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If Internet Explorer (IE) detects an error message from the web server less than 512 byte, it shows it’s own “friendly” error message.  As a web developer you should turn off the default friendly error page setting on IE.  It will help tremendously when debugging simple HTTP issues.  For more complex issues I suggest the excellent free tool Fiddler).

To change the setting:

  • Tools –> Internet Options –> Advanced Tab
  • Browsing –> Show Friendly Http Error Messagesimage

Before with it on:image

Here it is with the option turned off:image

This is a simple HTTP 404 example, but it clearly states the problem.


Old news from 9/15, but I want to weigh in.

Yes, it’s true, Microsoft has a free CDN for their JS framework.  This is great news for people who use Microsoft AjaxLibrary (… version 4.0 Preview 5!). 

Here is the usage:

<script src="
/0909/MicrosoftAjax.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

.csharpcode, .csharpcode pre
font-size: small;
color: black;
font-family: consolas, “Courier New”, courier, monospace;
background-color: #ffffff;
/*white-space: pre;*/
.csharpcode pre { margin: 0em; }
.csharpcode .rem { color: #008000; }
.csharpcode .kwrd { color: #0000ff; }
.csharpcode .str { color: #006080; }
.csharpcode .op { color: #0000c0; }
.csharpcode .preproc { color: #cc6633; }
.csharpcode .asp { background-color: #ffff00; }
.csharpcode .html { color: #800000; }
.csharpcode .attr { color: #ff0000; }
.csharpcode .alt
background-color: #f4f4f4;
width: 100%;
margin: 0em;
.csharpcode .lnum { color: #606060; }

Notice it goes to This could potentially already be cached by the user’s browser.  The beauty of a CDN is you don’t have to worry about the location of the server serving the JS file.  It’s a network of servers that are geographically dispersed at key Internet network points.  This minimizes the amount of network hops to your user and relieves the bandwidth on your server.  Plus it frees up another request for the user to download more content off your server (older browser have max 2 connections to a FQDN).  This speeds up the “perceived” rendering of the web page.

But who uses MS Ajax?

Google Ajax Libraries API, Google’s CDN, contains all major JS frameworks except for MS Ajax.  This begs the question the of MS Ajax penetration in the market.


Earlier this year a survey was conducted with over 1200 self professed web professionals and posted on Ajaxian regarding the state of the web in 2008.  One of the questions surveyed was which JS frameworks they use, and MS Ajax was nowhere in site and jQuery dominating.


I admit when MS Ajax first came out, I played around with it and used it for some of my sites.  I even created my own extender that is used in SharePoint WebParts.  But since I moved to jQuery almost 2 years ago, I have not looked back.   So in the end, it’s too little too late for me.