Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Governments entering IT at glacier speeds.

What happens when you give powerful tools to people with low motivation?

They create products that make it attractive to go back to filling out stacks of paper forms by hand.

Problem of the day:
I was filling out a Visa application for entering Japan. On the plus side, the file is a PDF and I can actually type the information into them. All of the fields are present. That's another plus.

The minus, is that input validation is broken on some fields. For example, of the 5 phone number entry fields, only 3 allow dashes. One of the date entry fields does not actually allow entry. Another date entry only allows 3 digits for the year.

But that's actually not bad.
What's bad, is that I could not print the thing. There was something literally not allowing me to print my own document.

This absolutely blew my mind. I attempted to print a few more times in complete disbelief for what was happening, before accepting the yak shave ahead of me as one of my own. First the obvious, was Ctrl+P different from File -> Print? Sadly, same result. (if you recall, Chrome takes over your print functionality)

So, can I just turn it off somewhere? Yes! Edit -> Preferences (it even has a hotkey!!)

And that is the Story of how I printed a form, that was likely butchered due to some government compliance rules on PDF security by people who were not given any autonomy and probably no explanation.