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...in Internet Explorer 7!

But perhaps that's redundant. "Dumb bugs" and "Internet Explorer" have long gone together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Anyway, one of my coworkers wanted to know why attempts to install Firefox always bombed out on her system. She was going to the Download page and clicking the "Run" button, which in reality actually means "download and then run."

The Firefox executable has spaces in its name (it's called something like "Install Firefox 3.0.6"). Now, as we all know, the Web turns spaces into %20, which is the hex ASCII code for a space.

So Explorer downloads the file as "Install%20%Firefox%20%3.0.6" but saves it as "Install Firefox 3.0.6". Here's where things go all hinkey:

It then runs the file "Install Firefox 3.0.6" but sets the path to the file as "Install%20Firefox%203.0.6"--which doesn't work. When the installer attempts to run, it can't locate its own built-in libraries because the Windows file path parsing APIs do not change "Install%20%Firefox%203.0.6" back into "Install Firefox 3.0.6".

*rolls eyes*



Feb. 6th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Is that a bug, or merely IE7 looking out for its own best interests?
Feb. 6th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)

that was my initial reaction too. i wouldn't be shocked if the "bug" was overlooked
Feb. 10th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
I'd be inclined to think cynically if it weren't for the fact that it happens on any executable download whose name contains a space. It's easier for me to attribute this one to stupidity rather than malice; one function receives an escaped file name in a string somewhere and just blindly passes it on to another function (probably written by a different programmer) without looking at it.