EW.com is a Terrible Website, Continued

EW.com doesn’t work for me anymore in Opera. At least, not properly. In their “TV Watch” section, the comments are an inserted iframe that is built via javascript. This is the script that does it:

<script type="text/javascript">
var boardUnrounded = Math.random() * 10000000000;
var boardRounded = Math.floor(boardUnrounded);
var boardDisplayPath = "http://epoche.ew.com/articles/comments?article_key=20039591&brand_key=3&
article_title=Things+Fall+Apart&rand=" + boardRounded; // alert( boardDisplayPath );
document.write( '[iframe id="iframe" src="' + boardDisplayPath + '" width="0" height="0"' );
document.write( 'style="position: fixed; top: -1000px; left:-1000px;"' );
document.write( '][/iframe]' );
</script>

Notice how the alert() function commented out, but still there; some sloppy debugging left around for us. Notice how the comments are loaded dynamically. What is the purpose of this? Why the random number? Could it be to ensure refreshes on each page load? Either way, between document.write and the iframe, the page consistently renders around the comments, and then the comments come smashing in. Except in Opera, when they simple don’t show up at all.

There are also javascript errors by default in the normal page load, IE chokes on some ad code, and Opera modifies the javscript over and over to make it not crash, and their CSS is a mess. In short, the entire thing is ridiculous. I don’t understand why they chose such a complex and useless path to code. Certainly I’ve seen plenty of sites that do much more traffic that have not opted to make their code a complete mess like this.

EW.com is a disaster and is a total disappointment. I’ve renewed EW for the last time. I intend to explain to them exactly why I’m cancelling my subscription too.

It just goes to show that users really do pay attention to little details on your website, and in this case, they are going to lose a paying paper subscriber due to sloppy, pointless, poor web design.

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