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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Understanding Web Proxy Configuration

Over the last decade, I’ve come to learn a lot about web proxies, having chosen to implement my web debugger as a proxy. In today’s post, I’ll provide an overview of proxy-related information, including information on changes in Internet Explorer 11 / Windows 8.1. The “System Proxy” Unlike on other systems like Mac OSX, Windows…

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Braindump: DNS

Note: The “brain dump” series is akin to what the support.microsoft.com team calls “Fast Publish” articles—namely, things that are published quickly, without the usual level of polish, triple-checking, etc. I expect that these posts will contain errors, but I also expect them to be mostly correct. I’m writing these up this way now because they’ve…

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Debugging in IE10 on Windows 8

Emulating the “non-Desktop Experience” in the Desktop Experience The new full-screen “fast and fluid” experience of IE10 on Windows 8 offers many improvements over Internet Explorer 10 on the Desktop (ranging from UX to Security), but one thing it lacks is the F12 Developer Tools, used by web developers to debug web pages. While you…

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Downloading ZIP-Based Formats

More and more file formats are based on the ZIP format. The Open Packaging Conventions use ZIP as a base format, and that means frameworks like .NET’s System.IO.Packaging also generate files that are valid ZIP files. The Office 2007+ formats are ZIP-based, and more personally, Fiddler’s SAZ Format is ZIP-based. Unfortunately, this trend toward ZIP-based…

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Use IMG tags only for Images

First, a bit of background. When web developers are optimizing the performance of their sites, often they try to use their homepage to pre-cache resources that will be used on later pages. They might do so by kicking off “pre-fetch” resource downloads after the content required by the homepage itself has downloaded. It turns out…

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The Hazards of Browser Quirks, continued

My First Law of Browser Quirks was introduced a while ago: If there’s a way for a site to take dependency on a browser quirk, and break if that quirk is removed, it will happen. The Second Law of Browser Quirks is: If there’s a way for a site to combine a set of browser…

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Integrated Windows Authentication

Inside Internet Explorer’s Tools > Internet Options > Advanced dialog, there’s an option named Enable Integrated Windows Authentication: This preference is stored using a REG_DWORD named EnableNegotiate inside HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings. When set to 0x1, Negotiate is enabled. From time to time, users have asked what this option does and why they’d ever want to adjust…

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The Perils of User-Agent Sniffing, 2011 Edition

I continue to be amazed at how often site-compatibility issues turn out to have a root cause related to User-Agent sniffing. For instance, earlier this year, someone wrote into the comments section on one of my posts noting that the HTML5 canvas art site WeaveSilk.com wasn’t working in IE9. After reading through thousands of lines…

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First IE9 Update Now Available

As announced over on the IEBlog, the first update for IE9 is now available. When this update is installed, the IE Help > About screen will indicate that the IE version is 9.0.1. Please note that this is a display only change and it is not reflected in the User-Agent String, Conditional Comments, or the…

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