour before sunset on Friday to half an hour after sunset on Saturday.

     

    Well, what is it?



  • @xeraa said:

    The grading robot needs to sleep from midnight to 6 am.

     I think "grading robot" == "grad student" in that case.
     



  • Observation of the jewish tradition of not working on the sabbath.



  • My university had an online system that, among other things, let students schedule their courses and manage their payments online. It was offline every night at like 8 p.m., and it came back online at like 7 a.m. This was fine for those of us from the country, but when the university boasts a huge international student body, many hailing from China and India whose time is roughly the opposite of here, it meant that those poor guys had to stay up all night to register for classes.

    This university also had the greatest "business hours" of all time: 9:00-11:30, 1:30-4:30, weekdays only. Basically you had to skip class if you want any sort of administrative help.



  • @Carnildo said:

    @AisA said:

    Just saw this on another message board:

    Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!! 

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/c6a602ece72a3026d1f4288dfed035d2/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

    Cheers!


    It might be a WTF for a government, but, for example, the B&H camera store has a very good reason for turning off their online order form from half an hour before sunset on Friday to half an hour after sunset on Saturday.

    Only in New York 😃



  • @cconroy said:

    I know!  When you do a search, the support staff has to be there to receive the request, run over to the files, look up the information and type it back to you... really, really quickly.

    The poor mans database; Interns!

     
    I actually worked at a place five years ago that did just that. The IT-"manager" (read: the CEO's nephew) felt that connecting our database so the web server could get data from it was too expensive so he hired a few students. If you wanted to know a price for a item you had to submit your e-mail address so the "database" could email you the result.



  • @Carnildo said:

    @AisA said:

    Just saw this on another message board:

    Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!!

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/c6a602ece72a3026d1f4288dfed035d2/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

    Cheers!


    It might be a WTF for a government, but, for example, the B&H camera store has a very good reason for turning off their online order form from half an hour before sunset on Friday to half an hour after sunset on Saturday.

    (The following was heavily edited for maximum ironic impact.  And, as an aside, I applaud them for their observances.  I simply found humor here.)

    B&H Holiday Schedule 2007

    Purim
    Passover
    Shavuos
    Tisha B`Av
    Rosh Hashana
    Yom Kippur Eve
    Succos
    Christmas 



  • I know of a bank who's completely offline 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. Not only the web-banking, mind you - I said COMPLETELY. It's great when you want to use your ATM card to buy drinks. OR, when you are in a far-away time zone, and try to buy lunch.

    @Welbog said:

    My university had an online system that, among
    other things, let students schedule their courses and manage their
    payments online. It was offline every night at like 8 p.m., and it came
    back online at like 7 a.m. This was fine for those of us from the
    country, but when the university boasts a huge international student
    body, many hailing from China and India whose time is roughly the
    opposite of here, it meant that those poor guys had to stay up all
    night to register for classes.

    This university also had the greatest "business hours" of all time: 9:00-11:30, 1:30-4:30, weekdays only.

    My university would have similar "business hours", except that they would only open either the morning OR the afternoon, on alternate days.
     

     

     



  • @xeraa said:

    At my university it's common practice to halt servers on which you hand in your assignments; reason: The grading robot needs to sleep from midnight to 6 am.

    Maybe they just want to get us used to annoying situations...
     

     

    Reminds me of my Distributed Systems Lab. The grading robot "slept" from midnight to 6am. After students complained to the lab supervisor, they shortened its sleep to 2am to 6am. Didn't affect its ability to grade the assignments.

    And of course, "in order to discourage students using the grading robot for debugging", you have to wait thirty minutes before submitting again after failing one (out of around 20) test case.

     Oh, and the lab assignments only accounted for 30% of the grade, the other 70% depended on two (closed-book) lab tests, where you had to program on paper.

    That Distributed Systems Lab was a WTF in itself...
     



  • @cconroy said:

    I know!  When you do a search, the support staff has to be there to receive the request, run over to the files, look up the information and type it back to you... really, really quickly.

     

    ROFL



  • @Everett said:

    Observation of the jewish tradition of not working on the sabbath.


    That's a bit of a WTF in itself.  I read a Wired article about companies whose entire business is helping people get around that.  First of all, they have some pretty strange definitions of working, such as having your website up, and cooking meals.  Apparently turning on the stove is the only part that's a problem though, so it's ok to leave it on all weekend.  Even ignoring that, if you think God's going to be pissed if you work, is it really wise to try and sneak one past him on a technicality?



  • @cconroy said:

    I know!  When you do a search, the support staff has to be there to receive the request, run over to the files, look up the information and type it back to you... really, really quickly.

    That was my first thought. But not exactly, since mine involved a wooden table.



  • There are no known instances of any UK government IT project resulting in sanity.

    No, there's no good reason why Companies House is offline for 7 hours each day. It just is. This is not supposed to make sense. It's one of those arbitrary bureaucracy rules that cannot be explained. To this day, there are still places in the UK civil service where the office toilets have opening hours, and those hours are not the same as the office working hours (not for cleaning or anything, one of the janitorial staff just locks the door because the rules say the door must be locked at that time).



  • @mdk said:

    @xeraa said:

    At my university it's common practice to halt servers on which you hand in your assignments; reason: The grading robot needs to sleep from midnight to 6 am.

    Maybe they just want to get us used to annoying situations...
     

     

    Reminds me of my Distributed Systems Lab. The grading robot "slept" from midnight to 6am. After students complained to the lab supervisor, they shortened its sleep to 2am to 6am. Didn't affect its ability to grade the assignments.

    And of course, "in order to discourage students using the grading robot for debugging", you have to wait thirty minutes before submitting again after failing one (out of around 20) test case.

     Oh, and the lab assignments only accounted for 30% of the grade, the other 70% depended on two (closed-book) lab tests, where you had to program on paper.

    That Distributed Systems Lab was a WTF in itself...
     

     

    That's exactly the course I referred to ;-). DSLab was definitely a WTF overall...



  • @AisA said:

    Just saw this on another message board:

    Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!! 

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/c6a602ece72a3026d1f4288dfed035d2/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

    Cheers!

    Rutgers is notorious for this as well, especially the registrar.

    "Sorry, it's after 5PM. You can't check your class schedule here. Feel free to use the other resources to do this that you don't know about!"



  • @Everett said:

    Observation of the jewish tradition of not working on the sabbath.

    Why not just have web requests forwarded to an e-mail address, database, file, or other similar location rather than outright DISABLING THE FORM during those hours?  Surely that's an inconvenience to all of the shop's non-Jewish users out there.



  • @Saladin said:

    @Everett said:

    Observation of the jewish tradition of not working on the sabbath.

    Why not just have web requests forwarded to an e-mail address, database, file, or other similar location rather than outright DISABLING THE FORM during those hours?  Surely that's an inconvenience to all of the shop's non-Jewish users out there.


    I believe that would still meet the definition of working on the Sabbath.  The Hebrew term "melachah" is usually translated as "work", but that's misleading.  It would be closer to translate it as "useful work" or "creative work", but it's actually a list of 39 categories of activity that are forbidden on the Sabbath.    


  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    @Everett said:
    Observation of the jewish tradition of not working on the sabbath.


    That's a bit of a WTF in itself.  I read a Wired article about companies whose entire business is helping people get around that.  First of all, they have some pretty strange definitions of working, such as having your website up, and cooking meals.  Apparently turning on the stove is the only part that's a problem though, so it's ok to leave it on all weekend.  Even ignoring that, if you think God's going to be pissed if you work, is it really wise to try and sneak one past him on a technicality?

    Judaism seems to be a religion designed for lawyers.

    That said, leaving your stove on all weekend isn't a solution to the prohibition on cooking.  It avoids the prohibitions on lighting a fire and extinguishing a fire, but whatever you use that stove for is going to run afoul of the prohibition on baking.



  • @Volmarias said:

    @AisA said:

    Just saw this on another message board:

    Only a government would have closing hours for an ONLINE resource!! 

    http://wck2.companieshouse.gov.uk/c6a602ece72a3026d1f4288dfed035d2/wcframe?name=accessCompanyInfo

    Cheers!

    Rutgers is notorious for this as well, especially the registrar.

    "Sorry, it's after 5PM. You can't check your class schedule here. Feel free to use the other resources to do this that you don't know about!"

    I can't imagine it's that uncommon among large diverse organizations - governments and universities come to mind. Although I hope all organizations are at some point on a migration path to an integrated system that handles real time transactions.

    To be honest, it's best not to think about the downtime, because if you look into it you will uncover a horrifying nest of batch jobs and cron entires semi-performing all sorts of obscene actions on excel files, hundreds of database formats, and flat files lovingly nestled between maintenance and backup windows. All under the watchful eyes of a few 50+ employees that have refused to keep up to date with tech changes in their chosen field and have been shuttled off to ops until they retire. Once the days activities have been processed, verified, merged, into the mainframe, pure pristine data is pushed back to the all the little databases around the organization and a new day can begin.


     



  • @Carnildo said:

    Judaism seems to be a religion designed for lawyers.

    That said, leaving your stove on all weekend isn't a solution to the prohibition on cooking.  It avoids the prohibitions on lighting a fire and extinguishing a fire, but whatever you use that stove for is going to run afoul of the prohibition on baking.


    I can't find the article, but they seemed to think it was ok.  The only other thing I remember is that the light coming on when you open the refridgerator wa also considered work, so they made one that had a random chance whether it would turn on or not.  Frankly, I think that's stranger than the whole "having sex through a hole in a sheet" thing.


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