Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Putting XMLHttpRequest to the Test

Category: Ajax, Browsers, Testing, XmlHttpRequest

Anyone who’s gotten into working with Ajax and been “under the hood” at all knows that, overall, the XMLHttpRequest object works the same over all browsers. There are, however, a few obvious places that it does differ from platform to pltaform. Mark Nottingham noticed them and wondered just how far down these differences go. He’s created a set of tests that compares some of the common XMLHttpRequest functionaliy for whatever browser type is viewing it.

I’ve been playing around with some ideas that use XMLHttpRequest recently, but I keep on bumping up against implementation inconsistencies on IE vs. Safari vs. Opera vs. Mozilla. Although the interface exposed is pretty much the same, what it does in the background is very different, especially with regards to HTTP.

One thing he’s specifically noticed so far is Safari’s inconsistent handling of authentication dialogs in synchronous versus asynchronous modes. When you visit the page it will try to redirect the page a few times, and perform a few other “on load” tests. The results for those and the buttons to click on for the rest of the links are then displayed. There are several different categories to try – Content-encoding, Cookies, Authentication, and Redirects.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 2:54 pm

4 rating from 47 votes


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Data request differences

Data request differences: David M. Peterson compares implementation details in XmlHttpRequest support across various current browsers. “I keep on bumping up against implementation inconsistencies on IE vs. Safari vs. Opera vs. Mozilla. Although the in…

Trackback by JD on EP — February 11, 2006


Comment by tongixng — February 12, 2006

It would be better if there was a browser-results table. A browser compatibility table would be a good taks for PPK’s expertise.

Comment by Garrett — March 21, 2006

I tried to access your test page with Firefox running on Solaris.
Firefox has been stucked. I had to kill it. It happens 100% of the time.
Are you aware of such problem? It is a bug in Firefoxon solaris. It works well on windows.

Comment by Jean-Francois Denise — April 26, 2006

Did you try with Firefox 2.0 beta 2 (

Comment by Johan — August 31, 2006

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