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browserconfig.xml

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4:07 pm on Feb 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Today I spotted a request in my logs for browserconfig.xml (given a 404 Not Found).

This is apparently related to a new type of favicon used by Internet Explorer 11.

Surprisingly, I couldn't find any prior reference to it on WebmasterWorld.

The official Microsoft explanation is at [msdn.microsoft.com...]

Some webmasters will be keen and want to implement support, others will be less keen and want to stop the unwanted 404s (which can apparently be done with a meta tag).

For myself, I tend to ignore any "feature" that is not cross-browser and cross-platform.

But I am happy to start a thread for everyone else.

...
5:24 am on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If I understand this correctly it is for people who will be pinning your URL/site to their Start page in Windows 8.

You could certainly thwart this by making a blank browserconfig.xml file, but if there are that many people trying to pin your site then you might want to look into the specification and generate a proper file. Microsoft has a tool to help you: [buildmypinnedsite.com...]
10:11 am on Feb 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you already have the apple icons, it's a 5 minute exercise with that MS generator thingie. May as well do it.
12:18 am on Apr 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Oh, hurrah, I was just looking for this.
71.142.220.abc - - [nn/Jan/2014:18:19:59 -0800] "GET /browserconfig.xml HTTP/1.1" 404 1458 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko"

68.3.170.abc - - [nn/Apr/2014:16:27:40 -0700] "GET /browserconfig.xml HTTP/1.1" 404 1458 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko"

Uhm... Where's the browser? rv:11.0 of what-- MSIE? Timestamps suggest it's a voluntary action on the part of the viewer. At least it's not as bad as those Safari-style Favorites pages that download everything every time.

:: insert "they only do it to annoy, because they know it teases" boilerplate ::
12:54 pm on May 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

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From: [msdn.microsoft.com...]
Browser configuration files (also known as browserconfig) can be used to define pinned site customizations, such as tile backgrounds, badge updates, and tile notifications. Browser configuration files let you set these customizations using external XML files rather than metadata within the HTML markup of a webpage.

If I understand this, people can still pin your site to their start page even if you don't have this file. In other words, the file just adds customizations to the way it looks. Or am I wrong?

I've always resisted creating favicons, icons etc, because they're not necessary, and they add extra bandwidth usage to the web. I did finally upload some 1 pixel favicons to most of my sites because they use less bandwidth than a 404 error page. But I don't see any reason to spend my time creating this new browserconfig file
 

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