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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else recently discovered the Canada Post Online Business Centre
to suddenly be not Mac compatible?

I've been using the website for months but have started getting a "your
browser isn't good enough" error on Monday.

Ridiculously, their technical "help" pages tell Mac users to use IE - and
give a link to a Microsoft web page which has the facts most Mac users
know; IE has been discontinued for over a year.

I've tried the most up-to-date versions of Safari, Firefox and Camino
without success.

I can log in using IE 5.02, but of course that browser is out-of-date
and doesn't support the dancing bologna that they want you to have the
latest web browser for. So they accept an out-of-date browser that won't work but reject current browsers.

http://obc.canadapost.ca/
 

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Tried Camino 1.5 and my old reliable Seamonkey - both worked fine.

calculated this fake shipment in Camino

Delivery Standard 2 business days 3 business days 5 business days 8 business days
Base Price $121.41 $89.01 $29.86 $29.86
Coverage Included Included Included N/A
Collect on delivery $6.00 $6.00 $6.00 $6.00
Delivery confirmation Included Included Included Included
Fuel surcharge $10.02 $7.34 $2.46 $2.46
Tax $8.25 $6.14 $2.30 $2.30
Total $145.68 $108.49 $40.62 $40.62
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Camino 1.5, Firefox 2.0.0.6 and Safari 2.04 all do not work for me.

I have been able to use a Firefox extension (User Agent Switcher) to fake that I am using Netscape 6.0 on a Windows box and then I can log in. But that same Firefox browser is rejected if I turn off the browser faking.

Update: The problem seems to be with my Mac Pro.

Safari on my G4 running OS X 10.3 worked OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would appreciate other people taking a poke at the above website and posting their success / fail with details about their web browser and Mac model.

I am having a hard time tracking down this problem. One some Macs it seems to work, on others it doesn't.
 

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No joy here: Camino 1.5 (cookies off) and Safari 2.0.4 (cookies on), Mac Pro, 10.4.9
 

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Hmmm, I just tried again and got the same screen that MACSPECTRUM did. BUT, if I clicked on any feature to the left, the site performed as normal with no ill effects. Anyone else tried to explore the site beyond the notice? It works just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you to everyone for helping me diagnose this. There must be something that causes some browser / hardware combinations to fail.

You will see a login page asking for user name & password if your browser is "accepted."

This is an example of horrible website design. I thought webmasters left browser-checking as a bad idea back in the 90's.

It doesn't seem to be a Mac Pro-only problem. I was hopeful it could be narrowed down to a specific hardware setup.

Messages to the web designers responsible for this steaming pile go unanswered, of course.
 

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This is an Intel Mac detection issue. I just sent them a note about accepting Intel user agent strings, but I wonder if there's more to it. I tried to fake a PPC browser user agent and it still doesn't work. But if I fake Windows IE7 it works.

It also works with Safari and Firefox, as is, on PPC Macs.
 

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hayesk is right, it's a browser-detection issue.

Somebody withhold the webmaster's supply of Mountain Dew till he agrees to adhere to standards. :)
Why???

Is there something in the HTML standards that says a web site can't detect which browser you are using and bring up a message accordingly?

I get that all the time - mostly from financial institutions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Why???

Is there something in the HTML standards that says a web site can't detect which browser you are using and bring up a message accordingly?

I get that all the time - mostly from financial institutions.
It's considered poor design to build a website so reliant on propriatary commands and browser-specific behaviour that it needs to detect the client browser and alter itself accordingly. The choice of browser should not restrict whether a visitor can use your site. That's just burdening a visitor when, in good design, a website should be as accessible as possible. Financial websites might check for adequate support of a certain level of encryption security - and that's a reasonable thing to do. But to expect visitors to use a specific browser to navigate a website is poor. There are dozens of web browsers out there running on dozens more of OS and hardware configurations. Coding a website to accepted standards should be followed by every web developer - especially developers working on high-profile, high-traffic websites like Canada Post.

The Canada Post Online Business Center is particularly sad, because the two browsers they recommend for Mac are IE and Netscape. They even provide a link to the Microsoft IE for Mac page ... which no longer exists. As others have pointed out, the website works fine if you fool it into thinking you're using one of it's "accepted" browsers. Once you're in, there's nothing inside that any mainstream web browser can't render, so the browser check is ridiculous from the start.
 

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I can't argue with you in principle.
I think part of the problem is that there is so much incorrect information floating around it's almost scary.
On RFD someone posted just recently that the mac Mini costs $1100 and only handled up to 800 lines of resolution at the video output, thus making it unusable for 1080 High definition.
Some people pointed out that this was old information, but they are wrong as well because neither one of these claims was ever true, even for the very first 1.25 GHz version.
As to web sites and browsers, I see that recommendation for the Mac all the time - IE or Netscape - but even for Netscape all support has stopped or will shortly. Seems one web designer is copying wrong information from another.

Websites shouldn't be browser dependant but many are. If the dependancy is obvious, that is not too bad - at least you know something is wrong. I accessed a website once years ago where a table was displayed with information in the cells. Turned out different browsers displayed the information differently, some in the wrong cells, so one actually ended up getting wrong information and there was no indication the browser didn't render the page properly. That was a real eye opener.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Websites shouldn't be browser dependant but many are. If the dependancy is obvious, that is not too bad - at least you know something is wrong. I accessed a website once years ago where a table was displayed with information in the cells. Turned out different browsers displayed the information differently, some in the wrong cells, so one actually ended up getting wrong information and there was no indication the browser didn't render the page properly. That was a real eye opener.
Incompatibilites between Web browsers was mostly the result of the IE vs everyone war. People eventually got fed up with IE being nearly forced upon their Windows machines as the only browser, combined with it's security flaws and the Microsoft way of rendering Web pages.

Today, IE still remains the top Web browser (I don't know why) but there are superior choices - like Firefox.

That's why there are published Web coding standards. A website written to the standards viewed with a Web browser built to the standards will never have such problems. The Internet is enormous and changing. The best way to ensure that a website can be viewed by everyone is to build it to the standards.

Any Web page that fails because the visitor isn't using the developer's favourite browser also shows a lack of proper testing. Any half-serious site should be tested with at least the current versions of the most common browsers; IE and Firefox for Windows and Safari and Firefox for Mac. Real websites are tested with a long list of browsers, including old versions of IE and Firefox.
 

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My old version of Camino (1.0.b1) found the log-in screen just fine. I am set-up to accept cookies from only sites I visit. Other browsers can be set to accept only cookies that expire at the end of the session. Maybe that's the issue??
 

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Real websites are tested with a long list of browsers, including old versions of IE and Firefox.
That's wishful thinking.
I'm ot sure what you mean by "real" websites, but I assume websites of large corporations qualify........
I remember the Sunlife webmaster admitted to me that nobody there even had a Mac to test the website with Safari - they just assumed if it worked with Firefox for Windows it would work with Firefox for the Mac.

And people here on ehMac are constantly posting about problems with major websites like CTV and Bell.

Just for fun, I also just tried this test on Camino, Firefox and safari - only Safari passed.
So both the websites and the browsers have problems.

The Second Acid Test
 
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