ARGGG!!! Darn you IE!!!!

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
OK, so maybe I shouldn't be mad at IE. You be the judge.

My father's been a computer bigot from the beginning. Any time the subject of computers comes up, he always spouts something to the effect of ,"those things never work when you want them to." Over the past few years, since my wife and I bought a digital camera, he's relaxed a little bit around them, to the point that I think he might actually set down and learn the whole "double click" thing. Up until now, that concept has eluded him.

So, for this Christmas, I purchased he and my mother a used slot-loading 350 Mhz iMac. Nothing fancy, but it will get the job done. They'll do some basic surfing, email, and looking at pictures.

I decide I'll give it to them early. So I carry it over to their house last night. Everything's going great. He's listening like he cares, and is, I think, actually learning.

When I get done, he says, "hey, for work I need to go this website." So, he typed in the address. The screen says, "This site only works with Internet Explorer 6.0 and above."

UGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! (beating head against wall now)

Imagine my dismay, when I have to tell him that his new computer won't do what he wants it to.

Somebody please, please, please tell me there's something I can do to make it work on his computer. I've tried Safari and Firefox, but not Netscape. Does IE only go up to 5.2 for Macs? Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch!!!
 

dotnina

macrumors 6502a
Aug 19, 2004
856
0
Yep, IE on the Mac goes up to 5.2, and that's it. Microsoft is no longer updating the browser on the Mac platform.

Perhaps the message you saw was intended for Windows users? Can you send us the link to the site? I have to think that some browser on the Mac will display the page properly.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
hikeNM said:
OK, so maybe I shouldn't be mad at IE. You be the judge.

My father's been a computer bigot from the beginning. Any time the subject of computers comes up, he always spouts something to the effect of ,"those things never work when you want them to." Over the past few years, since my wife and I bought a digital camera, he's relaxed a little bit around them, to the point that I think he might actually set down and learn the whole "double click" thing. Up until now, that concept has eluded him.

So, for this Christmas, I purchased he and my mother a used slot-loading 350 Mhz iMac. Nothing fancy, but it will get the job done. They'll do some basic surfing, email, and looking at pictures.

I decide I'll give it to them early. So I carry it over to their house last night. Everything's going great. He's listening like he cares, and is, I think, actually learning.

When I get done, he says, "hey, for work I need to go this website." So, he typed in the address. The screen says, "This site only works with Internet Explorer 6.0 and above."

UGHHHHH!!!!!!!!! (beating head against wall now)

Imagine my dismay, when I have to tell him that his new computer won't do what he wants it to.

Somebody please, please, please tell me there's something I can do to make it work on his computer. I've tried Safari and Firefox, but not Netscape. Does IE only go up to 5.2 for Macs? Any ideas?

Thanks a bunch!!!
Try enabling the Safari debug menu and setting it to show itself as MSIE 6, then rebrowse the site. Or maybe you need to go to the site, then set it up and it will refresh the page. In any event, this works fairly often.

If the site requires ActiveX, though, you're SOL. With any Mac browser.
 

Rantipole

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2004
286
15
Boston
If it is a work-related site, I would bet that, regardless of what browser you pull up, it will be so Windows-focused, that it will not work properly on the Mac.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,352
3,215
Florida Resident
Try going to the site often with Safari and Firefox. The stats are logged and if the percentage is high enough, they may consider following standards. I really wonder if Microsoft will be as dominate 5 or 10 years from now by doing nothing. They are more focused on sales and security.

Hopefully that Debug menu will work with Safari in the meantime.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
From what I can tell (I'm at work, currently Macless), the only thing about that site which requires IE6.0 is the web page's insistence that it requires IE6.0. The HTML doesn't seem too IE-specific.

Looks like they "went IE" for no reason.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
jsw said:
Try enabling the Safari debug menu and setting it to show itself as MSIE 6, then rebrowse the site. Or maybe you need to go to the site, then set it up and it will refresh the page. In any event, this works fairly often.

If the site requires ActiveX, though, you're SOL. With any Mac browser.
jsw's tip works. I just logged in with Safari after following the advice above. It's simple and seems to work fine, although I cannot login.

Edit: I can't login because I don't have an ID, not because of any known error with Safari.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
emw said:
jsw's tip works. I just logged in with Safari after following the advice above. It's simple and seems to work fine, although I cannot login.
Good to know!

Yet another site with an IE requirement that has no justification.

Edit: what's annoying is that hikeNM's parents will blame Apple, not the Texas DOT.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
hikeNM said:
When I type in the command into terminal, I get the message, "no such job".

What does that mean?
Be sure you aren't tyoing the '%' - that's just the cursor they're using. Simply type:
Code:
defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu 1
and hit return.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
jsw said:
Try enabling the Safari debug menu and setting it to show itself as MSIE 6, then rebrowse the site. Or maybe you need to go to the site, then set it up and it will refresh the page. In any event, this works fairly often.

If the site requires ActiveX, though, you're SOL. With any Mac browser.
Got the debug menu!!!

How do i set it to show itself as MSIE 6?

Sorry guys, I'm a little slow today.

Nevermind. Got it.!!!!
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
hikeNM said:
Got the debug menu!!!

How do i set it to show itself as MSIE 6?

Sorry guys, I'm a little slow today.
Someone with a Mac present will need to affirm this, but I believe there's a "User agent" menu on the Debug menu which shows thae various options (the submenu is there; I just forgot the exact name). One of the options is MSIE 6.0. Choose that one - and note that you need to re-choose a user agent (if not Safari) every time you open a new widnow or tab (as far as I know) - it isn't a persistent setting (I iknow it doesn't persist when you quit Safari). So you'll only be "seen" as MSIE6.0 on that page and presumably pages you go to after that in that window/tab.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Alright, now I'm just p!@#$% off. What's the point in making a website unaccessible like that for no other reason than just doing it. I could understand it if IE6 does something that others won't, but come. Is this just a big FU to everybody who doesn't use Windows?
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
hikeNM said:
Alright, now I'm just p!@#$% off. What's the point in making a website unaccessible like that for no other reason than just doing it. I could understand it if IE6 does something that others won't, but come. Is this just a big FU to everybody who doesn't use Windows?
There can actually be real reasons, like they use Windows-only features, like ActiveX. Otherwise, it may just be laziness - they don't want to test the site with other browsers, so they just require the one they did test.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Knowing the State of Texas government, I'd go with the laziness bit.

I did get it to work.

Thanks so much for the tip. I can do this and Dad will never know the difference!!!! Maybe he can keep his little bit of faith.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
There is almost never a valid reason to require IE. As emw states, it's often due to laziness on the site's part: laziness with regard to testing, or laziness w.r.t. using Active X instead of equally valid standard approaches.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
It's bad living in the south. I'm a school teacher, and, while we used to use macs exclusively, now it's all P.C.'s. Nobody really even knows macs exist. I'm lucky enough to have a leftover computer from the good ole days.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
hikeNM said:
Thanks so much for the tip. I can do this and Dad will never know the difference!!!! Maybe he can keep his little bit of faith.
jsw may know how to do this, but it appears that you can't set it to default to using the IE 6 User Agent. I set it to IE 6, then quit and relaunched Safari, and it was back to "Automatically Chosen."

Your dad may have to do this each time he accesses that site. I couldn't find an AppleScript command to do it.
 

hikeNM

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
emw said:
jsw may know how to do this, but it appears that you can't set it to default to using the IE 6 User Agent. I set it to IE 6, then quit and relaunched Safari, and it was back to "Automatically Chosen."

Your dad may have to do this each time he accesses that site. I couldn't find an AppleScript command to do it.
It will be OK. It's to register his truck online. He'll only have to do it once a year, and I'll probably be there when he does it. So I can make sure he does it.

The weird thing is that the rest of the site doesn't require IE6. It's kinda got my interest up as to what it does.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
hikeNM said:
It will be OK. It's to register his truck online. He'll only have to do it once a year, and I'll probably be there when he does it. So I can make sure he does it.

The weird thing is that the rest of the site doesn't require IE6. It's kinda got my interest up as to what it does.
When loading the home page link you posted and viewing the source, it was generated by Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 and is actually an asp link for secure entry. The other pages appear to be generated by FrontPage.
 

James L

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2004
850
1
Internet History Lesson:

During the browser wars, which really only recently ended, there were two main players in town... Netscape (Navigator), and Microsoft with IE. The early years were all about adding features to out do each other... web design standards were really in their infancy and basically ignored. That is why in the late 90's and early 2000's you saw a lot of sites that said "this page requires IE, or NN".

As the years went by, more and more companies that coded browsers begun supporting (somewhat) the standards set out by the W3 and many proprietary commands were deprecated.

Safari, for example, has EXCELLENT CSS support (though its scripting support is still buggy). The latest Mozilla engine, which is used by Netscape Navigator as well as several others, has great support too. IE 6 for PC is pretty good, a few issues, but it also still allows certain proprietary commands (will only work in that browser) and that may be what is causing the problems.

Other IE notes... IE Mac, and IE PC, are completely different browsers. They share name only. Many parts of IE 5.x for Mac are much more similiar to the way Netscape Navigator functions than to the way IE for the PC is. They were even coded by different teams at Microsoft. They are apples and oranges. It isn't just a case of IE being at version 6 and IE Mac being at 5.2.2. Incidently, Microsoft discontinued development of IE for the Mac around the time Safari was released by Apple.

A true web designer will code a page that adheres to web design standards set out by the W3 and not use any commands that will only function in one browser. This is how it is done now that we have standards. Unfortunately, a lot of web designers suck and still use commands that are prorietary for one browser only. This may be what you are encountering.

Cheers,

James