This is what futility looks like.
I have tried to file my income tax several times on both my Macs, but to no avail.
Before I reach the final page, it always lands with an error message.
A few years ago, e-filing was ‘revolutionary’. However, with each passing year the online user base grows, and I really wonder if their server(s) can take the load now. For financial transactions particularly, it is very, very important that nothing crashes.
Surely something can be done. Millions more people visit Amazon.com. Why can their system cope so much better? It’s not like the e-filing website displays lots of images of books, either. I can access my local bank accounts with less problems. If the private sector can do it for their customers, why can’t IRAS?
I examined their code and it was wasteful.
A sample from the main section of a page:
<td class="sub_menu_item" colSpan="2"height="21">
They used nested tables for their nav bar, as well as extra spaces. Stylesheet classes were used but were very basic. You can tell they don’t really understand the potential of stylesheets because font tags (gasp!) were used too.
Now think: If a few million people logged in within these couple of months, several kilobytes per page could make a difference to the server load.
I do appreciate the fact that most of my tax calculations have already been done for me. They did improve on that aspect. And usability-wise, I can understand what they’re showing me.
But urgh, I hope the team is working on a revamp for next year. They should do something, pronto.
[Update 15/4/05: Wow, almost 700 visits from Mr Brown so far!]