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User's IE displays after loading part of the source code from the bottom of the page

Posted on 2013-01-03
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Last Modified: 2013-01-09
A user is having the following problem with our website:  Her IE browser (I don't know the version yet; the screenshots suggest that the OS is Windows 7 or Vista) displays only part of some pages.  In reviewing the screenshots, I found that it is displaying the page after getting some of the HTML from the bottom.  The particular application has a lot of JavaScript at the bottom of the page, and what tends to happen is that this user's IE is displaying the page after receiving some JavaScript code after an opening script tag (which is missing), and then everything else up to the closing html tag at the bottom.  As a result, she sees JavaScript code as plain text.

I have not been able to duplicate this behavior, except by viewing pages where I purposely cut off the top part of the HTML.

While this seems like a browser problem (since it hasn't happened to anyone else yet), my responsibility is to make sure that it never happens to anyone.  So I have to essentially make sure that the code is telling the browser to wait until the whole page loads.  The application was written in PHP.

To understand the problem, I'm trying to figure out the following:
1) Why does it only happen to this one user?
2) Is there some setting in IE that might cause it to display the page after just getting a little bit of source code from the bottom instead of waiting until it has the complete page?
3) Why is the user getting part of the page from the bottom instead of from the top?
4) How can I force the browser to not do this?  I don't want it to display a blank page either, of course; but I do want it to at least try to display the entire page.
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Question by:Newbis
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:mcnute
mcnute earned 500 total points
ID: 38743427
show us a link or full code within code brackets.

But a couple of tips here:

copy the link and paste into here to check of w3c inconsistencies of your page:
W3C Validator

Debug the page with IE developer tools by pressing F12, then click the console button and see if any output comes in. Test in several browser versions of IE. this is possible in the developer tools by choosing from a list from ie7 to ie9 or even ie10 if you have windows 8 and I'm sure you'll find some answer, why this particular user has issues.

Ask him which version he's using by the way and see if you can reproduce it by the steps above.
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Author Comment

by:Newbis
ID: 38743938
Thanks...this is useful as it shows the site's broken for IE7 (and compatibility view in IE9), due to using commas after the last element in some arrays, so therefore the user is at least on IE8 (since most of the pages work for her).  I'm not able to duplicate the issue on IE8 or 9.  There are some validation issues due to some tags that were written for HTML instead of XHTML standards.

It's a big 3rd party open source application for which I created a custom theme and customized content...but way too big to post all the code here.

So at least I can fix the IE7 and XHTML issues.  Still wondering though how to duplicate the issue and fundamentally why a page would load only part of the code from the bottom, for one user.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:mcnute
ID: 38743961
Have you removed the commas of the last elements of these arrays. This is your problem!
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Author Comment

by:Newbis
ID: 38744449
The pages with the JavaScript problem (commas after the last element of arrays) are different from the pages where the user is getting only the bottom of the page.  And even if it were an issue on some page, the symptoms would be different.  The point here is that because the user did not have a problem with the pages that have the JavaScript problem, we know that she must be using at least IE8 or higher.  But the pages that the user is having a problem with do not have any JavaScript error, even in IE7.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Newbis earned 0 total points
ID: 38744595
Okay, we found the problem.  The user's account was not set up properly, so it displayed a certain error message, which got garbled up by Google Toolbar.  That's why I was never able to duplicate the error; it's the error page that has the problem, but only with Google Toolbar installed with the default settings.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Newbis
ID: 38758235
The behavior was caused by a combination of software-specific settings and Google toolbar.  It had nothing to do with JavaScript compatibility issues or page validation errors.

However, the expert suggestion to use other IE modes through F12 did help find these other problems, which might affect other users in the future if they were not caught.
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