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From Dan Wilga <>
Subject [users@httpd] Re: MSIE noncompliance in a mod_rewritten SSL environment
Date Thu, 05 Aug 2004 14:09:13 GMT
>From: basem moussa <>
>EVIDENCE:  The following is abbreviated log output concerning one of the
>affected images.  Notice the difference in HTTP codes.  Both start out
>the same but upon redirection, my Firefox browsing comes up with success
>while MSIE comes up with the 304 "Not Modified" conditional, and pukes
>on it only about 15% of the time.  The images do not appear broken, but
>rather have a little red X in their stead:
>"GET /imgs/topnav_logo.gif HTTP/1.1" 302 318
>"" "Mozilla/5.0
>(Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040626 Firefox/0.8"
>"GET /imgs/topnav_logo.gif HTTP/1.1" 200 4472 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows;
>U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7) Gecko/20040626 Firefox/0.8"
>"GET /imgs/topnav_logo.gif HTTP/1.1" 302 318
>"" "Mozilla/4.0
>(compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)"
>"GET /imgs/topnav_logo.gif HTTP/1.1" 304 -
>"" "Mozilla/4.0
>(compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)"

A return of 304 in this is should be the result of the client (IE) 
having sent an "If-Modified-Since" header in the request. Assuming 
this is the case, it makes perfect sense that Apache would return a 
304, since I doubt that your GIF image has changed.

Now, as to why this would cause IE to display a broken image, I do 
have a couple of possibilities:

- Is the page a mixture of secure (https:) and insecure (http:) code 
and images? Or does it use frames that are a mixture?

- Or, does the page itself have non-cache headers that get sent with 
it, like "Expires:" or "Pragma: no-cache"? If so, then perhaps IE is 
expiring the images from its cache, but not entirely. I seem to 
recall a case where it would act as though the image had been removed 
from cache, but still send an "If-Modified-Since" header.

What happens if you manually type-in the full URL of just the image? 
Does it load?
Dan Wilga                               
Web Technology Specialist           
Mount Holyoke College                                Tel: 413-538-3027
South Hadley, MA  01075            "Who left the cake out in the rain?"

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