Clients from hell

Ex­clu­sively for net: the lat­est in a se­ries of anony­mous ac­counts of night­mare clients

net magazine - - CON­TENTS -

One forward-think­ing client has plans to rev­o­lu­tionise web de­sign

I’m a free­lance web de­vel­oper, and I have a client who is no­to­ri­ous for re­quest­ing ab­surd fea­tures. One day I re­ceived an email with this re­quest for his web­site.

Client: Can you code a frame in our por­tal so that users have a browser win­dow in­side a browser win­dow that uses the per­son’s lo­cal ISP band­width in­stead of the web server? My guess at this point is that he is ask­ing for an iframe on one of his pages, but I call him to check. Me: Can you ex­plain ex­actly what you need?

Client: We need a frame on the web­site that is a browser that users can go to other web­sites in. It needs to go through the user’s ISP, though. Will you check if there is a plugin for that?

Me: I don’t believe there is any­thing like that ex­actly. What I could do is add an iframe that al­lows you to dis­play a web­page within a web­page, but it wouldn’t be a full web browser.

Client: We re­ally want the full fea­tures of a web browser in the frame.

Me: OK, but why?

Client: We want to of­fer a full desk­top ex­pe­ri­ence on our web­site. We want users to feel like they’re us­ing a full com­puter from our web­site, like when I use a vir­tual desk­top. Me: …

Client: I think this will blow peo­ple’s minds – a full com­puter in their browser. But we need to use their band­width in­stead of ours, be­cause it’s go­ing to get ex­pen­sive. Me: …

Client: I think this is go­ing to be huge. Me: …

Client: So you’ll re­search if there’s a plugin? Me: Sure. I just ended up let­ting the client know there is no such plugin, and that while I could cre­ate one, it would be a very large project. It didn’t take long for him to for­get this bad idea. Of course, that’s be­cause he thought of a new, more ex­cit­ing bad idea – but that’s an­other story.

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