Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Dog on the Pile

I know everyone already knows this, but boy is that new APA website a complete piece of shit.


  • It frequently goes offline. (As anon 4:00AM points out, it is offline right now.)

  • The items on the menu bar are indistinguishable. You can't tell where one item stops and the next starts.

  • There's (still, in 2011) no way to pay your dues online.

  • There's (still, in 2011) no way to register for conferences online. (Right? I'd like to verify this, but, alas, the website is down.)

  • The JFP ad-submission system is fucked up and doesn't function, which has caused the publication of the October JFP to be delayed.

  • The JFP itself is somewhat hidden. And, apparently, some members in good standing are unable to see it at all.

  • The online paper-submission system for the Pacific Division Meeting is so poorly designed that it is nearly impossible to use successfully. I have never seen a submission system with such a counterintuitive set of procedures--you have to press the "back" button before you can press a "submit" button. And, of course, there is no clear set of instructions.

  • The other divisions, of course, do not seem to have online paper-submission systems at all. (I'd like to verify this, but, alas, the website is down.)

  • The administration doesn't respond to emails about this.


What in the fuck? Seriously. What. In. The. Fuck. The incompetence of this organization is simply amazing. It lacks even the most basic abilities required by a professional organization. Can I join and pay my dues online? No. Can I post a job ad online? No. Can I look at the jobs newsletter online? No. Can I submit a paper to one of your meetings online? No. Can we get a navigable website? No. Can I at least look at your website? No. Can I get a reply to my email about what in the fuck is going on? No.

--Mr. Zero

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Adding to the shit storm:
The APA Pacific sent out a mass e-mail this week (two weeks after the paper submission date) saying that those who were receiving the e-mail had incomplete submissions, and that the submissions were being re-opened for two days. In the e-mail, you could see the addresses for every single person who had submitted. Then, they sent out a retraction e-mail the next day saying to ignore the first e-mail.
But this is the craziest part: I know of several submitters who received acceptances from the APA Pacific soon after they submitted. Then at least one of them (I'm not sure of the others) received the e-mail saying that his submission was incomplete. WTF?!

Anonymous said...

time for a coup d'etat, or making them irrelevant by doing the whole JFP thing via some other venue, as recently discussed on Leiter.

Ben said...

I'm sure glad I'm not in America...

Anonymous said...

i didn't realize that the october jfp had been delayed. when is the new publication date?

Mr. Zero said...

i didn't realize that the october jfp had been delayed. when is the new publication date?

I am almost 100% certain that it is October 12. I'd like to verify this, but, alas, the website is down.

Anonymous said...

So, for those who received strangely fast paper acceptances from the Pacific APA. Are those legit? Anyone knows?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what’s the deal with submissions that were made via the old APA website? I’d submitted a paper to the 2012 C-APA. When I login to my APA account, there’s no record of that submission. I emailed the APA to ask about this, but I didn’t get a reply.

zombie said...

I can't log on to the new website because it didn't save my login info from the old website. And I don't know it anymore. But you can't get your login info without knowing at least some of your login info. If you try to get your password, you have to know your login name. And then you get this message:

"If the logon name you entered is associated with an account in our records, you will receive an e-mail from us with instructions for resetting your password. If you don't receive this e-mail, please check your junk mail folder or contact us for further assistance."

I like the if/then part. But they should add: IF you don't know your logon name, THEN you're just screwed.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The JFP is getting really hard to read:

Stack Trace:
[FormatException: String was not recognized as a valid Boolean.]
System.Boolean.Parse(String value) +7663714
System.String.System.IConvertible.ToBoolean(IFormatProvider provider) +15
System.Data.Common.BooleanStorage.Set(Int32 record, Object value) +86
System.Data.DataColumn.set_Item(Int32 record, Object value) +51
[ArgumentException: String was not recognized as a valid Boolean.Couldn't store <> in IsMember Column. Expected type is Boolean.]
System.Data.DataColumn.set_Item(Int32 record, Object value) +90
System.Data.DataTable.NewRecordFromArray(Object[] value) +227
System.Data.DataTable.LoadRow(Object[] values, LoadOption loadOption, Index searchIndex) +618
System.Data.DataTable.LoadDataRow(Object[] values, LoadOption loadOption) +309
Asi.Business.BusinessController.ImportRows(String cmdText, DataParameter[] parameters, Boolean forceReload) +1256
Asi.Business.BusinessController.get_Item(Object[] primaryKeys, Boolean forceReload, Boolean publishedOnly, Boolean allowRecycled) +3011
Asi.Business.BusinessController.get_Item(Object[] primaryKeys, Boolean forceReload, Boolean publishedOnly) +57
Asi.Business.BusinessController.get_Item(Object[] primaryKeys) +47
Asi.Providers.AsiRoleProvider.IsUserInRole(String username, String roleName) +1221
Asi.Providers.<>c__DisplayClass22.b__1c(String rolename) +64
System.Linq.WhereEnumerableIterator`1.MoveNext() +161
System.Collections.Generic.List`1.InsertRange(Int32 index, IEnumerable`1 collection) +7460159
System.Collections.Generic.List`1.AddRange(IEnumerable`1 collection) +15
Asi.Providers.AsiRoleProvider.GetRolesForUser(String username) +2221
System.Web.Security.RolePrincipal.IsInRole(String role) +164
Asi.Web.SwappableSiteMapProvider.UserRolesContains(IPrincipal contextUser, User currentUser, String role) +250
Asi.Web.SwappableSiteMapProvider.IsAccessibleToUser(HttpContext context, SiteMapNode node) +1358
System.Web.SiteMapNode.IsAccessibleToUser(HttpContext context) +17
Asi.Web.UrlRewriter.Rewrite(String requestedPath, HttpApplication app) +6022
Asi.ContentManagerNet.BaseUrlRewriter.CheckForCustomizedUrl(HttpApplication app) in c:\Builds\iMIS\15.1.3_Commit\Sources\imis.net\Packages\iWC\Asi.ContentManagerNet\BaseUrlRewriter.cs:119
Asi.ContentManagerNet.BaseUrlRewriter.BaseUrlRewriter_AuthorizeRequest(Object sender, EventArgs e) in c:\Builds\iMIS\15.1.3_Commit\Sources\imis.net\Packages\iWC\Asi.ContentManagerNet\BaseUrlRewriter.cs:51
System.Web.SyncEventExecutionStep.System.Web.HttpApplication.IExecutionStep.Execute() +68
System.Web.HttpApplication.ExecuteStep(IExecutionStep step, Boolean& completedSynchronously) +75

Anonymous said...

Can someone spell this out for me . . . can't we boycott them or fire them? I don't understand why we are so beholden to the APA. Is it time to revolt en masse? What's holding us back?

Xenophon said...

Imagine if they did something right. Then we'd expect them to do something else right, and after a while we'd expect all kinds of things. If they fuck everything up, then their life becomes much easier, because we start assuming things like their website to go down when hiring is kicking into high gear, and dues-paying members to not be able to log in.

Prof. Kate said...

I'd love to see a fresh thread on that question: What's holding us back?

I've talked about this at multiple conferences in the past few months, but I keep smacking into the same conclusion: The APA has worked itself into a position as the holder of the Job Conference and the receiver of ads in Jobs for Philosophers. There would absolutely have to be substitutes which are very widely acknowledged and actually used in Anglophone philosophy, for us to be able to decouple the APA from our professional and jobby endeavors.

I promise, if I ever win the lottery, I'll start a North American Philosophical ... Hey! We could call it NAPA, and get the Auto Parts company to sponsor us!!

Anonymous said...

The APA website is terrible and not very well-organized. I hate to defend them (even in a very limited way), but there actually is a way to pay online. I know because I did it a month ago. But don't ask me how I did it--I find the layout exceedingly unintuitive and just happened to find it.

Anonymous said...

Make Andrew Cullison the new king of the APA!

Erick said...

Re: The bizarre APA e-mails and retractions.

I had received an acceptance letter from the APA then freaked out after I got the other e-mail (the one where you could see EVERYONE'S e-mail addresses) and so I went on a tirade.

I e-mailed everyone and only got one response. At least in my case the acceptance was genuine but you might have to e-mail or, better yet, call everyone until you get a decent answer.

Anonymous said...

We need to decouple.

If Brian Leiter is reading this, I would welcome a discussion on his blog of concrete steps we can start taking to get the process started. I think a discussion on his blog is a natural place for the process to start.

It seems that it should start by eliminating the need for the JFP. If a number of prominent philosophy departments would announce publicly announce that they'll no longer be advertising there, but advertising henceforth in place X, that might start a trend. Maybe decoupling could really happen.

onemorebrown said...

Does anyone know what’s the deal with submissions that were made via the old APA website? I’d submitted a paper to the 2012 C-APA. When I login to my APA account, there’s no record of that submission. I emailed the APA to ask about this, but I didn’t get a reply.

I asked about this as well and was lucky enough to get a response from Janet Sample. She said that they did not carry over the submissions from the earlier website but that they were still there and being processed...

Amy Kind said...

The Pacific APA Program Committee is in the process of reviewing submissions. Some authors have already been notified that their papers have been accepted. But many papers have not yet been refereed, and our refereeing will continue over the course of the next month. Thus, many authors will not hear about a verdict on their paper until mid- to late- October. Anyone who received an email from the APA Program Chair indicating that their paper has been accepted who would like to verify this fact is welcome to email us at support@APA-pacific.org

Amy Kind
APA Pacific Division Program Chair 2011-2012

continental pissant said...

Hopefully, SPEP will seize the opportunity and start accepting APA refugees.

In the meantime, Anglo-American colleagues, check out that SWEET website!

http://www.spep.org/

zombie said...

I succeeded in finding my login name, which enabled me to request a password change. I have now attempted about 46 times to create a new password, but "String was not recognized as a valid Boolean."

Anonymous said...

Holy fuck, I hate the fucking APA. What the fuck is with that fucking website!

The only logically possible philosophical organization I can imagine that would be more fucking worthy of hate is... SPEP! And it actually exists!

FUCK!

Anonymous said...

They have an announcement (which goes by at blinding speed) on the homepage saying we can now pay dues online.

Anonymous said...

I call for a boycott of the APA-Eastern meeting!

Anonymous said...

@zombie: I have the APA page set up so that I'm always automatically logged in, and starting Friday, when I try to go to the APA's site, I just go straight to a page that says "not valid Boolean". I just figured that this was because the page was down. But your comment makes me think that something's gone wrong with my account so that I can't login anymore -- I can't go to the APA's page on my computer anymore because it automatically tries to log me on in a username or password that is no longer being recognized.

Does anyone know, is the APA's website just down, or is the problem with it no longer recognizing my (and apparently zombie's) username or password?

Mr. Zero said...

As far as I can tell, the problem is that the "guest" section of the website is now functional, but the members section is still not. That is, I think it's not that it's not recognizing your login credentials; it's that the section of the website that you have thereby accessed is fubar.

Anonymous said...

Exactly: the members section is not working. I was able to successfully log on a week or so ago. Not anymore. The level of incompetency is fucking beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

It's not just the member section. I get that server error "string was not recognized" message someone posted further up just by going to the homepage. Is it because I'm logged in? I can't log out because I can't see any damn thing at all.

Mr. Zero said...

Is it because I'm logged in?

I think so. You probably clicked the thing that says "remember me" or whatever. Try using a different browser.

david morrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Couldn't login in my normal browser b/c I checked the "remember me" box. Tried going to apaonline.org in a different browser and I was able to. So the problem was that it no longer recognizes my username and/or password.

So at least some of us who've paid our dues so that we can login and access the JFP no longer can b/c the website no longer recognizes our usernames and/or passwords. Very frustrating.

david morrow said...

Chris Sula and I have revamped the Phylo site to create an actual jobs board to (ahem) supplement the JFP. The URL is the same as the old wiki: <http://phylo.info/jobs. As of today, we'll start accepting job postings in that space from departmental representatives only. Following Harry Brighouse's advice, we'll also require a link to an external site (e.g., an announcement on the department's web site) to verify each post's authenticity.

We're moving the job wiki to http://phylo.info/jobs/wiki. People will still be able to post unofficial updates there. We're still in the process of updating the wiki software to play nicely with the jobs board, but it will be up well before anyone needs to post status updates. In the meantime, watch the main jobs board to find out about job openings.

Anonymous said...

@David Marrow: have you contacted Leiter and told him you've done this, and that many (all?) who've paid their APA dues can't see the JFP anymore? If you haven't, I think it'd be good if you did. Philosophy depts should know that potential applicants can't see their JFP ads anymore, and so they should put them up on your site if they want anyone to apply to their positions.

Anonymous said...

I have tried different browser. I'm able to navigate around alright. But as soon as I try to log in, it goes to hell. Even if it starts showing that I'm no longer logged in. When I'm logged in, I try to get to the "renew my dues" just in case they're cracking down now (I think I'm late, but I've never been able to figure out how to do it). And I don't think I've ever received a renewal in the mail. Do they still send those out?

Mr. Zero said...

I have tried different browser. I'm able to navigate around alright. But as soon as I try to log in, it goes to hell. Even if it starts showing that I'm no longer logged in.

I tried unsuccessfully to replicate what seem to be your results. I still get "not a valid boolean" whenever I log in, on any browser. I can't navigate around at all if I'm logged in, and it doesn't log me back out. (I've tried Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. I haven't tried Explorer because why would I want to?)

When I'm logged in, I try to get to the "renew my dues" just in case they're cracking down now (I think I'm late, but I've never been able to figure out how to do it).

I couldn't figure out how to pay my dues online. Although anon 5:33 reports that he or she was able to do this a month ago, I couldn't replicate these results, either. I emailed the membership people for advice about how to pay my dues, and was told to fill out the attached PDF and fax it to them. This was about a month ago.

And I don't think I've ever received a renewal in the mail. Do they still send those out?

The little reader board on the front page indicates that the set up and implementation of new administrative software has delayed the sending of renewal notices. You might wonder why they chose to switch administrative software right before the big membership renewal mailing, but at this point it would be absolutely astonishing if they could do anything at all without inconveniencing thousands of people.

Also, the items on that reader board really do zip past, as anon 12:00 points out. And then in an excessively literal understanding of what a "pause" button should do, hitting pause just causes it to sit on the present item a little longer. But not long enough for me to actually read the whole thing.

zombie said...

Dear Dr. Zombie:

Over the past several days, we have been experiencing technical difficulties with our website and our members have not been able to logon to the site. We have been working diligently with our hosting provider, and the system has now been returned to an operational state. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and we appreciate your continued understanding during this difficult time.

Sincerely,
The APA National Office