Fast, Easy, Cheap: Pick One

Just some other blog about computers and programming

WebCT (In)sanity!

Anyone who’s had to use WebCT for any of their courses knows that it’s a complete abomination of all that is holy with regards to web applications. Sometimes it seems like the developers go out of their way to make things as convoluted and difficult as possible.

This semester, pretty much all my courses are using WebCT for something, so I’m spending a lot of time on the site. One feature that’s been driving me particularly crazy is the “Browser Check”. For some reason the developers thought it would be a good idea to pop up a window on every single page you load if your browser and Java versions don’t match their pre-approved list, even if the site works perfectly fine. This means that after even a short session of using WebCT, I’ll have about 20 windows opened in the background telling me my browser is not working. Just frickin’ great.

So today I decided to give the Firefox GreaseMonkey extension a whirl and see if I can use it to fix this annoyance. Since the WebCT page source drives me to tears, I took the hackish way out and closed the window after it opens instead of disabling whatever JavaScript gobbledygook opens it in the first place. Works well enough for me.

If you want the (really simple) script, you can get it here. The link should cause it to install automatically if you have the GreaseMonkey extension installed.

Note: The script is only enabled for the http://webct.sfu.ca domain, if you’re from another university, you’ll have to change the URL for which it is enabled (see the GreaseMonkey GUI for the options)