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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

OSCAR the Grouchy Software

(Preliminarily, thanks to Dan & co. for inviting me back for more blogging!)

Matt's post about an OSCAR bug came as I was toying with writing a similar post:  OSCAR sure is a little buggy, isn't it?  I'd like to use this post as a Clearinghouse for law students, professors, and even judges to report difficulties they've had with, or heard first-hand about, OSCAR.  My impression is that OSCAR is a great innovation but that the software isn't above the level of a Beta version in terms of readiness to be used widely without glitches that range from the merely annoying to the genuinely troubling (like the one Matt reported).  I'll get the ball rolling:

(1)  OSCAR demands PDFs of all documents applicants upload -- but then doesn't allow uploads of more than 300K.  That's way too little for a PDF of a decent-length writing sample or a scan of some intricately-designed transcripts.  You can change the PDF settings to decrease the size of the files -- but why should OSCAR require busy law students to spend time mastering the "Advanced Settings" of the Adobe software?

(2)  OSCAR doesn't reliably let you log in.  Last year, every single time I tried to log in, OSCAR rejected my attempt the first time, and it worked the second time.  This is a minor annoyance -- until you have to log in dozens of times...  Even if it's minor, it should be entirely avoidable; a half-decent quality assurance effort should be able to avoid this problem.

Others?  If I get a decent response, I'll try to pass along the list to someone who can (hopefully) fix the glitches we report -- maybe even in time for this coming clerkship season (I'm an optimist).

Posted by Scott on July 11, 2007 at 06:31 PM | Permalink


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