Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mystery Solved, Sort Of...

As I reported earlier (see here), I could not figure out why I was getting so many hits from the Macintosh Internet Explorer (MacIE) platform. Well as it turns out, it may have been my browser that caused the problem. My WordPress blog, which I began mid November 2004, uses the following HTML tag:

<style type="text/css" media="screen">

For whatever reason, the media specification of "screen" causes the MacIE browser to request the imported CSS file, over and over with no actual request from the operator. Bandwidth was not expended because a return code of 304 (Not Modified) was issued a proportionate amount of times relative to the number of overall hits. I update Q's Wire... often, so its not surprising that a browser window on my desktop would contain a web-page from the blog.

What's really odd -- this anomaly doesn't show up until the beginning of January, and I did not insert that specification into my blog's template. Now you may suggest that it is because my visitors are requesting more pages... It's not. That's why I initially, missed it. The browser is the key. I only recently noticed the browser status message constantly requesting the css file. I normally have too many windows on my desktop.

Mystery solved, sort of. What's not explained -- "Why this is not a problem before January 2005"? The excessive number of MacIE hits are not showing up before then (web-stats corroborate this), and I have always -- updated Q's Wire... often. What further compounds this problem -- I submitted Q's Wire... to Blog Explosion in late January, and have had a lot of traffic since.

BTW: Removing the "media=screen" specification had immediate results. I have not seen the phantom status message since. The server requests for the css file -- were so routine, all I had to do was bring the window in and out of focus and the message would appear. The requests were also issued if the browser was sitting idly. This fix worked. Update 2.23.05 - Still working the problem.

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