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July 13, 2011

Keeping up with the parking meters

In the annals of bad install screens, the latest Java update deserves a special mention.

The message appears to be, “Parking meters and public transportation passes run Java.  You should too!”  Apparently Oracle doesn’t understand that the software that runs on parking meters is completely irrelevant to whether Java is any use to me on my PC.  It’s not as if I need my PC to double as a parking meter, or that there are applications built for parking meters that I’d like to run.  And it’s not like having Java on my PC will equip me with skills that will save my bacon next time I need to use a parking meter.

Of the ugly design, the “I found this great 1000 Free and Shareware Fonts CD from 1994” text quality and the fact that this sales pitch appears after I have already agreed to install the product, it is not necessary to speak.  The parking meters have it.

July 13, 2011 in Usability | Permalink


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I was astounded to discover that Oracle (before the takeover of Sun) had an implausibly large number of user interface designers / user experience / interaction design people. If there is any company whose UIs and websites said 'thrown together by developers who are not very good at that sort of thing' I would have said Oracle.
Their website was certainly piss-poor at a point they were trying very hard to push network computing or whatever thin client stuff was called back then.
And of course Oracle installers tend to spend hours emptying jars of Java over ones computer very sloooooowly.

Posted by: Harvey Pengwyn at Jul 14, 2011 1:47:02 AM

It's an advertisement for the company, not the product. It's about trust in the stability and standardization of Java. It might not matter to you, but if you were choosing a platform to build a new parking meter on, you might look at Oracle first.

Posted by: Mike at Sep 10, 2012 1:42:42 AM