Wrong User Agent when selecting IE8

When selecting IE8 and the default Dulles, VA location, I’m seeing multiple tests run with an IE7 user agent. Couple examples.



The “compatible; MSIE 7.0;” part of the UA string means IE is running in IE 7 compatibility mode. That’s usually because your domain is on their “compatibility view list”. Most of the agents should automatically update the list but it’s possible that some are out of date. Do you know if sears.com used to be on it and was removed at some point (or is still on it)?

I didn’t know that WPT was maintaining a list by specific domains. What do we have to do to get sears.com, kmart.com, mygofer.com off the compatibility list. We realize that performance in IE7 is going to be worse, but we’re focusing on what it does in IE8+, FF.

Having a tough time explaining the swings in performance due to the inconsistent application of the IE7 string.


WPT doesn’t maintain a list, Microsoft does :slight_smile: - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/960321

OK, so getting MS to update the list is not really an option. What’s the point of WPT offering multiple versions of IE in the select box if they’re not going to respect the choice. How do I get WPT to run tests in IE8?

Looking at our in house browser stats, less than only 3% of visitors are hitting with IE7 compared to 24% with IE8. So while I have found copies of the Compatibility list with sears.com on it, it’s either been removed in more recent MS updates or users are not getting that file to begin with.

I’ll check the Dulles agents to make sure they all have they latest updates (they should because they are set to auto update but some may have lagged).

I’ll have to see if there is a way to disable compatibility mode on a per-test basis. If so then I can expose it as an option but the default will be to use the requested version of IE but to let it run as it would normally.

btw, you can force IE to not go into compatibility mode from the server with a header or in the html itself - http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2064702/force-ie8-not-to-use-compatibility-view

If you really don’t want IE loading your site in compatibility mode for end users, that’s probably your best bet.

So far the machines I have checked (including the ones you had the test from above) are all configured to use compatibility view updates from Microsoft and have had all of their Windows updates.

This continues to get stranger. Here are 2 tests run back to back for the same page with a single different QS parm. Both using IE8 - Dulles. One ran as IE7, the other as IE8. How is that possible?

IE7 - http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120907_T2_J4C
IE8 - http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120907_RA_JAR

While I can run static files with a meta tag to force IE8, getting that to production on a large corporate site isn’t exactly a quick change.

There are 16 test machines in Dulles and apparently there’s a mix of states for the compatibility view list.

I just added an option to disable Compatibility View under the advanced settings (if you are using the API, pass it as standards=1).

As an example, here are 2 tests for www.aol.fr (which is on the current compatibility view list):

Normal (IE8) - http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120910_VE_47ec45f405bb3e0a2c4bc4c0c29d3da1/1/details/#request1
Compatibility View disabled - http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120910_V4_923836a9ff4450518b926e81ac83290f/1/details/#request1

For now I’m planning on leaving IE running in it’s default mode so if you want to force standards mode you’ll have to set the option.



Great. Seems to be working correctly. Thanks.