IE 5.2 over Mac OS bug with Localized Strings

While testing our application over multiple browsers/OS combination we came across a pretty odd problem. IE over Mac OS wouldn’t show all the items in the drop down list controls. The html markup was correct, but the drop down lists would show empty spaces when the text string had accented characters, or characters that are not in the English alphabet.

The solution? Unknown, Microsoft is no longer developing IE browsers for Mac Operating Systems, is also no longer giving support for IE over Mac. What we are doing is detecting the browser and OS combination and rendering a disclaimer note on the page.

This post is just a curious note on a so far undocumented bug.

Here’s a very useful browser detection script taken from

var detect = navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
var OS,browser,version,total,thestring;

if (checkIt('konqueror'))
browser = "Konqueror";
OS = "Linux";
else if (checkIt('safari')) browser = "Safari"
else if (checkIt('omniweb')) browser = "OmniWeb"
else if (checkIt('opera')) browser = "Opera"
else if (checkIt('webtv')) browser = "WebTV";
else if (checkIt('icab')) browser = "iCab"
else if (checkIt('msie')) browser = "Internet Explorer"
else if (!checkIt('compatible'))
browser = "Netscape Navigator"
version = detect.charAt(8);
else browser = "An unknown browser";

if (!version) version = detect.charAt(place + thestring.length);

if (!OS)
if (checkIt('linux')) OS = "Linux";
else if (checkIt('x11')) OS = "Unix";
else if (checkIt('mac')) OS = "Mac"
else if (checkIt('win')) OS = "Windows"
else OS = "an unknown operating system";

function checkIt(string)
place = detect.indexOf(string) + 1;
thestring = string;
return place;

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