Why detecting browser versions incorrectly is a really crappy thing to do
It happens every time a new version of Internet Explorer is released... Web sites break.
Why do they break? Because the sites are coded to detect up to a certain version of IE. Anything newer than whatever browser version was public at the time a site was coded is either rejected out of hand, or served a CSS script that breaks in IE.
Even my own blog is affected. If I manipulate my computer's registry to impersonate Internet Explorer 6 then Community Server works just fine, as you can see from this screenshot...
But, if I reset my computer to Internet Explorer 7's default registry settings, blogging breaks - note the code in the composing window and missing formatting toolbar.
The same thing happens with www.qantas.com.au. If I set my computer to impersonate IE6 the Awards Booking page works just fine; as soon as I set my system back to IE7 I am refused access ('sorry, but we don't support Netscape')... cripes, they can't even get right the type of browser I am using.
There is absolutely no TECHNICAL reason for the sites in question to detect, and support, only IE6 and a few earlier versions. Community Server does not break in IE7, and the Qantas site has only very minor CSS issues which, btw, aren't fixed by pretending to be IE6 - sometimes sites will break unnecessary by serving up inappropriate CSS... Qantas has some minor display issues - note the cut off text:
I've seen **far** worse examples of borked CSS - check this out:
Ok, so the fix for Qantas and Community Server is simple.. instead of coding for up to Internet Explorer 6, code for a particular version of IE and later. As for the site which is using the now mangled CSS... they've got a LOT more work to do.
I have information about how to work around the problems caused by sites that mistreat us based on browser version at this URL:
The URL also includes links to information useful to Developers. Come on guys, let's *try* and get this sorted out before IE7 hits gold. I find it irritating in the extreme that I have to have faff around with my registry all the time just so that I can get sites to work that don't even break in IE7 anyways. The man in the street isn't going to understand what is wrong or know how to fix things.