I've been using Mapquest since it came out. It's really pretty good. I tried it a few days ago and it's been web 2.0'ized and no longer works on my W98 box.
Stop laughing, all I want windows to do is launch Opera and SSH and nothing more, and on a dial up line out here in the (dialup only) countryside it makes more sense than XP that can't update itself fast enough before getting trashed.
Mapquest will no longer show me a map as their Web 2.0 nonsense doesn't work in the latest Opera (it should) or last weeks IE. Thanks guys.
Other annoyances: goons that insist a "go" or "submit" button be a graphic. I just wasted some drustrating minutes doing the stupid annual address verification thing for some clients domains. I sit there waiting for the graphic for the "go" button to show up. Come on baby, you can do it, any day now, nice ads, uh huh, yeah come on OH there it is! Click.
I swear the web is a lot less usable than it was 5 years aho. Everybody wants to be as slick as Google which is fine, but don't break your app in trying (and failing) to achive that.
In 1983 I mentioned to our European head of marketing I'd just improved the floppy formatting program; we worked for a computer manufacturor.
"How?" says he.
"I took out the verification step".
"You fucking moron. People don't care how fast, people care it actually WORKED".
Oh, good point.
This is a point needs to be written on a cluebat and hammered home to all those Dilberteque managers throught the kingdom. Pretty is nice, but working is better. At least make it a frigging option.
But don't do it like google - you can selete "plain html" (instead of web 2.0) in gmail, which works, but try to manage any options and you're told "this doesn't work in plain html". Hello?
The problem as I see it is the developers and their bosses are technodweebs but those pesky things out there we call "users" have decepid crifty old technology. But they are our customers. They in a large part, occupy the part of the ecosystem that have direct control over our paychecks. And not only are they dumb as a bag of hammers, but they have computers salvaged from the Spanish American war. That's why I like to assume their technology when developing stuff, just as I liked to used to prefer to develop from a floppy way back when before hard drives were ubiquitous: I wanna be able to count disk accesses and I want it to be small.
Know they customer. Know (exactly!) what your program is doing.
Mapquest fails this test.
RJS - Oct/06