Downloading an Idealware Report: FAQ

If you didn't already know, Idealware released two reports in October, A Consumer's Guide to Grants Management Software and the Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide. Since pretty much everyone is downloading and reading these reports--or, at least, everyone who's anyone--this is probably an appropriate time to do some preventative tech support.

From time to time people call in to Idealware Global Headquarters with a technical issue downloading a report. I'm often the person who takes those calls. To help everyone out, here's a couple frequent technical issues, and what I've learned about them:

  1. "I've filled out the registration form and hit submit, but I just get the blank form again."

    This is probably the number one call I get. The bad news is, we've never been able to replicate it. At the office, I mostly use Google Chrome, but I do use Internet Explorer 9 on occasion to check formatting, or to test for download issues, and this hasn't happened to me on either browser. The good news is, callers who have been able to switch to a different browser (Firefox usually, but Chrome if they have it) have no problem. If you don't have a second browser, or if the problem persists, go ahead and call--I can use my technomagical powers to get you through to the report.
  2. "I made it through the registration form, but when I click the link, it does nothing."

    Again, bad news: I haven't been able to replicate this. My bet on the culprit though? Either a firewall or your browser's security settings. Maybe. Don't take my word for it, and definitely don't turn off your firewall. Instead, try a different browser. Last time I got this question, all the person had to do was switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. Again, if this doesn't work, you can call.
  3. (This one's about seminars, but what the hey?) "I'm trying to call in to the free seminar, but I can't get in."

    Happens every time we run a free seminar. First, are you calling in through Google Voice? If so, don't. I can't explain it, but Google Voice just won't work with our free conference line. It bums me out too, because I sit in on those seminars, and sometimes we need the extra phone line free. Skype does work--I've used it myself. It cost me a whopping $3.33 for the full hour, but I'm betting that's still better than your long distance fees. 

    If that's not the problem, then there's a couple other possibilities. This might sound snarky, but I'm being sincere: do you have the right phone number and access code? We have to look it up every single time we do a free seminar, and we're the ones putting on the show. So, double-check the email we sent you. If it's still not working, remember that there are 100+ people calling into the same number you are - it may just be processing someone. At that point, I recommend typing your questions into the chat, and continuing to call until you get through. We send you a recording, so you'll catch up on what you missed.

So, I hope that helped. When you do call with a problem accessing a report, please let me know what browser (and what version) you're using. If you still use IE6, you can tell me. It'll be our secret.

I know it may sound like the download problems were caused by Internet Explorer, but they're not. Remember, I test all the downloads in IE9, and never had the problem. I do recommend upgrading to the latest version of your browser, if possible. And if you can, try emptying your cache and trying the download again (if you don't know how, don't sweat it). 

 We appreciate your interest in our publications, and your patience downloading them. 



I too have had the return-to-a-blank-form experience, and just for fun I poked around for a minute to try to replicate it on "Consumer's Guide..." page you linked to. While unsuccessful (bugs are rarely where you look for them, of course), I noticed that something odd happens during the form validation. I intentionally left a required field blank, and after the server-side validation requested I fill it in, I submitted three valid fields - instead of getting redirected back to the first page with a "key" URL parameter that should theoretically prompt hiding the form inputs and revealing the PDF link, I was directed to the "Reprinting & Quoting" page.

Drupal can be a finicky beast at times, huh?

This oddity can be repeated reliably with both Chromium 14.0.8xx and Firefox 7.0.1 on Ubuntu 11.04. One would only assume that there was an overlooked erroneous copy/paste somewhere on the validation page.