Microsoft and Immigration

by Brian on October 10, 2004

This is very weird. I was filling in the details on my latest “DS-156”: form, a form the State Department quite helpfully makes available electronically. When I went to fill in question 35, “Has Your U.S. Visa Ever Been Cancelled or Revoked?” on my defeault Firefox browser, it automatically marked “Yes” whatever I clicked. Needless to say, this is _not_ the answer I wanted to communicate to the State Department. So I tried opening up the form in IE, and the problem goes away, i.e. it is possible to mark “No”. Nothing in the source code for the page suggests why there should be a problem here, at least to my untrained eyes. It’s just odd.



wtfwjd? 10.10.04 at 4:22 am

The other radio button fields have the end tag. MS may handle this error more elegantly than Firefox does. (I’m also using Firefox and get the same error.)


Headline hunter 10.10.04 at 4:25 am

So the headline should be “Immigration and buggy HTML” or “Microsoft helping me get my work done”?


wtfwjd? 10.10.04 at 4:26 am

Oops…the tag in question in my comments above is the <label> tag — silly me, I used angle brackets in my comments and so the tags were omitted from my post.


Henry 10.10.04 at 4:47 am

I had the same problem a few weeks ago when filling in my own form. The solution is to opt for the version of the form that you don’t fill in on-line – they have an intelligent PDF that you can download, fill in, and then print out.


Brian Weatherson 10.10.04 at 4:49 am

Thanks wtfwjd. That looks like it was the problem.

I think the headline should probably be something about how untrained Brian is at HTML, but I’ll leave it as is :)


Richard Silverstein 10.10.04 at 5:07 am

THere is a Firefox site which records external sites which have problems when run with Firefox. If you’d like the link to report this problem, pls. let me know.


free patriot 10.10.04 at 6:25 am

Bill Gates did it


bad Jim 10.10.04 at 6:33 am

Opera seems to handle it satisfactorily.


Reinder 10.10.04 at 7:59 am

If Opera didn’t handle it well anyway, you’d be able to edit the cached source code, refresh display and submit the corrected form. Handy, that.


Michael 10.11.04 at 12:29 am

Yep, the missing close tag on </label> hurts. However, if it had a doctype, Firefox would work properly, like IE and Safari and Opera do.

Running the doc through the validator comes up with over 200 errors. Sloppy coding, sloppy testing.


Yusuf Smith 10.11.04 at 9:57 am

The same happens in Camino (another Mozilla browser), but not in Safari (KHTML based rendering).


Yusuf Smith 10.11.04 at 9:58 am

The same happens in Camino (another Mozilla browser), but not in Safari (KHTML based rendering).

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