based on my experience in writing java web apps, i'm not surprised.
IBM's seminal contribution was to create the PureEdge software package to handle the grant forms. If you try to run the program on a Mac under OS 10.4.9, the program pops into the dock and then disappears immediately -- thus giving an early indication of the likely success of your grant proposal. Getting the program to work requires hacks that the company has thoughtfully not provided. Users had to figure it out for themselves -- a useful test of whether they deserve to continue doing research. IBM did, in an uncharacteristic moment of compassion for its customers, admit that its software is prone to "occasional crashes and subsequent loss of any unsaved data."
To take such an unstable piece of software and base people's livelihoods on it -- now, that is genius that only the federal government could exhibit. The even greater genius was to shut down the grants.gov website for maintenance on the weekend prior to the proposal deadline.
02 May 2007
sciam minus 50 award
IBM, Adobe, and the gubmint have been awarded a tongue-in-cheek award by George Musser at scientific american. seems their software sucks for submitting grant proposals.