There’s a Finnish bank called Sampo (Previously called Leonia, previously Postipankki) that has about a million customers. It was sold to danish Danske Bank some time ago. They did a renewal of the online account services during easter. It was a massive failure (like these things usually are).
Practically everybody in Finland uses their bank’s online services and all bigger things are handled by account transfers. I haven’t seen a check in ten years. So online banking is a seriously critical service.
I’ve been trying to move money between two of my own accounts since before easter, but no dice. There is some massive Java thing going on that crashes the browsers (I tried Opera and Firefox (the latter with all extensions disabled)) at various places.
So I finally gave in and called the support. There the young lady after some troubleshooting first directed me to mobiili.sampopankki.fi. It’s a mobile version of the normal online service – accessible with a regular web browser. And no java! No pictures, no client-side scripts. Everything worked extremely fast and to the point. I was done in a few seconds.
This is what the internet was supposed to be. When did all the WEB 2.0 people hijack it into the monstrous java and script mess that it is today?
I’ve had a Facebook account for months and it’s just a horrible user experience. You have to wait a long time after every click for just stuff starting to load, never mind rendering – and there are often bugs that crash the whole thing. Lots of little pictures and windows and buttons everywhere cluttering up the place. It takes ten minutes to accomplish even the simplest task.
GMail is such a mess too. It’s extremely slow. It takes ages just to go to the previous page of posts. All webmail clients I have tried, have sucked in just being extremely slow. The same with most forum software too.
Maybe I’m spoiled since I use pine for email (and used to use offline client too), read newsgroups with pine or tin too. Everything there just happens instantly – because all that is sent over the intertube is plain text. And pine is even easy to use. Nowadays I see most people never learning pine etc but using webmail because it’s something they have a lower threshold to start to use, even when it’s vastly inferior in most things (well, I grant it’s good in showing pictures compared to text-only clients.)
But most of these improvements are vastly inferior to the originals. Often just plain html and plain links rock the socks out of everything with extremely good speed and perfect readability.
RSS is trying to go to this with blogs but it’s often implemented in some way that doesn’t really work – and blogs often have richer content than just pictures. Still they are a needlessly heavy publicizing medium. Most of the computation capacity goes to crunching nonsense.