Windows (any browser) Refuses to Load GIFs With Certain Filenames?

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2001
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The Cool Part of CA, USA
Ok, I just ran across what seems to me to be the most thoroughly bizarre issue with a site I was working on.

I was testing it in IE to see how awful it looked, and one of the GIFs wasn't loading. I experimented some, and eventually came up with a simplified test case. At least on my Parallels Windows install (XP SP2, all updates), this image:

http://japhys.com/images/banne.gif

...will load fine, while this one:

http://japhys.com/images/banner.gif

...will not.

The images themselves are identical down to the bit--the ONLY difference is the filename. Anything longer than banne.gif won't work as well. This is true in IE6, IE7, and even Firefox, so it's something system-level, not yet another IE bug.

Oh, and it's not just filename length, since there are other GIFs in the same directory that work fine. It's also not where in the file structure it is--the same thing happens even at the top level of the domain.

Can anybody replicate this, or is it something gone haywire with my Parallels Install? What the HELL is going on here?
 

l33r0y

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2007
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0
Both are viewable on my XP SP2 IE v7.0.5730.11

(running on a PC, not Mac)

Tried clearing your IE cache and forcing a download copy by using Ctrl+F5 ?
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2001
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The Cool Part of CA, USA
Ok, I guess that means that it's Parallels doing something crazy, which is somewhat comforting if not much less baffling.

And cache clearing doesn't make any difference--I tried clearing the cache, history, even cookies, as well as restarting, which all made no difference. But since it happens with IE6, IE7, FireFox, and even crusty old Netscape 4--NONE will load that filename--it's not something so simple as a cache problem.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
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My only guess would be that you have some adblocker working that blocks banner.gif.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2001
6,154
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The Cool Part of CA, USA
Ahah! Thank you, angelwatt--adblockers hadn't even occurred to me, but the fact it was the word "banner" should have tipped me off.

Turns out that the Kapersky Internet Security (or whatever it's called) that comes with Parallels includes a rather crude adblocker, which (of course) is turned on by default. And was blocking anything at all named "banner*".

So of course it blocked my banner-something.gif files.

Probably a good thing to keep in mind in the future, as it wouldn't have even occurred to me that using a seemingly-harmless filename would trigger an adblocker, and I can easily imagine a number of "regular joe" viewers having something of the sort running.

So don't name anything banner* if you want it to load!
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Tell you what, it takes a seriously crap piece of software to just block everything starting with 'banner'. I mean, I'm sure it does other stuff too, but people do legitimately use filenames starting banner in websites.

I'd consider ditching Kapersky just as retribution for the annoyance it has caused :D
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2001
6,154
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The Cool Part of CA, USA
I'd consider ditching Kapersky just as retribution for the annoyance it has caused :D
I would if I actually used that Windows install for anything but occasional browser testing, which I don't. It has a virus checker, which since it was free (for me) I figured I'd use in place of ClamAV since it's a little lower-level integrated.

And actually, I'm going to keep it specifically BECAUSE it's obviously a total hazard--since there are obviously other clueless Windows users out there with adblocker or anti-spyware software that's doing an equally poor job of screwing things up, I want to see it when I test. In this case, I could have built a website that didn't load properly on some percentage of computers simply because of the wrong filename.

So, I figure, it's actually a good test.