Re: OT: Canadian Census 2006

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On Tue, 2006-02-05 at 14:00 -0700, Stephen Mirowski wrote:
> Canada now allows the Census to be done online.  I tried to login and 
> got the current
> version of the browser not supported error.   It recommended using 
> Firefox, Mozilla,
> IE, Netscape, or Safari (also mentioning to use JRE > 1.4.x).   Funny, I 
> was using Firefox.
> So, next I tried Mozilla Suite, then Seamonkey, then Opera.  No good.  
> BTW, I am running
> JRE 1.5.0_06.

I did some forensic analysis after Googling for the website.

They check for browser spoofing and the specifically only support 
browser that match these strings :

Win (netscape|firefox|Microsoft)

Mac (safari)

It appears they do not even support Netscape, Firefox or Explorer on

If you want to check the script yourself :

The reason for what they support appears to be :

"// Check if the browser version is supported by Entrust TruePass"

But if you check Entrusts web site they do support Linux.

Write your MP and tell them of your displeasure.

> Time to call the help line (going to try to submit a bug report to the 
> poor call centre =).
> Well, big lineup, I stayed on the line since I wasn't going anywhere.  
> It did recommend
> me to phone back at non peak hours and gave some times.  1st problem, it 
> didn't give time
> zones with the times.  Canada has enough timezones that that can be 
> slight problem.
> Staying on the line ...
> After what seemed to be 30 mins, I got to speak to a rep.  I mentioned 
> my browser wasn't
> supported, he said I could download Firefox, etc.  I said I tried that.  
> Asked what my OS
> was.  Linux.   There followed some Ums and Ahs.   Paper shuffling.  Well 
> it supports
> Windows and and and Um.  NEways, I held for a moment while he found the 
> supported
> OS lists.  When he got back, he started asking about browsers, so I 
> listed what I had tried
> and my Java version.  Again the question what OS?  Linux - Fedora Core 
> 5.  Oh, that's the
> problem.  It supports the majority of Windows version and Mac.  Okay, 
> thanks.
It is actually their script is not allowing you, but not for any 
compatibility reasons.

> What could have saved me a heap of time?  Well, the browser detection 
> could have used
> some novice JavaScript to detect my OS version and say NAE, you aren't 
> supported.
> Instead there's code to say your browser isn't supported so go download 
> a supported browser
> which is the very one you are using right now.
> What is the point of advising people to use multi-platform browsers and 
> basing it on Java
> which is also multi-platform, yet only have it work with Windows and 
> Mac?  Why has
> every other Gov't Ca. website I have been to work with Firefox and 
> Mozilla? 
Because they are not using this script to deny you access.

> The Census is to find out who I am, and put me in the Stats.  
> Thankfully, when I finish
> filling out my paper Census, I will be able to fill in Comments section, 
> submit some
> bug reports and give them a freebee stat that isn't in the 
> questionnaire:  I am one of the
> Canadians whom doesn't have Mac or Windows on his computer.
> Stephen Mirowski
How can you be a Canadian if you don't use Windows or a Mac? :^p

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