Some more Internet pet peeves

I think some of us have seen my classic web pet peeves list at this location. Well, I just felt it needed some updates. So here's some of the latest annoyances on the net that I bet we've all hit once in a while.

  • People who use unnecessary unicode/xml/etc. in E-mail -- I mean, come on, folks. This is a quote: " You don't have to use quot; or other bizarre quote-wannabes. Use standard ASCII quotes. Some mail programs are badly behaved and replace every normal " you type with these abominations; disable that. If you are speaking in English, use ASCII. The same goes for apostrophes ('). The world need not be artificially made more complex than it already is!
  • Sending word documents as attachments that contain nothing but text or images -- This sort of jives with the above peeve, in that it's unnecessary, wastes bandwidth, and causes needless annoyance having to open up a bulky application just to read your message. If you must have it page-formatted, generate a PDF instead; it'll be smaller. If you need to send an image, attach the actual image to the message; don't send it embedded in a word document! Another problem with Word documents is that they can contain macro viruses and potentially compromise the machine! Oh yeah, and not everybody runs Windows or uses Word.
  • HTML E-mail -- HTML E-mail is unnecessary. Just use plaintext and write actual URLs as links; the vast majority of mail clients will make the links clickable. There's two problems with HTML E-mail; the first is that it looks like crap when viewed in plain text, and the second is that most SPAM is sent as HTML E-mail, so spam filters tend to spam-score HTML messages higher than plaintext messages. Your fancy HTML email might be filed away as SPAM and your recipient may not even see it! If you must send someone a web page, just send them the URL to it. It's much faster. What's funny is that 99% of the people who send HTML E-mail don't actually use any HTML features! The message would look exactly the same in plaintext.
  • Using Java for images -- I don't know how this idiocy got started, but I've come across several sites where the images were actually displayed by Java applets. Not only is this slow, but it prevents viewing of the images on any browser that isn't Java-enabled! I happened to like one of the images and wanted to save it, and ended up having to take a screen-capture and crop the image out. Needless to say, unnecessary annoyance. Stop it! The same applies for Macromedia Flash being used solely to display a static image.

Well, that's it for now. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to comment! Remember, just because an application has a feature doesn't mean you should be obliged to use it. Features do not get lonely from disuse and do not need your pity. };)

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Web sites (see SJSU Academic

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