The majority of the time I spend in front of computers is at work where a proxy has been set up. I don’t have a problem with proxies, but it does really annoy me when I try out applications that have very limited support for them. It doesn’t help any that the configuration for the proxy at work is through a configuration script (in Internet Explorer, see Tools -> Internet Options -> Connections -> LAN settings -> Use automatic configuration script).
In using configuration scripts, we avoid having to hardcode proxy addresses, ports, userids and passwords. Instead, we are just prompted for our userid and password every time we start up a program that connects to the internet (annoying on its own)… so long as that program supports configuration scripts. The only Internet-capable applications I currently use that support these scripts (as far as I know) are Internet Explorer and Firefox. Period. Take RSS Bandit, which I use every day. I’ve got a hard-coded proxy address, port, userid and password in there just so that it will work. Every time I change my network password, I have to go in there and change it there as well. Annoying. The second example is PostXING. I’ve really, really been looking forward to the new release of this application. I never was able to get the prior version to work with proxies. Well, yesterday the beta of the new release was released… and I can’t get it to work through proxies. I’ve used PostXING at home many times and I really like it, but I just can’t use it at work… where I spend most of my time.
Now, I have no idea what it takes to program support for proxies and configuration scripts. For all I know, configuration scripts may not even be used mainstream, even in corporate environments. Maybe I should research that. Anyway, my short rant has gotten longer than I intended.
NOTE: Don’t take my comments as negative towards RSS Bandit or PostXING. I highly recommend them. I just wish they supported my corporate setup a little better :-)