A look at Internet Explorer from the inside out. Note: @EricLaw left Microsoft in 2012, but was named an IE MVP in 2013.
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Understanding Once-Per-Session Cache Validation
Last year, I wrote about the IE9 improvements in heuristic expiration , which apply when a server fails to specify how long a cached resource should be treated as fresh. Heuristic Expiration works by calculating an implicit freshness lifetime from the Last-Modified timestamp on the cached resource and...
14 Jun 2011
XDomainRequest - Restrictions, Limitations and Workarounds
Update : Internet Explorer 10+ supports CORS using XMLHTTPRequest . You should prefer that object over the legacy XDomainRequest object. In Internet Explorer 8, the XDomainRequest object was introduced. This object allows AJAX applications to make safe cross-origin requests directly by ensuring that...
13 May 2010
COMET Streaming in Internet Explorer
The request/response nature of HTTP works very well for traditional web pages, but to build dynamic AJAX applications, it’s often desirable for the server to be able to send data to the client on its own schedule. You could imagine, for instance, scenarios like an online game, or an event viewer...
5 Apr 2010
Understanding Session Lifetime
Back in May of last year , I discussed changes we made in Internet Explorer 8 to make the browser’s session handling behavior more predictable. Specifically, we introduced a “New Session” item on the File menu—this menu item explicitly creates a new browser session which doesn’t share session information...
4 Apr 2010
IE8 Lookahead Downloader Fixed
Background Last year, I wrote about two bugs in IE8’s Lookahead Downloader that would cause IE8 to make spurious download requests for non-existent URLs. These spurious download requests generally went unnoticed by users, because the main parser would eventually retrieve the correct resource when it...
31 Mar 2010
Understanding SmartScreen Blocking
I’ve received a few emails recently, asking “Why is SmartScreen blocking my newspaper’s website?” Usually, the person asking assumes that, because they trust and regularly visit the website in question, this must be a false positive in SmartScreen. The reality is a bit more complicated, and a bit...
25 Mar 2010
Troubleshooting Authentication with Fiddler
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been exchanging mail with a webmaster (Vladimir) in Russia who reported that his customers were having problems using IE8 on Windows 7 to log into his website. His site uses HTTP Basic Authentication, so users are prompted to enter their credentials using the following...
22 Nov 2009
Despite being one of the crucial security features of modern browsers, Data Execution Prevention / No Execute (DEP/NX) is not well understood by most users, even technical experts without a security background. In this post, I’ll try to provide some insight into how DEP/NX works, explain why...
10 Oct 2009
Understanding Domain Names in Internet Explorer
Web browsers use domain names for a variety of purposes, but how they’re used is much more complicated than most developers realize. In this post, I’ll attempt to cover the most important aspects of this topic. Definitions When talking about “domains” the terminology alone...
18 Sep 2009
Getting the Server's Certificate Chain from WinINET
Over the last few years, a number of folks have lamented that there's no good way to get the server's complete certificate chain from a WinINET HTTP response. That has changed with the release of the new WinINET shipping in Windows 7 / IE8. INTERNET_OPTION_SERVER_CERT_CHAIN_CONTEXT is a new flag you...
20 Aug 2009
Bugs in IE8's Lookahead Downloader
All bugs mentioned in this post are now fixed . Internet Explorer has a number of features designed to render pages more quickly. One of these features is called the "Lookahead Downloader" and it's used to quickly scan the page as it comes in, looking for the URLs of resources which will be needed...
27 Jul 2009
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