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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Public Service Fail: Colorado Online Taxes Require Silverlight 
13th-Mar-2011 10:19 am
dogcow moof!
Colorado's online tax filing site used to be a super-ugly but oh-so-simple web 0.9 series of text fields with a submit button and some JavaScript to automatically calculate some stuff.

This year, they've rejiggered things to require Microsoft Silverlight, which is kinda like Flash except a lot fewer people have it installed. It's also completely unnecessary for providing a couple dozen numbers that you can still fill out via pen and paper. This change was also apparently expensive, because the page also says "Filing a return online is free, but if you want to pay any tax due online, a minimum portal administration fee will be added to your payment."

At best, only two thirds of Internet users have Silverlight installed. The ADA requires the state government to take all kinds of measures to accommodate disabilities that affect significantly less than 33% of the population, but apparently they're free to block access to their website for over a million Coloradans.

Beyond being a Flash wannabe with a focus on DRM video, what really annoys me about Silverlight is the EULA which states in section 2 "you may not… work around any technical limitations in the software." I refuse to give up the freedom to find an innovative solution for a program that doesn't work properly.

Yes, they've managed to make using their website so undesirable that I'm going to file my tax return on paper.
Look at me.  I want to use your website.  Now look at your website.  It says "You must install Microsoft Silverlight."  Now back to me.  I'm on a different website.
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