Compressing the Web

Be succinct. Virtually any network-based application can be made faster by optimizing the number of bytes transferred across the network. Taking advantage of caching is a great way to minimize transfer sizes, but just as important is to reduce the size of the resources you transfer. Data compression is used throughout the protocols and formats…

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Strict Transport Security

Ivan Ristic’s meticulously researched Bulletproof SSL & TLS book spurred me to spend some time thinking about the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) feature under development by the Internet Explorer team and already available in other major browsers. HSTS enables a website to opt-in to stricter client handling of HTTPS behavior. Specifically: All HTTP connections to…

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URL Length Limits

Today’s question is a simple one: “What is the maximum URL length supported by Internet Explorer?” And the answer, as befitting an IEInternals post, is surprisingly complicated.  The simplistic answer is that WinINET.h defines INTERNET_MAX_URL_LENGTH as 2083 characters, and this limit remains in force in a number of places. However, the true limit can be…

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Unicode in URL changes for IE11

I wrote a bit about Internet Explorer’s International Settings back in July of 2012. Internet Explorer 10 and 11 quietly brought some changes: In IE10, the Use UTF-8 for mailto links option was removed. In IE11, the misleadingly-named Send UTF-8 URLs option is renamed to correctly reflect its function (Send URL path as UTF-8) and…

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Same Origin Policy Part 0: Origins

Recently, someone asked a pretty simple question: “Why doesn’t IE consider the port when evaluating Same Origin Policy?” and I realized that my Same-Origin-Policy series lacks an in-depth look at the concepts surrounding origins. Table of Contents: Same Origin Policy Posts Part 0 – (This post) What’s an Origin Part 1 – Deny Read Part…

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Browser Arcana: IP Literals in URLs

While virtually all web traffic flows over connections based on the Internet Protocol, most of the time your browser first uses DNS to look up the target hostname’s IP address. However, sometimes URLs directly specify an IP address, skipping DNS altogether. When an IP appears directly within such an URL, it is said to have…

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There’s never magic, but plenty of butterfly effects

I’ve always enjoyed magic shows, but I’ve never attempted to understand how the tricks are performed, since that would take all of the fun out of them. In contrast, if I see a web browser demonstrating seemingly magical behavior or misbehavior, I find it hard to sleep until I figure out what’s going on. Earlier…

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“Everybody Lies”

Today we present EricLaw’s 2nd law of Software: “If your software platform is sufficiently popular, and it offers a GetVersion API, that API probably lies.” Recently, a user of Telerik’s automated web testing product (Test Studio) filed a bug noting that they’d recently upgraded their machines to IE11, but the test tool’s GUI claimed that…

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What I’d like to see in IE12

As the holidays approach, I’ve decided to publish my “wishlist” for the next version of Internet Explorer. I’ve been pretty good this year, so hopefully the IE team will deliver some of these presents. 🙂 Please remember: I’m just an MVP, and I don’t have any magic powers that would guarantee that any of my…

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IE11 Changes

In the past, I’ve published “Minor changes” lists for IE9 and IE10. The goal of those lists was to briefly document changes that might not be recorded elsewhere. This time around, I’m aiming to provide broader coverage of changes in IE11, including major new features and APIs. While this won’t be the best place to…

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