Why isn't this website working in Firefox 2 on OS X?
November 27, 2006 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Why do the links on this website not work with any browser I've tested (on Mac OS X), but work fine in Internet Explorer 7 (on Windows)?

The main browser I use is Mozilla Firefox 2 on OS X. But I've tested this website in Firefox, Netscape, Opera, Safari, and Shiira on OS X. I haven't been able to get any of these browsers to work with the website.

The only possibility for this phenomenon I can conclude is the “src” attribute of the anchor tags don't contain a full address for the website.

But even with the complete address in the address bar of the browser the link still doesn't work. And I would assume today's browsers are smarter than that. If the resource referred to isn't below the current website's root directory, where else could it possibly be?

So my conclusion can't be correct.


I assume this line refers to some type of Cold Fusion action? On other websites, for instance MySpace, Cold Fusion actions seem to work fine on any user agent or platform (operating system).

Full disclosure: I maybe getting a job with the County of Los Angeles. But have been unable to take a preparation test (for the actual employment exam) on my PC (an Apple computer). Not that I don't have access to a Windows PC, but this error has sufficiently bugged me to post a question on Ask MeFi.

Thank you, fellow Mefites! Happy Holidays!
posted by Colloquial Collision to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
This page loads fine in Camino/Mac OS X. All of the links I clicked on worked perfectly.

Try throwing your plist files away for the browsers you're having trouble with.
posted by camworld at 7:52 PM on November 27, 2006

Best answer: The site obviously has some sort of browser detection built into it, and only works if it thinks you're using IE. I just tried the site in Opera on Windows XP, and it works fine if Opera identifies itself as IE (Opera lets you configure this), but doesn't work if Opera identifies itself as Firefox/Mozilla.
posted by cerebus19 at 8:07 PM on November 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's a case of browser-sniffing gone awry. The site works fine in both Safari and Firefox if I switch the user agent to Internet Explorer. User Agent Switcher does that on Firefox and the Debug menu does this in Safari.
posted by boaz at 8:09 PM on November 27, 2006

Best answer: I tried it with IE for Mac. The site works with Internet Explorer 5.2.3 for Mac OS X. It also works in Safari if I enable the Debug menu and chose Mac MSIE 5.22 from the User Agent submenu. They must be doing some kind of server-side browser detection, because there doesn't appear to be any javascript browser detection in the site's HTML.

Amusingly, if you use click on the Job Opportunities link using IE for Mac you get the following note:
"This site will not display properly with Safari or Internet Explorer. It is best viewed with Netscape 7 or later."
posted by RichardP at 8:16 PM on November 27, 2006

Best answer: I just tried the site with Firefox 2.0 on Windows 98, and the links wouldn't work for me until I used User Agent Switcher to pretend to be IE6. Then they worked fine.
posted by flabdablet at 8:55 PM on November 27, 2006

Response by poster: Thank you. A case of user agent detection gone awry.

As always, much appreciated, Metafilter.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 9:06 PM on November 27, 2006

Response by poster: I've installed User Agent Switcher for Firefox 2 and the website works fine. Thanks again, everyone!
posted by Colloquial Collision at 9:11 PM on November 27, 2006

Best answer: Just in case you didn't already find this: if you right-click the toolbar and select Customize, you'll find a User Agent Switcher button in amongst the others that you can drag to the toolbar. This is normally a monochrome globe, but will turn colored if you've changed the user agent, and it also acts as a shortcut to the Tools->User Agent Switcher menu.

Also: now that you have UAS, add "Googlebot/2.1" as one of the available user agents. You'll be amazed how many websites unrestrict their content if they think you're the Google crawler come to index them!
posted by flabdablet at 10:17 PM on November 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: fyi, here's a huge xml list of a wide variety of user agents.
posted by treepour at 10:57 PM on November 27, 2006

Response by poster: Wow, thanks very much!
posted by Colloquial Collision at 3:27 AM on November 28, 2006

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