March 02, 2005

Curious, George: Firefox Sabotage? My wife is having a bizarre Firefox problem on her work computer (brand-new WinXP box, running FF 1.0.1 beta), and both Google and the bug forums on Mozilla fail me...

When she logs into her hotmail account, the front page tells her that she has X number of messages in her inbox. When she clicks the link to her inbox, it displays "no messages in this folder." Not no new messages, but no messages at all. Inexplicably, the sidebar link on that page insists that she has messages. When she logs in through IE, everything's there. Has anyone else had this problem, or heard about it? I can find it NOWHERE online, and it's reminding me of when used an intentionally cornholed, unreadable CSS for Opera users (google "opera bork bork bork" if you don't know the story). Perhaps it's tinfoil-hatted, but I smell a rat here. This is a recent development -- she downloaded FF a week ago, and it worked fine until just this week. And we're using FF 1.0 (non-beta) at home, and it works like a charm. And I want to stress that there are no page-loading errors here. The inbox loads fine, it just shows that it's empty.

  • Have you compared the Tools > Options settings on both computers to make sure they're identical (esp. Enable Javascript, etc) and perhaps about:config? Microsoft Hotmail should theoretically be ripe for anti-Firefox code. But on the other hand you're using a beta version which is likely to have bugs. If you can't resolve the issue your only recourse might be to make some noise about in the Mozilla Firefox beta test forum.
  • Yeah, I've thought of submitting. But would a browser bug make it return a non-error page from Microsoft? That's what gets me. It's letting her log in to the account just fine with no errors or broken page elements, but it's showing nothing in the folder, and for the first few days she could access her e-mail with no problems at all.
  • mct, I've got Firefox 1.0.1 as well (on Win2k) but have no problems with Hotmail. I'd also suggest checking settings, especially for Javascript. Other than that, I've no idea.
  • There's an extension for Firefox called User Agent Switcher, which lets you alter how the browser identifies itself to a webserver. I've run into many sites that have script running to determine if you're using a "compatible" browser... if not, they redirect you to a page telling you to use IE or Netscape. I can switch the User Agent String to IE, and load the page without a problem. Try it, and see if it works.
  • I've found that deleting your Firefox profile and creating a new one sometimes solves apparently unrelated problems.
  • I don't use Hotmail, but had seen this extension which might help: Hotmail Tabs allows you to take full advantage of tabbed browsing within Firefox when using Hotmail, which by default prevents you from doing so. A bonus is that links within emails no longer have to appear in Hotmail's frames when clicked. Also found this brief discussion, including a comment from a program manager at Hotmail trying to debug what may be a similar problem.
  • Most random damn thing. She deleted cookies and it worked like a charm. Now, how browser cookies would make a hotmail server say that her inbox is empty, I have no earthly frigging idea. But evidently, that's what happened. I WANT MY MICROSOFT CONSPIRACY BACK, DAMMIT.
  • I am not particularly computer literate, but whenever I have a problem, I try unplugging the computer and plugging it back in. Have you tried that?
  • Congrats -- glad to hear you triumphed over the mysterious bug.