Access Denied

Something I’ve noticed over the past few days is a disturbing trend in Web 2.0 sites out there: the good ol’ fashioned lock-out.

I’ve noticed it in my normal browsing habits, but with the influx of visitors that my “OmniWeb bookmarklet”: entry brought, I’ve started curiously following some of the links in my Mint referral logs, discovering quite a few new W2.0 apps I’d never heard of. Essentially, the problem is this: I use a Mac. What’s more is I use OmniWeb, which in the basest of rendering terms means I’m using Safari (at least according to the browser sniffs out there). And if a web app dev team are Windows-based… well, you get the idea–Safari isn’t a top priority (or at least it’s on the back-burner). Another facet is that Safari has a few javascript quirks that can make complex effects a bit hairier to deal with. I know… I’ve been there. I offer my condolences to the developers out there, and hey… I understand… hit the big issues first.

But don’t lock me out

The aforementioned disturbing trend is that regardless of what page you load on the site, you get redirected to a page stating that Safari support is coming, but in the meantime please be making with the downloading Firefox of. That’s great–you’ve at least informed me of an option for using your new app. The problem, however, is that I cannot access any of the site, including, oh, I don’t know… a page explaining what I’m even looking at. And the supplied blocking page telling me to download Firefox isn’t much help either: generally, you’re lucky to even find a logo for the web app.

I’ll make it painfully blunt: you shouldn’t block people out from your main page. You don’t need to. And if, for some strange reason, you feel the need to do it anyway, at very least, make a nice link or blurb explaining what your site is, any why I should even care enough to open another browser.