Miscellaneous Brrreeeport

Looks like I’m:

  • Participating in Scoble’s



  • Syndicating Digg’s Programming news here now (in the sidebar).
  • Considering participating in Technet ScriptCenter’s Scripting Games event, despite my busy-ness. (Hey, I could be a contender!)
  • Baffled why UC would require its own Alumni (aka “prospective donors” to UC’s board) to jump through Stone Age hoops to get a transcript (this is 2006, and phone isn’t even an option), and they’ll still take “5-10 days” to process it.
  • Downloading various free VMwares at the moment. Oh, and eating cookie dough.
  • Wondering why the machine I’ve reinstalled at least 12 times in 12 months — due to strange disk problems, but with different disks — now appears problem free after switching its filesystem from NTFS to FAT32 (which is supposedly more fragile).
  • Also wondering why the Virtual NT4 Server I spent the last week fighting with just refuses to run IIS4.
  • Avidly tracking shipment of my new little Athlon 64-based machine, due here Tuesday.
  • Chuckling at the recent surplus of general serendipity.
  • Remembering that Tuesday is Valentine’s day….

Gopher is a funny word,

and so I was sad to see it go away again today:

Y’know, I remember seeing the early web on Lynx, and thinking “oh, like gopher, except harder to use — what’s the point?” Then I saw it on Netscape 1 and everything changed.

(Yes, I actually have a need for NT 4 Server right now. I never thought I’d be installing Option Pack this many years later. At least I’ve got Virtual PC & Server these days).

IE6 HTTP Bug with HTTP_Accept request header

Something I bumped into today: The first time Internet Explorer loads a URL, it sends an “HTTP_Accept” request header with the list of MIME types it accepts, like so:
HTTP_ACCEPT = application/vnd.ms-excel, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, application/msword, */*

Any subsequent request of the same URL, though, only sends “*/*”:

Of course I watched this through an ASP page which wrote out Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_Accept").  I wasn’t sure if it was IIS or IE‘s fault tho, so I checked the raw headers with Fiddler, and it’s definitely IE.

What’s especially strange is that I can find little or no mention of the problem. Anyone else heard of (or conquered) this?

It rather messes up a page I’m working on…

UPDATE: See here for a bug and workaround demo article I just put together.

IE 7 beta 2, Running Observations

Observations as a user:

  • Address bar: I’m not sure I like it being locked to the title bar.  Any other toolbars go below — that’s weird.  Interestingly, I can drag the whole window from the chrome near it, so I think it may actually be part of the titlebar under the hood.
  • “Star”/start menu: Opens the sidebar containing Faves, History, and Feeds. I think I like this, an idea borrowed from live.com.  It’ll still take some getting used to, tho.
  • bug?: Backspacing/deleting characters in this MSHTML-enabled (contenteditable) area of .Text doesn’t work right.  Possibly machine-specific, but I haven’t noticed it before.
  • Tabs: I reeeally want to move the tabs to the bottom of the screen, as I do with Firefox (and like Excel worksheets).  I also want to be able to double-click to close tabs, but I’m happy that middle-clicks are “Open in a New Tab”.
  • New tab thing: The small “blank tab” for creating new tabs is Mystery Meat, and especially confusing since there’s a “plus” icon nearby.  I know MS is going for “uncluttered UI”, but this breaks usability in favor of pretty.  Just show a #8220;new document” icon the whole time, and it’ll be much clearer. 
  • Stop loading icon: The “X” icon also very confusing.  “X” means Delete, a “Stop Sign” icon means stop. 
  • Reload icon: OTOH, I like the color reversal here, the green in the background makes it stand out more.
  • Faster: address bar responsiveness.
  • Slow, like rendering of the new Quick Tabs, Classic toolbar and Google’s toolbar.

Observations as a developer:

  • CSS Visual Transitions: are these gone?!?  Strange, b/c CSS Visual Filters still work.

  • Modal/Modeless dialogs: IE6sp2 forced the status bar onto these.  IE7 now forces an address bar too, creating problems for web apps with sized dialogs.  Slowly but surely those dialogs are becoming just windows, EXCEPT that…

  • Modal/Modeless dialogs are still very buggy in IE7b2!

  • SELECT elements: As expected, much better now!