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404 pages in IE5 and IE6
need clarifications about just what browser is appropriating
Robert Charlton

 8:56 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

In alerting a client about the need for a custom 404 page, I'm finding that since I don't have IE6, I'm unclear about a key detail regarding IE5 and IE6 appropriation of the 404.

With IE5, as I understand it, if your 404 error page is less than 512 bytes, IE5 will display its own page, not necessarily what you want. So, if you make your page larger than 512 bytes, you're OK....

With IE6, do you get redirected to MSN search when there's any 404 error, or still only when your 404 is less than 512 bytes?

And then is the workaround littleman suggests in the following thread necessary in all cases, or just if your 404 is too small?




 9:06 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

IE6 is working the same as IE5 here on my Win32 box as far as the 404 error goes.


 9:13 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just tried it with a 189 byte file. IE 6 displayed my page. The only time I have seen the search box, is if it can't find the server at all.

Robert Charlton

 10:01 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

So then what's the point of using the recommended script?

The nph-404 script could look something like this:

my $dt = gmtime(time);
$dt =~ s/ / 0/g ;
my $dt2 .= $dt;
my ($day,$month,$mday,$time,$year,) = split(/ /,$dt2);
print "$ENV{'SERVER_PROTOCOL'} 200 OK\r\nDate: $day\, $mday $month $year $time GMT\r\nServer: $ENV{'SERVER_SOFTWARE'}\r\nConnecton: close\r\n";
print "Content-Type: text/html\n\n";
print qq No more MSIE splash page! or whatever... ;

There's something I'm not getting. If IE6 only displays the MSN search box if it can't finder your server, how is it going to find your server to run this script?

Also, what is actually displayed when this script is run? I assume it's something in the print qq line. Is it possible to display a custom 404 page using this script, with links, graphics, etc, or do you merely insert an emergency text message with your url after print qq¦ ?

Robert Charlton

 10:16 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

A PS to the above:

>>I just tried it with a 189 byte file. IE 6 displayed my page.<<

mdharrold - I assume this means that you have the IE "friendly" error messages switched off.


 11:10 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Friendly error messages are turned ON.
IE version 6.0.2600.0000CO

Robert Charlton

 11:26 pm on Feb 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Friendly error messages are turned ON.<<

Hmmm... with a 189-byte file.... Does this suggest that IE6 has dropped the 512-byte minimum size?
(Or do I have the meanings of friendly and unfriendly backwards here?)

Robert Charlton

 3:35 am on Feb 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Littleman replied about the script on another thread, so I've followed up at:


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