Excel to web app = fail





  •  I'll turn around at the next exit I think I missed the point of this post even though you explained it so well. 



  • @CrouchSoft said:

    http://www.equalssolved.com/

    Horrifying.

    I like how every link on the site that looks like it may take you to actual technical details of the software all just forward back to the base marketing page. Even clicking on the tiny unreadable screenshots (I would expect those links to, yanno, let me see the screenshots in full?) just forwards you to the marketing page.

    I tried to use the demo app, but couldn't make it past the second page since their javascript validation flips out with constant annoying validation failures. The problem it had? The default values THE APP PROVIDED were not legal. Unless that was what they were trying to demo? I am still not sure.



  • @repeater said:

    Horrifying.

    I like how every link on the site that looks like it may take you to actual technical details of the software all just forward back to the base marketing page.

     

    So is the WTF supposed to be the website itself or what the software purports to do because while it seems limited and probably a clunky implementation I don't really think the concept itself of generating a site from an Excel template is that mind boggling of a concept and I've seen plenty of questions of tech websites where clearly there is a market for this sort of thing (at least two devshed postings recently where someone was looking to make an excel doc editable on their site, for example).   

    I guess I'm just scratching my head over exactly what I should be scratching my head over ... 



  • Wow, it's like "As if Excel wasn't already good enough... now you can get it on the web!"

    I can think of other similar statements:

    "As if ebola wasn't already good enough... now you can crawl naked on your balls across broken glass to get it!"

    "As if drinking a glass of rancid vomit wasn't already good
    enough...  now you can get it drilled into your neck by a pneumatic
    hammer!"

    "As if having the steering wheel smash through your face in a ninety-mile-an-hour road crash wasn't already good enough.... now you can have all your friends and family in the back seat at the time!" 

     ...etc. etc. etc.  :-0

     



  • @medialint said:

    I guess I'm just scratching my head over exactly what I should be scratching my head over ... 

     

    See previous post.... 

     



  • @medialint said:

    @repeater said:

    Horrifying.

    I like how every link on the site that looks like it may take you to actual technical details of the software all just forward back to the base marketing page.

     

    So is the WTF supposed to be the website itself or what the software purports to do because while it seems limited and probably a clunky implementation I don't really think the concept itself of generating a site from an Excel template is that mind boggling of a concept and I've seen plenty of questions of tech websites where clearly there is a market for this sort of thing (at least two devshed postings recently where someone was looking to make an excel doc editable on their site, for example).   

    I guess I'm just scratching my head over exactly what I should be scratching my head over ... 

    I think it is mostly just one of those "this is a really bad idea and there is a reason nobody wants to tackle it" things, as mentioned above. I suppose I also really can't fault the site, as this is obviously a product meant to entice non-techs as an easy way to make webapps without needing a developer, and providing tech details would scare off anyone who knew better.

    Also, the fact that the whole mess costs around $7,000 with an annual recurring "maintenance" fee of $2,000 per sever is a big WTF (see: http://www.equalssolved.com/purchase.aspx).

    That right there throws the "hey this might be useful to a small org that can't afford a cheap dev" argument out the window, and pushes the thing in to WTF territory.

    Though, the original poster gave no commentary so who knows if that is what he was getting at.



  • @DaveK said:

    Wow, it's like "As if Excel wasn't already good enough... now you can get it on the web!"

    I can think of other similar statements:

    "As if ebola wasn't already good enough... now you can crawl naked on your balls across broken glass to get it!"

    "As if drinking a glass of rancid vomit wasn't already good
    enough...  now you can get it drilled into your neck by a pneumatic
    hammer!"

    "As if having the steering wheel smash through your face in a ninety-mile-an-hour road crash wasn't already good enough.... now you can have all your friends and family in the back seat at the time!" 

     ...etc. etc. etc.  :-0

     

    Where's that mug when you need it. 



  • @DaveK said:

    I can think of other similar statements:

     

    Gah.  I owe an apology to bstorer.  I thought I had made a joke, but
    I just discovered I was only remembering (roughly) a joke made by bstorer on teh spectateswamp thread a day or two back.

    Sorry bstorer!

    @DaveK said:

    Wow, it's like "As if Excel wasn't already good enough... now you can get it on the web!"

    That, of course, is all the WTF that anyone should need. 



  • @DaveK said:

    @DaveK said:

    I can think of other similar statements:

     

    Gah.  I owe an apology to bstorer.  I thought I had made a joke, but
    I just discovered I was only remembering (roughly) a joke made by bstorer on teh spectateswamp thread a day or two back.

    Sorry bstorer!

    Hah! I just assumed it was a tribute to that thread / post. (Also, I had to stop posting in that thread when I realized I was just repeating what I posted in there two weeks ago - but I think ripping yourself off is more socially acceptable perhaps?)



  • I guess some comentary would have been good, i thought it spoke for itself.

    I randomly found the ad and thought it seemed like the rather bad idea. I didnt look all the way through the site but 7k sounds a bit steep.



  • @repeater said:

    (Also, I had to stop posting in that thread when I realized I was just repeating what I posted in there two weeks ago - but I think ripping yourself off is more socially acceptable perhaps?)

    Only if your nickname fits this behavior - which yours obviously does.



  • @DaveK said:

    Gah.  I owe an apology to bstorer.  I thought I had made a joke, but
    I just discovered I was only remembering (roughly) a joke made by bstorer on teh spectateswamp thread a day or two back.

    Sorry bstorer!

     

    No hard feelings.  Much of my writing style in the SSDS thread is inspired by masters of sarcastic critique over at Fire Joe Morgan.



  • Sounds like it worked properly

    <p>Thank you for the feedback.</p>

    <p>Were you unable to find the video tour?</p>

    <p>mms://media.equalssolved.com/AdvancedXL-Overview</p>

    <p>Individual videos can also be found here:</p>

    <p>http://www.equalssolved.com/tutorials/aspnet/961d8d52-eaa4-4a06-8b6e-7f5a09da17a3/advancedxl174-designer.aspx</p>

    <p>The demonstration surveys have examples of how to restrict values that can be entered. The demo messages should have informed you of the proper values that can be accepted. We'll take your feedback into account in regards to the content of the web site. All suggestions on how to better communicate with our clients is appreciated.</p>

    <p>For those who are interested, you can test drive our demonstrations prior to downloading the designer software: </p>

    <p>http://www.equalssolved.com/framework/onlinedemos.aspx</p>

    <p>They give you a good idea of what an intermediate Excel user can create without programming skills. Our target audience is people who build a lot of custom Excel spreadsheets and need ways to turn them into complex web apps without having to rely on their IT teams to provide a resource. They also don't want to publicly distribute the Excel file itself for fear of tampering and discovering intellectual property or private formulas. You'd be amazed at the types of web applications people build and how quickly they are production ready.</p>



  • A properly formatted response.

    Thank you for the feedback.

    Were you unable to find the video tour?

    mms://media.equalssolved.com/AdvancedXL-Overview

    Individual videos can also be found here:

    http://www.equalssolved.com/tutorials/aspnet/961d8d52-eaa4-4a06-8b6e-7f5a09da17a3/advancedxl174-designer.aspx

    The demonstration surveys have examples of how to restrict values that can be entered. The demo messages should have informed you of the proper values that can be accepted. We'll take your feedback into account in regards to the content of the web site. All suggestions on how to better communicate with our clients is appreciated.

    For those who are interested, you can test drive our demonstrations prior to downloading the designer software:

    http://www.equalssolved.com/framework/onlinedemos.aspx

    They give you a good idea of what an intermediate Excel user can create without programming skills. Our target audience is people who build a lot of custom Excel spreadsheets and need ways to turn them into complex web apps without having to rely on their IT teams to provide a resource. They also don't want to publicly distribute the Excel file itself for fear of tampering and discovering intellectual property or private formulas. You'd be amazed at the types of web applications people build and how quickly they are production ready.



  • You do realize this is the place where we mock and ridicule both your product and your hairstyle, right?



  • @equalssolved said:

    You'd be amazed at the types of web applications people build and how quickly they are production ready.
     

    Let me be the first to say "Thank you for adding to the supply of material for this site".



  • Indeed

    My spiked hair has been both envied and mocked for years...I noticed this url in our web traffic reports, read the thread, and wanted to put our two cents in.  Anytime we run across a frustrated customer or potential customer, we stop and take the time to be as helpful as possible.  That said, we'd love to hear all of the negative comments (positive ones as well) you folks can dish out.



  • @equalssolved said:

    That said, we'd love to hear all of the negative comments (positive ones as well) you folks can dish out.
     

    I highly doubt that.

    I see another SSDS thread coming on...



  • @equalssolved said:

    I noticed this url in our web traffic reports

    Business a little slow today? I wouldn't have noticed it until the end of the week, at least. Or maybe your logs are really short.

    @equalssolved said:

    we'd love to hear all of the negative comments

    I would think that a business would be more inclined to phrase it more like this:

    We'd love to hear all feedback regarding our product so that we may make improvements to better suit your needs

    @equalssolved said:

    you folks can dish out

    That's just asking for it, you know.



  • We keep real time daily logs just like everybody else

    I was doing some research on a new ad we just put up.  And I suppose you are right about "just asking for it".  I'm not a stranger to the types of posts that come up in threads like these.  Out of a hundred "useless" posts we are likely to see a couple that identify problems or perceptions we weren't aware of.  I'll take those anyway I can get them.



  • @equalssolved said:

    I'm not a stranger to the types of posts that come up in threads like these.
     

    No way, I can't imagine an excel to web app converter ever coming under fire in a forum like this.... 

    Edit: I noticed you just changed the subject line of your post... Do you have any relatives in Alberta Canada? Maybe one with a full beard, yellowish skin, and mumbles a lot?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Edit: I noticed you just changed the subject line of your post... Do you have any relatives in Alberta Canada? Maybe one with a full beard, yellowish skin, and mumbles a lot?
    Probably not, this one seems to be a marketoid which would actually excuse his/her programming skill level, but not the horrible application that was made from such ineptness.



  • At the risk of actually helping this company, I post these WTFs.

    What are you trying to tell me?

     

    It would be helpful if I got this message less than 48 times when I break your system make a mistake cause your system to invade Canada.




  • @belgariontheking said:

    At the risk of actually helping this company, I post these WTFs.

    What are you trying to tell me?

    [snip]

    It would be helpful if I got this message less than 48 times when I break your system make a mistake cause your system to invade Canada.

    [snip]

     

    Do you ever post these to Error'd?

    Also, what do you have to say for yourself EqualsSolved?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     

    Do you ever post these to Error'd?

    Nah, They're not generally front page material.  I figure if they are, then they'll make it to the front page.  I'd rather post them and share them than wait for Alex to decide whether they're front page material.  



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Do you ever post these to Error'd?

    Nah, They're not generally front page material.  I figure if they are, then they'll make it to the front page.  I'd rather post them and share them than wait for Alex to decide whether they're front page material.  

     

    I think you should do both.



  • Works as designed by the AdvancedXL web survey builder

    The survey builder wants to enforce a value range for that particular data point and does not want the survey respondent to be able to leave the page without valid data. While this demonstrates that our required field and basic data validation rules work, perhaps we should consider taking them out of the demonstrations. We didn't realize they were causing this much confusion.



  • @equalssolved said:

    The survey builder wants to enforce a value range for that particular data point and does not want the survey respondent to be able to leave the page without valid data. While this demonstrates that our required field and basic data validation rules work, perhaps we should consider taking them out of the demonstrations. We didn't realize they were causing this much confusion.
     

    And as part of that, displaying a completely blank error dialog is somehow ok?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Do you ever post these to Error'd?

    @belgariontheking said:

    Nah, They're not generally front page material.  I figure if they are, then they'll make it to the front page.  I'd rather post them and share them than wait for Alex to decide whether they're front page material.  

     

    I think you should do both.

    hmm.  I suppose it wouldn't be a huge deal right now if I submit them all at once.  Some of them are better than the front page error'd posts.   Thanks.



  • A blank error dialog?

    Not sure what you are referring to here? The previous screenshot showed a dialog explaining the entered value was outside the desired range. Do you see something different?



  • @equalssolved said:

    The survey builder wants to enforce a value range for that particular data point and does not want the survey respondent to be able to leave the page without valid data. While this demonstrates that our required field and basic data validation rules work, perhaps we should consider taking them out of the demonstrations. We didn't realize they were causing this much confusion.

    I suppose, for weak enough definitions of "work." 

    So rather than fix the issue (which presumably exists in your production environment as well) you're just going to hide it from everyone until they shell out the 7 grand.

    Nice. 

    Also, it's polite to quote the text that you're responding to. 



  • @equalssolved said:

    Not sure what you are referring to here? The previous screenshot showed a dialog explaining the entered value was outside the desired range. Do you see something different?

    There were two screen shots.  One was a completely blank javascript popup.   The other showed an error message and explained that it popped up 48 times when I forced your system to invade Canada.



  • Let me clarify, this isn't a bug

    @belgariontheking said:

    I suppose, for weak enough definitions of "work." 

    So rather than fix the issue (which presumably exists in your production environment as well) you're just going to hide it from everyone until they shell out the 7 grand.

    Nice. 

    Also, it's polite to quote the text that you're responding to. 

    Sorry, didn't catch onto the whole quote thing. 

    The survey builder established a range of valid data that they would accept in that data point.  The error dialog you were shown came from the app and gave you the accepted range of values.  I was referring to simply taking out the validation rule in the demonstration if it was causing this much confusion.



  • @equalssolved said:

    The survey builder established a range of valid data that they would accept in that data point.  The error dialog you were shown came from the app and gave you the accepted range of values.  I was referring to simply taking out the validation rule in the demonstration if it was causing this much confusion.

    Lemme help out The King a bit for you, ES. He specifically said that particular error pops up 48 times. I think once would suffice.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    There were two screen shots.  One was a completely blank javascript popup.   The other showed an error message and explained that it popped up 48 times when I forced your system to invade Canada.

    Sorry, I thought the 48 times was some sort of exaggeration or a joke.  We've tested that functionality in FireFox and various versions of IE.  I also can't duplicate that behavior now.  I realize it isn't your job to spend time with stuff like this but could you tell me which browser you are using and if you have any features that might hamper standard windows dialogs?



  • @belgariontheking said:

    There were two screen shots.  One was a completely blank javascript popup.   The other showed an error message and explained that it popped up 48 times when I forced your system to invade Canada.

     I was able to duplicate this issue in FireFox's latest release (on another user's pc).  It apparently handles events slightly differently than IE does.  Thank you for identifying this issue for us so that we can fix it.



  • @equalssolved said:

     

    @belgariontheking said:

    There were two screen shots.  One was a completely blank javascript popup.   The other showed an error message and explained that it popped up 48 times when I forced your system to invade Canada.

     I was able to duplicate this issue in FireFox's latest release (on another user's pc).  It apparently handles events slightly differently than IE does.  Thank you for identifying this issue for us so that we can fix it.

     

    So there is no answer about the blank dialog box then? I would say that is a lot more alarming in an expensive software package...



  • Thanks to all

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     So there is no answer about the blank dialog box then? I would say that is a lot more alarming in an expensive software package...

    Oddly enough, an older version of FireFox we tested against didn't give us the ultimate problem we had to fix.  Version 2.0.0.3 definitely does and perhaps others do as well. 

    Fortunately, the fix was fairly easy to implement and test.  Again, thanks to all for identifying this FireFox issue.



  • @equalssolved said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

     So there is no answer about the blank dialog box then? I would say that is a lot more alarming in an expensive software package...

    Oddly enough, an older version of FireFox we tested against didn't give us the ultimate problem we had to fix.  Version 2.0.0.3 definitely does and perhaps others do as well. 

    Fortunately, the fix was fairly easy to implement and test.  Again, thanks to all for identifying this FireFox issue.

    Why do I feel dirty all of a sudden? 



  •  @belgariontheking said:

    Why do I feel dirty all of a sudden? 

    I am still catching whiffs of SS. How about you?



  • equalsolved, you need to get your application tested by REAL testers in your company or hired as consultants, who don't know anything about how it was developed. As it is, the application comes off as half-baked, with virtually no error handling, and no allowances for different web browsers. You must either 1) declare that you only support IE, and thoroughly test everything in IE or 2) declare that you support "any modern browser" and THOROUGHLY TEST everything in at least 6 common browser setups on more than one OS.

    Here is an error that I came up with after some very cursory poking around. Go to http://www.eggheadcafe.com/AdvancedXL.aspx?anonymous=true&surveyid=33a893ce-60bd-4c1e-86f1-1dba028bd5ee "EggHeadCafe's Programmer's Hemispheric Brain Dominance Test" demo page. Fill out Questions 1 - 10 and go to the next page. Fill out the second page and leave one blank on purpose, and then attemp to continue. The system redirects you back to the first page ("Questions 1 - 10"). Click "My Results". Again, you are redirected to the first page. The application completely fails to tell you WHY you can't continue; you simply can't continue. Find and fill in the missing question and then you are allowed to move on to "Results". I was using Firefox 2.0.0.12 on Ubuntu Linux.

    That's all I've got for constructive criticism. Now for some unconstructive criticism:

    This application sucks! I would never even think of recommending it to anyone! You'll get much better results, quicker, signing up for an account at a survey hosting web site, and uploading your questions in a plaintext file. 

    <hints id="hah_hints"></hints>



  • @Brendan Kidwell said:

    This application sucks!

    I wanted to mention that it wouldn't work without javascript enabled, leaving one able to submit any values that one desires, but actually, the survey won't even fire up without javascript enabled.  Every button is a "Javascript:GotoPage(whatever)" link, including the button that starts the survey.  



  • That error is works as designed

    And has nothing with the browser. The survey builders chose to implement their validation and rules in that fashion. The web applications that are built are only as good as the web app builder wants them to be.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @Brendan Kidwell said:

    This application sucks!

    I wanted to mention that it wouldn't work without javascript enabled, leaving one able to submit any values that one desires, but actually, the survey won't even fire up without javascript enabled.  Every button is a "javascriptGotoPage(whatever)" link, including the button that starts the survey.  

    Yes, that is true.  JavaScript being enabled is required.  Technically speaking, server side rules are often implemented as well to prevent invalid submissions if the need is that critical.  It all depends on what the survey builder wants.



  • Here's my experience with the "Landscape Company" Demo:

    1. Go to "Portfolio", looking for some existing content.  Don't see anything.
    2. Click on "View Scenarios Not Attached to a Group" - takes me to the exact same screen.
    3. Give up, hit the Back button a couple of times, then click "New Scenario".
    4. Notice that none of the 3 drop-downs have any items.  Put "Test" into the Name, then click Submit.
    5. Nothing happens.  Click Submit a few more times.  Still nothing.
    6. Click Cancel, which takes me to a blank screen (well, not quite blank, looks like the header is duplicated).
    7. Hit Back a few more times, then go into Portfolio again, hoping to find, er, [I]something[/I].
    8. "Your session has partially failed.  Typically, this is caused by security or firewall settings that limit the length of the browser url or prohibits session cookies.  Please review your security configuration, make the necessary adjustments, and try again."

     

    Yeah, okay guys, blame it on the firewall.  Maybe you should actually, you know, [B]test your demos[/B] before publishing them.  Just a thought.



  • Actually, this is a known firewall issue

    We found this in beta testing with certain users and it is relevant to the length of the url.  Your exact

    steps were found by others.  Typically, it is a personal firewall setting. 

    If I remember correctly, it was CA's firewall offering.



  • @equalssolved said:

    We found this in beta testing with certain users and it is relevant to the length of the url.  Your exact

    steps were found by others.  Typically, it is a personal firewall setting. 

    If I remember correctly, it was CA's firewall offering.

     

    You really have just given up on trying to make your customers happy, haven't you?



  • @equalssolved said:

    it is relevant to the length of the url

    There's a method called POST that you might want to investigate....


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