Difficulties with Internet Explorer

If you’ve been seeing this lately:

Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site http://<Web site>. Operation aborted.

it’s apparently the result of an unfortunate interaction between a known Microsoft bug and behind-the-scenes changes to the script at SiteMeter.

This should no longer affect IE users of this site: I have reinstalled a much-older version of the SiteMeter script (there’s a reason I never throw anything away) which still apparently works correctly with the IE parser.

Users of non-Microsoft browsers were not affected by this bug.

If you have any problems with any page on this site, please write.

Update: SiteMeter says they’ve fixed their issue. Microsoft? Don’t ask.

Further update: “This is one of the problems with complex systems,” observes Roberta X: “they break in places nobody’s looking.”


  1. unimpressed »

    2 August 2008 · 10:21 am

    I did get that for a few hours last night. I figured you’d track down the issue and correct it, and you did.

  2. Brian J. »

    2 August 2008 · 10:33 am

    Before I got a chance to write a browser detection script, SiteMeter apparently fixed it on their end.

    I probably lost a total of 2 visitors on account of it. Sadly, my traffic didn’t dip at all last night except for maybe you, Charles.

  3. Old Grouch »

    2 August 2008 · 11:55 am

    “If you can’t see this page, please use a different browser.”


  4. CGHill »

    2 August 2008 · 12:05 pm

    That’s right up there with “Keyboard not found. Press F1 to continue.”

  5. Lubos Motl »

    2 August 2008 · 12:08 pm

    If you died of a heart attack after the crashes, live again and click here for more background about the bug: http://motls.blogspot.com/2008/08/fix-internet-explorer-7-with-sitemeter.html

  6. Brian J. »

    2 August 2008 · 12:11 pm

    Actually, there are valid reasons for the “If you cannot see this page, get a different browser.”

    Back when I was employed, I worked for an interactive agency that did some online sweepstakes. Even into 2007, WebTV users would come to the site and try to enter the contests, but their WebTV sets couldn’t handle the JavaScript behind the actual entry forms, so they would complain to the client. Eventually, we did some browser detection and directed them to a barebones page telling them they needed to get a 21st century Web browser to play.

    Jeez, the site looked horrible in WebTV, but that’s the Internet to which they were accustomed.

  7. CGHill »

    2 August 2008 · 12:44 pm

    Up until the last site redesign, a couple of months ago, we were still taking WebTV into account at 42nd and Treadmill. So far I haven’t heard any grumblings from the field, which suggests that maybe those last few holdouts finally did get around to getting some real hardware. (Then again, we’ve been pushing PDFs for quite some time now, and WebTV’s support for PDF has been nonexistent.)

  8. localmalcontent »

    2 August 2008 · 2:39 pm

    Thanks for the updates,and tips, Charles, and to Lubos Moti, above.

    Another reason to Mozilla.

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