Oh website, why U no work with IE 9.0!?
January 9, 2013 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Why do certain features of a website work with current versions of firefox and earlier versions of Internet Explorer (7.0 and earlier) but not IE 9.0? Details and screenshots and much...

I regularly have to use a web site for work (I'm going to be purposely vague at points in this question and redact some information on purpose - the web site is not intended for use by the general public and I don't want to draw attention to it) which is provided by a vendor to allow transactions requests to be entered, edited and otherwise managed.

I'm no web developer, so please forgive any lingo faux pas I may make: I believe the website is programed with Microsoft ASP .NET instead of javascript (aside, is there a way I can tell for sure?).

The website works fine with IE 7.0 and earlier versions and all versions of Firefox that I have tried. However, my employer requires me to use IE 9.0.

When used with IE 9.0 certain scripted menus (by "scripted", I mean that the menus appear directly over where a link is clicked) that have "flyout" menu options (meaning the option appears in a new box next to the menu box) do not work correctly. When selected, the "flyout" options stay on the screen, the original menu disappears and the actual page displayed in the browse does not change.


After logging into the web site, I've navigated to a list of transactions. The URL for the page at this point looks like:

https://example.com/application_name/Phase1_webclient_4_378_1/search/search.aspx?EQS=Uil3xXI5faRlNn5CfLHo5N[snip of a bunch more "random" characters]

I have a transaction that I wish to edit, so I move the cursor to the specific line for that transaction and click on what looks like a link. The website generates a menu at the link location, I think click on "tasks" and the "edit" option then appears next to the original menu:


I then click on "edit". The original menu disappears and the edit box remains on the screen:


That's not what is supposed to happen. What is supposed to happen (and what does happen in IE 7.0 and Firefox) is that after clicking on edit the web site should then display a new page with just the fields for the selected transaction so that I can edit particular fields. The URL for the page that would appear if "edit" worked correctly would look like:

https://example.com/application_name/Phase1_webclient_4_378_1/tasks/TaskWizard.aspx?EQS=d3A%2bBvW3DKeKopVJQZ6h[snip of a bunch more "random" characters]

However, in IE 9.0 nothing happens, the page doesn't change, the URL doesn't change, only the first menu goes away and the "edit" box is then "stuck" on the screen.

I have tried adding the domain for the website to IE 9.0's "compatibility mode" list, but it doesn't appear to have any effect.

The vendor has not been helpful - they're aware of the problem but apparently have downsized themselves to the point where no one knowledgeable can address it as their web dev types are focused on releasing some other new product.

Is there any setting I can make in IE 9.0 to fix this, or is there some other kind of workaround aside from using a different browser?
posted by de void to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
There is, without a doubt, some very specific answer to this question, but you won't figure out what it is without a bunch of debugging work. Even if you know what it is, it doesn't matter, since you'd have to get the site maintainer to fix it for you anyway.

In practice, these things just are the way they are. If a site has been coded that expects one thing to happen in Firefox and another thing to happen in IE, but then the way IE works changes (because a newer version came out), then it might break. There are a million different possible reasons for it.

Think of it a bit like taking a 2007 model year car, and then swapping in one or a few parts from a 2009 model car, and having it fail to start. If you don't know which parts were swapped, you're pretty unlikely to figure this out without having a mechanic spend a bunch of time looking for what had been changed.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:44 AM on January 9, 2013

Best answer: Have you tried changing your IE 9 settings to emulate the IE 7 browser mode to see if that fixes things? Go to Tools > F12 Developer Tools and there are "Browser Mode" and "Document Mode" settings at the top of the panel that opens.
posted by FreezBoy at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2013

What Freezeboy said.

Historically, there have been numerous hacks used to make websites work in IE. Those hacks are applied only when that browser is detected. Most of those hacks are not necessary in IE9 but may still be applied if the developer isn't also sniffing for the VERSION of the IE browser being used. A lot of them may still be benign in IE9, but it may only take one bug to break all the client side functionality on the site.
posted by rocketpup at 10:58 AM on January 9, 2013

First, try Freezboy's suggestion. Depending on the security settings that you operate under you may not be able to change these settings.

If you can't change these settings, then tather than talk to the vendor about your problem I would talk to your employer. If I understand your questions correctly, you can't perform your job duties because a web site you have to use to do your job is not rendered correctly in IE 9.
posted by dfriedman at 11:16 AM on January 9, 2013

Response by poster: Freezboy's answer was the most helpful - unfortunately no combination of the browser mode and document mode settings solved the issue, but the developers tools console did allow me to see an error message that is generated by the script. Searching on that error message led me to a discussion where others were reporting similar issues with other sites and a suggested "easy" workaround that the vendor might implement by putting a tag in the HTML header.
posted by de void at 6:42 AM on January 10, 2013

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