The App Compat Guy

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  • Blog Post: Troubleshooting and Fixing Session Cookie Problems in IE11

    Another browser, another version check crisis… So, like many of my esteemed nerdly readers, I pushed “go” on upgrading to the Windows 8.1 preview the first opportunity that I had. And, naturally, the first thing I started doing was finding the broken stuff. Unfortunately, it didn’t take me long. We have...
  • Blog Post: Update on the Weight Watchers Mobile Site on IE10

    Back in December, I blogged about the failure of Weight Watchers Mobile on IE10 , which affects peoples’ fancy new Windows Phone 8 devices, not to mention their Windows RT devices like the Surface RT. In the interim, I’ve disabled the compat view list on my Surface (there isn’t an option to do that on...
  • Blog Post: Debugging the new WeightWatchers Mobile Site on IE10 for Windows Phone 8

    It’s been a while since I’ve done a debugging post, and I thought it was about time I came back and did one again. As some of you may have figured out, I travel now and then. (I am at just over 195,000 BIS – butt in seat - miles so far in 2012.) And, if you travel as well, you know how damaging this...
  • Blog Post: Debugging Geeks Who Found Their Voice

    When I talk to folks who are extraordinary engineers, but who are struggling to extend their impact, the #1 recommendation I give is to find your voice and communicate. And just keep communicating. There is no substitute for practice. And, it turns out that the sort of folks who really excel at app compat...
  • Blog Post: Debugging a CSS Issue with IE9: Mötley Crüe Edition

    If you want to master app compat debugging, then I really only know of one approach: practice. Find things that are broken, and then find out why. If you have to look too far for something broken, then you must be significantly luckier than I am! Now, I prefer to listen to Mötley Crüe when I debug (or...
  • Blog Post: Example of Debugging a CSS Issue Reported Against Internet Explorer 8: The Case of the Jumping Links

    Flipping through my archives, I noticed that I haven’t really spoken a lot about Internet Explorer app compat. Since moving people off of IE6 to IE8 is a pretty big corporate priority right now (trust me, the grass really is greener over here), I figured I’d walk folks through a debugging session I was...
  • Blog Post: Windows 7 Debugging Demo: Troubleshooting the Broken Microsoft Time Zone Utility

    Earlier today, I received this request from a customer: This ( http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=07fb0bd8-f390-458d-a629-6f0258ac7cdf ) is a .NET 1.1 app and I have installed .NET 1.1 SP1 on Windows 7 32-bit and all .NET 1.1 SP1 security patches but it doesn't run. Gives me this...
  • Blog Post: Debugging the Missing .NET Tab for Managed Applications in Process Explorer for Windows 7 x64

    I was reading through some documentation on Sysinternals Process Explorer the other day, and one bit that caught my attention was some detail on the .NET tab. So, I pulled up my trusty managed StockViewer application, and went to go and look at that tab. Only… …it wasn’t there. Fascinating. So I found...
  • Blog Post: The Case of the SUA Missing Log File

    Since I’m using Mark’s tools, I figure I may as well steal his blog title scheme… I had a customer come to me with a question on Standard User Analyzer (SUA), looking for an explanation for why it was coming back with the following error: Failed to load log file C:\Users\…\AppData\Local\Temp\sua No ...
  • Blog Post: The Secret to Power App Compat Debugging

    If you come to me for advice about how to become a debugger, chances are that I’m going to give you a couple of must-read reference books, an then tell you to start paying attention. Because, unless you’re drastically more lucky than I am, stuff is probably breaking on you all the time. While a lot of...
  • Blog Post: Putting It All Together: Using My Ramblings to Solve Real Problems

    I send out a lot of links to my articles in response to questions that come up, but the other day I had a chance to use a pile of them to solve a fairly complicated problem end to end. So, I figured I'd share how we can piece together all of this knowledge to solve a more sophisticated problem. Let's...
  • Blog Post: Debugging Without a Debugger: The Magic of wercon and a Web Browser

    Last week, I was at TechEd 2008: IT Professionals in Orlando, FL. (More on that later.) I had the opportunity to talk to lots of people, and it is always a great learning experience for me. Along the way, I even had a chance to solve an application compatibility problem, using nothing but a bit of string...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista SP1 Broke my Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool!

    ...but I fixed it. And I thought you might like to know how to fix it if you run into the issue. So first, the problem. I was trying to launch IECTT and found this MessageBox: --------------------------- Test Tool Error --------------------------- The file size exceeds the limit allowed and cannot be...
  • Blog Post: Discovering the Arguments Passed to Windows API Functions with Public Symbols

    I've been talking at a bit of a higher level lately, and today I'm just in the mood to go into some of the deeper debugging aspect that you may run across when looking at Windows Vista application compatibility. (Well, perhaps not deep to some, but for most of us, we haven't spent much time in a low...
  • Blog Post: Channel 9 Video Now Live

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to sit down with Gov Maharaj (whose name rhymes with Orange), a developer in the Windows Fundamentals Dev team, and chat about debugging and mitigating application compatibility issues. You can view our discussion on Channel 9: http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx...
  • Blog Post: Investigating Windows Vista Compatibility Issues by Decompiling VB Code: Don't Be Afraid to Cheat!

    So, the other day I was investigating a visual issue in an application. On Windows 2000, the background of the form was white. On Windows Vista, in Windows Classic mode, the background of the form was white. But, for whatever reason, in either Windows Vista Aero or Windows Vista Basic, the background...
  • Blog Post: Debugging a Per-User Installation Error on Windows Vista

    Yesterday, a friend asked for some assistance debugging an issue with Windows Installer. It was one of those situations where you've looked at the problem so closely, so many times, that you just needed another set of eyes. (They're close to shipping, so they've been doing nothing but look at bugs, probably...
  • Blog Post: Improving Your Debugging Skills, and Knowing When to Stop Debugging

    When I work with folks who are either new to debugging, or else want to sharpen up their chops (perhaps they have gotten rusty by not having to do so for a long time), one of the things I tell them to do is to watch out for things that don't do what you expect, and then figure out why. I mean, does everything...
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