Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Blackboard (say no more)

30th April, 2009

Somehow I ended up on the Blackboard admin mailing list. I got a particularly amusing e-mail today, that recommended that non-university computers are not upgraded from IE7 to IE8 because they have “found some problems, [sic] when people access Blackboard with it.” They also mention that “[ITS] have done what they can to stop you inadvertently upgrading [an ITS machine] to IE8, via a Microsoft update, [sic] labelled as a security patch”.Had no-one considered that IE8 is now labelled as a security patch for a very good reason? That is, it patches security vulnerabilities? I’m sorry, but this seems counterproductive. I shall convey to you my utter dismay and contempt for this incomprehensible and misguided course of events through a few twitter messages that I recently posted on this subject:

Uni have discovered problems with using Blackboard and are recommending people don’t upgrade to IE 8 - sorry but this is ABSOLUTE MADNESS

Blackboard is a pitiful excuse for a University system and [very bad things] like this only compounds my contempt for it and its profound uselessness

And I’m not done yet. Advising users not to upgrade to what is now to most users a required upgrade to IE8 is counterproductive and stupid

It’s people saying things like that that cause things like IE6 still wreaking havoc. Get your [mind] in gear Blackboard before I blog about it

Also, Blackboard has so many usability fails that I wonder if they ever showed it to a user during development. And you thought I was done!

First question on Blackboard feedback form: “What problem are you trying to solve?” - because noone ever says anything nice about it

And as I stated at the end of all that, I will now cease and desist so I can chill out about this. But seriously, Blackboard need to get their act together on this - IE8 has been coming for months and months.

(p.s. sorry for the rant - Blackboard doesn’t make me happy)