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can you get into your own site?

 10:46 pm on Jun 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

The frivolous side:

The other day I wanted to put a particular page on the iPad's desktop so I wouldn't have to keep going through Safari. I clicked the requisite buttons... and at the place where it's supposed to give a preview of the apple-touch-icon it instead showed a perfectly plain black box. This was very jazzy looking and might make a nifty favicon for a particular type of site-- but it does not happen to be mine.

Detour to apple dot com to re-read all instructions. Was I supposed to do something in the icon editor? Nope. Was I supposed to use the "times" sign rather than the letter x in the name? Nope. Will it help to add one at the 72x72 size? Nope.

Further detour to raw logs to confirm that my iPad has been there, requesting the apple-touch-icon. Slight delay as I note that for this purpose, the user-agent switches from ordinary iPad to something containing the word "Darwin".

Longer delay as I realize that I don't have the specific file the iPad asked for (there are potentially eight different apple-touch-icons, of which I currently have four), so why is it showing up as a 200, and with a filesize more in keeping with a favicon?

Still longer delay as the word "Darwin" causes brain synapses to start firing, leading to a final detour to htaccess containing lines (here edited for posting purposes)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} iP([oa]d|hone)|Darwin
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^-?$
RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|png) /pictures/smallgifs/onedot.gif [L]

D'oh, hand-forehead-slap, boinggggg.

The rule was put in place for image searches; it's the mobile-device version of my /blank.html rewrite.

The apple-touch-icon, unlike the favicon, uses the same .png extension as an ordinary image file. I HAVE BEEN BLOCKING MYSELF. Also anyone else with a mobile device, but they may not have noticed.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !apple-touch-icon

All is well.


The not-so-frivolous side:

(a) People who take their websites seriously have all kinds of blocks: user-agents, known proxies, suspicious referers...

(b) People who take their privacy seriously have all kinds of browser restrictions: no cookies, no scripting, no referer, obfuscated UA, connect via a proxy...

So the question arises. If you did not poke a hole for yourself, would you be able to get into your own site?

"I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me for a member."



 5:03 pm on Jun 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm pleased you raised this point.

How often have we looked at our own sites from a users' perspective! Probably not often enough.


 11:00 am on Jun 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

How often have we looked at our own sites from a users' perspective! Probably not often enough.

I make a point of looking at my site on other people's machines whenever I have the opportunity. I never know what weird settings or software that they may have that I hadn't thought about accomodating.

Back to the original topic I have known of novice webmasters who have managed to block their own IP address!

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