The census delivery chick turned up and offered us the option of paper or electronic form.
Two programmers looked at each other, thought about how they value their time and the response was a no-brainer:
“We’re programmers,” I explained, “we’ll take the paper form.”
“There’s a phone number you can call if you have any trouble filling out the electronic form” reassures the collector.
Cathy thinks: “Sure, that line won’t have any trouble when twenty million Australians simultaneously log into the web site to fill in the forms via a broken SSL link, using IE specific controls (that only work under some versions Windows assuming they’re correctly patched and have the right libraries loaded), demanding full round-trips to the underspec’d Windows servers to populate unnecessarily complex custom controls, some of which will no doubt demand Flash or COM. Come to think of it, it probably won’t even be web based, and we’ve only got two Windows boxes, one of which is tucked under a table (Yay! Census night on the floor swearing at the ABS’s programmers!) and the other has a screen resolution that went out with buggy whips (I’ve had programs barf and refuse to run because the resolution was unacceptable).”
We chose paper. For another view of the world, I’m looking forward hearing to how census night worked for Daniel…