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JavaFX is taxing

Karthik Shiraly
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Joined: Apr 04, 2009
Posts: 513
    
    6
Sorry about the title, but couldn't resist myself!

As a fan of JavaFX (and desktop applications in general...I'm one of those anachronistic types who is simply not comfortable doing all my computing inside browsers), I was pleased to find today that India's Income Tax department has a new tool to file tax returns...and it's implemented in JavaFX!!




Just finished filing my tax returns using it. Found it very usable too.

For me, this was doubly sweet, because their regular tool is an Excel workbook which I hated, and I was wondering how I'll file returns this year by myself, now that I've totally switched all my computers from MS Office to OpenOffice.

Great going, IT dept (not something most Indians say even once, I think!) and TCS (who seem to be the contractors on this project, judging by package names).
Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42276
    
  64
Not sure that this is a good development, given the decidedly patchy security record of client-side JVMs and the sensitivity of the data in question.


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Karthik Shiraly
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 04, 2009
Posts: 513
    
    6
How I wish my numbers had a couple of more zeroes in them to qualify as sensitive!

Anyway, their tools have always been client side tools. The workflow, even with the old Excel workbooks, involved a local XLS which calculated and output a local XML which was then uploaded to their site.
Yes, they've never been good from security angle. But for me, good usability and an alternative to a commercial software like MS office are a big plus.

Also, while it makes for a good cryptonerd fantasy, I doubt that this is the best attack vector for a mischievous party. In India, a corrupt government official or someone else in the chain (like this case where one of the richest Indians had his account hacked by his own CA's employee) are much more likely scenarios.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42276
    
  64
I doubt that this is the best attack vector for a mischievous party.

But it adds a new attack opportunity, and this one could be used against your computer (which is different than those other attacks which would be directed against your -and other people's- tax information). I, too, have to use an applet when preparing my taxes, and despite it implementing serious security measures I would feel better if I didn't have to.
 
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