• Today on “Your Daily Marqui” — a complaint about security…

    by  • 12/5/2004 • geek • 1 Comment

    I just realised that I’ve been meta blogging about Marqui for a while now, and it’s time to do some real looking at the product.

    My first step was to check out the Flash demo they put online. I’m not a huge fan of Flash based demos, and I really don’t care for the cartoon characters in this one as it’s a bit unpolished, but it’s a dcent script. I did rather enjoy that they included a PAUSE button and chapter bookmarks. Sure, I can right-click on the flash and uncheck “Play” in order to pause the display, but that’s me… I don’t think that most people know how to pause.

    The demo isn’t bad… it gives me enough of an overview to know the main items I should expect to see in the product. The demo is also something that I could present to a non-technical CEO without issue. There’s no special knowledge required to follow what they’re talking about – just straight-forward information on data flow.

    Now, I know that the target market for this product is your average Marketing or PR person and not the technical people of the company, but I have a couple issues…


    WebTrends Reporting Center

    In order to use the WebTrends Reporting Center Interface you will need to use one of the following:

    Please be sure that your browser has Javascript enabled.

    • In Netscape: “Preferences…” dialog
      • Advanced | Enable Javascript
    • In Internet Explorer: “Internet Options” dialog.
      • Security
        • Settings | Enable Active scripting

    The WebTrends error message above occurs when I click on “Web Analyzer” in the system. I just copied the HTML from the error message, so that awful table is WebTrends’ fault.

    Now, why would I have a problem with this silly little error? See, the problem is that I’ve weened most of my Marketing and PR type co-workers off of Internet Explorer completely for one big reason; security. This is a pretty major problem as the sole IT person in a company… I can’t recommend any product that transfers data outside the firewall if it’s as easily high-jacked as IE has proven to be. If their other hosted applications like Salesforce work in Firefox 1.0, then this one should work there; it’s not acceptable to have a system that relies on a security hole that can also display web pages… Even Microsoft’s own Outlook Web Access works great in non-IE browsers (well, a couple items are missing, but the important thing is that you can do every major task in Opera or Firefox.

    “Due to the programming complexity of this system, we recommend that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater for optimum performance. Maestro CMS also uses 128 bit encryption for maximum security (available with Internet Explorer).”

    The average person may not understand the need for multiple web browsers, and since sites don’t tend to say “This site requires Firefox 0.6 or better in order to function” most people will assume that IE is better and get lazy – using IE for all their browsing. As a result my mail server gets bogged down with email from infected computer. This is typically where I would end my investigation into a product and move on to other products for evaluation.

    I do appreciate the added bit in the brackets; it becomes a pretty humourous statement… “for maximum security (available with Internet Explorer).” It’s a bit like saying “This bucket carries the maximum amount of water possible (for a bucket with a 3 inch hole in the bottom). For the most part, this disclaimer is a cop-out. This sort of statement is typically added to avoid the nasty phase of development known as “Quality Assurance” or to avoid a bug that the developers couldn’t program their way around; it’s the legislating away of a bug. Sure, I don’t know the specifics that would keep the Calendar Events page from displaying in Firefox, but the source of that page shows me a calendar done pretty much entirely in JavaScript that doesn’t render.

    This may not be exactly a show-stopper, but it’s pretty big.

    Next time, we’ll look at the functionality when I can bring myself to run IE…


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