I just ran across an interesting bug in IE 6 when a page is loading an external javascript file. If Apache is outputting the external javascript compressed (gzip) IE will do one of the following things:

  1. Return a blank page
  2. Try loading the page forever

Prior to finding this bug, our apache settings for mod_deflate looked like…

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/css text/xml text/plain application/x-javascript

Now it looks like…

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml text/css text/javascript application/x-javascript
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.[0678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch \bMSIE\s7Â !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html

Making these changes seemed to have fixed the issue. Now when a page is loaded in IE6, any external javascript file will not be gzipped and their page load will be slower. I suppose that is punishment for not upgrading to IE7 or getting Firefox.

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I must say this. I’ve been struggling with this issue for days, copletely clueless. You may have saved my life.

Thanks for an excellent catch!

September 29, 2008 6:12 am

December 16, 2008 3:09 am

I recently enabled ‘deflate’ on our development webserver, at “YSlow”‘s suggestion… but didn’t realize the impact on IE6 until later. It’s sad that this article is from 2007 and we’re still having to deal with IE6’s frustrations still…

… anyway, thank you so much for the information.

May 13, 2009 3:03 pm

Comment now!
















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