Forum OpenACS Q&A: Problems with MS IE6
Has anyone expirienced problems using IE6 to access OACS sites. We don't use IE in house but we test with it to ensure that we remain compatible. We are suddenly seeing a problem where IE6 hangs whilst accessing our eCommerce development server.
Specifically when going for the index page across http it spins whilst retrieving images with the status bar showing '23 items remaining' or some such number. Once it has wedged trying to access our page it then fails to access other sites with the same effect e.g www.bbc.co.uk or amazon.com. If you restart the pc you can then get back into these other sites but any attempt to access the development server reproduces the same result.
I've googled around for references and it appears that its a known problem for IE to spin but there seems to be no common solution, I think because the cause is not known although there where some hints towards IE6 not being able to handle redirection (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=837489).
Anyway we seem to be stuck with a server which can't be accessed from IE6 and as this is soon to be a public site this is not an ideal situation. Has anyone come across this problem? And can anyone offer a solution?
Your symptoms (images fail to load, stops IE from correctly loading other images from then on) sound like a match for http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=817177
Basically, there are some images that make IE crap itself - we first noticed it with some client-provided files that had been saved with photoshop metadata embedded as XML (iirc)... the only practical solution is to make sure none of the images on your sites trigger this lossage in IE...
(insert standard "IE blows goats" comment here)
I like the fact that its a Hot Fix - so you have to pay or wait for the next release of IE!?!
I hadn't thought that it could be an actual image file causing it. The index page is mostly client supplied gifs although the categories use thumbnails of jpgs. Does Imagemagic carry across the xml info when it creates a thumbnail? I'm not a Photoshop user but I'm told there is a save for web option which may solve this.
I'm going to try and get a public accessible site up so that you can see the problem first hand.
We saw the problem with jpegs, but to my reading the KB article implies it can be any image type. We solved our problem by having our client resupply the images without the embedded XML metadata (I'm not a photoshop user either, so I don't know what switch needs switching to make that happen), but adding +profile "*" to your imagemagick command line may help (that removes colour profiles, but I don't know if it also strips out the rest of the metadata too).
as a first-cut test, I'd save out all the images that are currently being used and replace them with simple texture jpegs or something like that.
I'm not sure about the embedded xml, but have experienced similar symptoms when saving photoshop images in web format using nonstandard color settings, such as cymk, and some rgb color profiles.
"mogrify" and "convert" did not change these as I used them, but might be able to adapt affected images since these commands have much control over image processing. Still, you're probably better off working from originals, if possible, since significant image information is usually lost with each conversion.
Incidently I noticed that the original thumbnail was 20k from a 30k orignal image!?! The GIMP one was only 5k so I'm pretty sure the original is carrying some baggage.
I'm going back to the client and asking him to resave and submit the images again.
This kind of behavior is often seen on Macintosh files (at least under OS9 and earlier) where a thumbnail preview is generated and stored in the first part of the filename. From your post, it sounds like other information is also being stored in the first part of the JPEG file.
By stripping the thumbnail and other data out of the image file, you can sometimes get a substantial decrease in image size.
This is not a problem under GIF because it is a simpler format that does not allow you to put this extra info into the file to begin with.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. It appears to be spot on. The client has resaved the thumbnails for the index page and IE loads it first time (its also quicker as they are considerably smaller). So that looks like a fix.