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From Joe Laffey <>
Subject Re: AW: IE 5 on Mac is incompatible with TC 4?
Date Fri, 08 Mar 2002 15:23:55 GMT
On Fri, 8 Mar 2002, Ralph Einfeldt wrote:

> I don't copletly agree with that.
> As long as you don't break specs it is possible to do
> something in tomcat to deal with errors in browsers.
> (Like missbehavior in the headers of a http request)
> If a browser has a bug that you can't deal with, without
> breaking the spec there isn't much you can do.

I understand your concern over the specs. But users don't care about
specs, neither do manager, CEOs, or the bean counters. They care about
profits.  And alienating users with your website is NOT a way to increase
profits ;-)

> There might also be browser bugs that you can't avoid at
> all. E.G. if a browser doesn't send a cookie under certain
> conditions, what would you suggest to change on the server
> side to change that. (I don't know if this happens here)

I too know nothing about the issue, and have not tested it to see if it
even exists. (Perhaps I should have kept my mouth shut in the first
place.) I simply wanted to point out that hold spec up as Holy Grail
doesn't do any users any good at all. There will always be
incompatibilities. The industry has tried forever to have "specs,"
"guidelines", and "requirements." There have always been exceptions.
Unless you control ALL the software involved, or have the full cooperation
of those who do (MS, cooperate? yeah, sure...) things will have to be
adjusted to fit.

If this is indeed a bug in IE5 Mac then it should be documented as an
incompatibility prominently on the Tomcat website. This way developers
won't look like idiots when their clients call screaming that their
daughter can't even order products from their website from her iMac! The
prudent developer will find a workaround or choose something other than

> In this case you don't have to alienate all Mac IE5
> users because there is workaround: using encodeUrl().
> Which should be used anyway, because otherwise you will
> alienate all users that disable cookies. (Which will be
> more than Mac OS 9 users with IE 5)

If this works then yes, it is a good solution. (Not requiring cookies is
always a good solution, but it costs more time/money.) However, IMHO, the
Tomcat docs ought to reflect this incompatibility prominently so the
developer know that they will have to waste hours working around it.

Again, I have no idea if a bug really exists. I am simply making noise
because I think that money is more important than specs to most developers
and definitely to most suits.

I will now be quiet. I hope I haven't offended you or anyone on the Tomcat
team. I think Tomcat is a good project.

Joe Laffey              |  Want to convert subnet masks between different
LAFFEY Computer Imaging |  notations, or figure the number of IPs in a block?
St. Louis, MO           |  Whatmask-It's FREE -

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