13-digit ISBN required, without hyphen

Every time you see a message like this from a web site, a programming angel falls from the sky and is imprisoned on earth until he can get the programmer who wrote that code to stop being a lazy so-and-so. Do you realize how easy it is to strip a hyphen out of a string of text?

Programmers: accept any reasonable format, and change it for the user into the format you need!

5 comments:

  1. Your comments on user interfaces have been excellent. A good general rule is 'never ask the user for information you already have!' Supermarkets now have very useful self-scan checkouts. My particular bugbear is when I insert my debit card to pay, instead of going ahead and initiating the transaction (which is not final - I still have to enter my pin) - the checkout detects I have inserted my card and tells me to 'Select card payment' . Aaaaaaak

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yes, that is annoying!

      Delete
  2. It's not even laziness, really: as various people have pointed out (e.g.), it's probably more work to create the error message than it is to normalize the input.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, it's more work if you already know how to do it. If you're learning programming while making your first website, it's easier to write warnings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm hoping the programmers who were creating my book order form were not novices!

      Delete