Friday, August 29, 2008

Fail on First Try of Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 Web Slices

I do multiple updates of OakLeaf LINQ and Entity Framework Posts for M/D/YYYY, so I thought it would be useful to notify users of new and updated content for a particular post with Web Slices, a new feature of IE 8.

Updated 8/31/2008: Problem description clarified.

For Starters …

I read MSDN’s Subscribing to Content with Web Slices documentation, downloaded the Web Slice Templates for Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, and added the following slightly modified CSS to my Blogger template: 

/* Web Slices Formatting CSS */
  display: table-cell; /* Organize as table */
  font-family: calibri; /* Readable font family */
  font-size: 11pt; /* Recommended font size */
  height: 228px; /* Height(240) - Margin(6) - Margin(6) */
  text-align: left; /* Left Alignment*/
  width: 348px; /* Width(360) - Margin(6) - Margin(6) */
  font-size: 14pt; /* Easily visible size */
  text-align: left; /* Left alignment*/
  font-weight: bold; 
  vertical-align: top; /* Keeps title near top of slice */

and used Windows Live Writer in Source view to add the following HTML to my page:

<div style="width: 360px" id="oakleaf" class="hslice">
  <div class="entry-content">
    <div style="border-spacing: 8px; display: table">
      <div style="display: table-row">
        <div class="panel">
          <div class="entry-title">OakLeaf LINQ and Entity Framework Links</div>
            <p><strong>Last Updated:</strong> 8/28/2008 4:45 PM PDT</p>
              <li>Entity Framework Additions </li>
              <li>SQL Server Data Services Additions/Updates </li>
              <li>ASP.NET Dynamic Data Additions </li>
              <li>LINQ to SQL Additions </li>
              <li>LINQ to Objects, XML, etc. Additions </li>
              <li>Miscellaneous Additions 
                  <li>Jaiku Failure with Google App Engine Deployment </li>
                  <li>Aaron Skonnard: Hosting WCF Web Services in IIS </li>

Here’s the resulting Web Slice in the page, which appeared as expected:

So I clicked Add to subscribe to the Web Slice, which added a Blogger OakLeaf … button to the Favorites toolbar.

The Problem …

Clicking the button opened an empty frame with brief appearance of a “Loading …” message and no content.

Clicking the Open the Web Page link button (right-arrow) returned an “Internet Explorer cannot display this feed” message with “A normalization error has occurred” subtitle. The URL that 404’s is Repeating the process with as the URL causes the same problem.

Comment: “A normalization error has occurred” without further explanation or pointer to a page with a solution for the problem is another example of an Error Message from Hell.

The FeedValidator site says the Atom.xml file is OK, as shown here:


Atom.xml opens as expected in IE 8 Beta 2 and Firefox 3, as well as Visual Studio 2008’s XML Editor. Firefox has no problem with opening pages to the two pages with the …/#oakleaf anchor and positioning at the Web Slice’s location.

So the question is: Where did I go wrong?

Update 8/31/2008: The problem appears to be related to IE 8 Beta 2’s reaction to the URL’s /# separator for positioning to a <div id=”oakleaf”> or <a name=”oakleaf”> anchor as in The separator should not include /, but IE 8 inserts the / if #name is typed directly after the base URL. This URL works from the address text box in IE 8 Beta 2 and Firefox 3, but not from the OakLeaf LINQ and Entit… Web Slice dropdown in the favorites toolbar.

It does not suffix a / to a named page, such as The latter URL works from the address box in IE 8 and Firefox 3, but not from the OakLeaf LINQ and Entit… Web Slice dropdown in the favorites toolbar.