Would you like a side of irritation with that?

By Deane Barker on April 4, 2008

Getting into Momofuku Ko: There’s apparently a super-hot restaurant in Manhattan that only takes reservations on the Net, no exceptions. Open tables are posted at 10 a.m. and are often gone in 2 or 3 seconds. Anything happening that fast on the Web invites concurrency issues:

When the pick-a-time page is downloaded by a particular browser, it’s based on the information the web server had when it sent the page out. The page sits unchanged on your computer — it doesn’t know anything about how many reservations the web server has left to dole out — until the person clicks on a time.

High-fallutin’ New York diners are pissed.

In a nutshell, the would-be patron said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “your system is unfair and broken,” and the folks at Ko replied, “sorry, that’s how the internet works”. The comments on the post are both fascinating and disappointing, with many people attempting to debunk Ko’s seemingly lame excuse of, well, that’s how the internet works.

An exchange between the restaurant and and irritated diner appears in a New York Times blog, and you have to sympathize with the diner who just doesn’t understand how the Web works, and can’t really be expected to.

While I understand your point, the fact that you can get in to the calendar (if you try for days and days and finally get lucky), try to select a time and then not have any available is ludicrous. Once into the calendar, you should have a lock on whatever times are available.

In his understanding, pulling the calendar up in a browser is like being at the head of a line, and no one behind you can do anything until you make a choice. Sadly, this isn’t how it works.



  1. so these diners, are they by any chance philosophers and is this a chineese restaurant that doesn’t have enough chopsticks for everyone to eat at the same time???

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