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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 16451  
Subject: How can a server-side error be browser-specific? Date: 5/20/2012 10:03 PM
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I was trying to view this page: http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=15...

I got this error: Error 500 - Internal Server Error

I get that error only when using Safari. I've tested Safari on Mac, Windows, and on my iPhone, and they all get the error.

But the same page works when I use a different browser.

I can understand how a rendering error can be browser specific, but how can a server-side error be browser specific?

Here's a screenshot of the error: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/74164/Beklin.png
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Author: DoLoop Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16257 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/20/2012 10:39 PM
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FWIW, I get the same error message when I try to view the page using FF on a Windows machine.

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16258 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/20/2012 11:56 PM
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I realized I hadn't tried Firefox, so I tried it on my Mac.

Same error using FireFox 12.

But it works fine in Chrome 19.

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Author: DoLoop Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16259 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/21/2012 12:47 AM
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Again, FWIW, I tried it again using FF and this time I got the page OK. But, when I opened the Error Console in FF, a whole bunch of errors were listed. Maybe Chrome is ignoring the errors?

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16260 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/21/2012 1:42 AM
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Works for me

Safari 4.1.3
FF 3.6.28
Mac iBook G4

The website needs to be validated

Result: 117 Errors, 15 warning(s)
http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.belkin.co...

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16261 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/21/2012 12:19 PM
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Works for me

I sent them an email, and they fixed the problem.

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16262 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/21/2012 12:27 PM
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It still does not validate

117 Errors, 15 warning(s)

Send them another email, maybe they'll fix it. ;)

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16263 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/21/2012 4:29 PM
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It still does not validate

If it renders properly in all test browsers, does it really matter if the code passes a validation test?

Yes, valid HTML code appeals to me, but I don't think any company in the US is going to fix invalid (but working) code just to appeal to my inner pedant.

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Author: RHinCT Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide SC1 Red Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16264 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/21/2012 4:34 PM
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I wonder which is easier, creating valid HTML or testing all browsers.

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16265 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/22/2012 11:17 AM
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I wonder which is easier, creating valid HTML or testing all browsers.

Given that the browsers still have differences in their rendering (especially when there are plenty of users still on older browsers that may not render "valid" HTML properly), that's kind of a moot point.

I don't care whether it validates to fit the standards or not -- I'm still going to test it in the browsers.

dsbrady

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16266 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/22/2012 11:24 AM
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An important consideration is the ability of robots to read the website correctly. As far as I know one can't test the robots so one has to rely on valid code.

People forget that half the website's audience are not people but robots!

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: stevenjklein Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16267 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/23/2012 11:50 AM
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An important consideration is the ability of robots to read the website correctly. As far as I know one can't test the robots…

If you want to see if Google's indexing robots read the site correctly, try searching for words on your website, and see if it finds it.

so one has to rely on valid code.

You're assuming that the robots can properly parse valid code.

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Author: dsbrady Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16268 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/23/2012 11:54 AM
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You're assuming that the robots can properly parse valid code.

Or, more importantly, that they can't parse invalid code.

dsbrady

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16269 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/23/2012 12:16 PM
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You're assuming that the robots can properly parse valid code.

I love it when the competition craps up their websites. It makes life easier for me. Like running against handicapped horses. ;)

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: captainccs Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16271 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/23/2012 1:49 PM
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Google, of course, can test Google robots. I can't test Google robots. The algorithms are proprietary and SECRET. SEO people speculate a lot but have no access to robot testing. If they could test robots "black hat SEOs" would also game the robots which is a prime reason for keeping algorithms secret. Also, Google changes algorithms with a certain frequency, the world does not stand still.

Based on these considerations, one's best strategy is to follow Google's Webmaster Guidelines:

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&...

While this page does not mention validation it says:

Use a text browser such as Lynx to examine your site, because most search engine spiders see your site much as Lynx would. If fancy features such as JavaScript, cookies, session IDs, frames, DHTML, or Flash keep you from seeing all of your site in a text browser, then search engine spiders may have trouble crawling your site.

and

Test your site to make sure that it appears correctly in different browsers.

Using valid code improves your chances of the site rendering properly across browsers but it is not a guarantee because browsers are buggy too.

Denny Schlesinger

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Author: RHinCT Big gold star, 5000 posts Ticker Guide SC1 Red Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 16272 of 16451
Subject: Re: How can a server-side error be browser-speci Date: 5/23/2012 5:39 PM
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Using valid code improves your chances of the site rendering properly across browsers but it is not a guarantee because browsers are buggy too.

And the standard that defines what is valid isn't without shortcomings, making the whole thing even more interesting.

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