Obama, McCain Decoded

To the pantheon of experts who have weighed in on the election, welcome Corey Ehmke, a web developer, who mined the code behind Obama’s and McCain’s websites and mused about what it all meant.

While his vote will clearly go to Obama come November, his reasoning is quite amusing.

Here’s an inference about preparedness based on how the two sites handle errors:

Ask McCain’s site for something that it’s not expecting, and it gets very confused. It readily admits that it has no idea what just happened: maybe the page moved, or maybe you mistyped the URL. This could even be the fault of a third-party web site operator. There’s helpful information provided if you happen to be the sysadmin for johnmccain.com, but if you’re John Q. Webuser, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Obama’s site is more willing to admit that mistakes happen, and it’s not laying blame on anyone. Hell, it even injects a bit of humor into the thing. The fact that even his 404 page is polished and provides navigation options shows that despite the claims of right-wing rhetoric, Obama is more prepared in case of the unexpected.

Cute. Very cute.

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.