You are not allowed to book Indian Railway tickets from Linux!

IRCTC is an online railway reservation portal. I always admired the functionality provided by this portal. It simplified life of millions of people by providing very prompt and efficient services in ticket booking and information. From technical perspective, this is really amazing; how they are knitting all the reservation information and maintaining speed of operation as well. I was always fan of this site, until the black day arrived two days back.

I occasionally travel by train. Most of the times, I take benefit of online ticket booking services from IRCTC. I was surprised by the fresh look of the site. I wasn’t knowing that enlightenment was about to end after I logged in the portal. I couldn’t see the reservation form at all! I thought, something is wrong in the server or network and somehow page is not loaded completely. I investigated a little bit and came to know that, the portal is not designed to work with non-IE browsers. I had to reboot machine to Windows and book the ticket but that was very disappointing exercise in all.

This happened because they designed site for only IE browsers. This is the problem I always wanted to hightlight through my previous posts like this and this.

I have already dropped a letter to concerned officials requesting Non-IE compatible website and waiting for response. Government and Public services portals should be designed very carefully considering there might be consumers of those services from every corner of the country. Everybody might be using different software to access those services and it is not impossible to cater all of them. Just follow Standards (…and stick to them)!

Published August 26 2007

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