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Web Browser Posers

Ok, I'm not a novice when it comes to developing websites: I've been building web pages for close on 15 years. But within the last week, I've come across two browser behaviors (or perhaps they're browser addon behaviors) that make me scratch my head.

First, a request coming from something sending the User-Agent "Mozilla/4.0"-- yes, that's all, no clarifiers or parentheticals-- is lopping off the GET parameters when a popup is launched through a button click via an onclick handler. This site states that this is a Yahoo! search something, but the links are not something that a Bot would come across. On the other hand, there is no referrer sent, whick makes me think it could be some kind of link preloader or some other browser add on. Also, I saw a very similar error today coming from Firefox 3.0, though I'm not sure it's related.

Second, and this is really baffling: Sometimes I'm getting requests from a browser identifying itself as IE 6.x that has the entire URL made lowercase. I'm use nice REST-ful URLs for my application, so when a identifier comes across as lowercase, it throws off the lookup. Of course my own copy of IE 6 doesn't exhibit the behavior. For this particular case, I'm using JavaScript to build a URL, and then sticking it as the src attribute of an embedded iframe that is also being created by JavaScript. I'm seeing other errors in my logs though of IE6 and IE7 browsers going to different links (links that would typically be clicked or pasted from an e-mail) that are all lower case as well. Again, not sure if that's related, or if people are just typing them in (lazily) or if it's a browser bug. The only thing I can seem to find about this is this forum (news?) post from 2005 with no replies.

Of course my Google searching is revealing nothing to help me keep my hair, so I turn to the Lazy Web. :-) Any ideas?


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Darrell Burgan on :

I'm seeing the same behavior as well, but only occasionally. It is really obnoxious because there is no way to fix it on the server side. This is truly a mystery. Have you found any additional information about this? Could it be an http proxy server someone is using that is doing the wrong thing?

Joseph Tate on :

I was thinking for the first problem that I would just redirect browsers with that user agent string to an error page that would hopefully result in the user sending me more information about what they're doing.

The lowercasing problem, I'm still baffled by.

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