Orange Web Site in Firefox

Large corporations with broken web sites are, of course, still very common. But with the new version of their business web site, Orange are breaking all records.

The main symptom is that Firefox users can’t click on any of the links. Clicks seem to just be ignored. Right-clicking on a link and selecting “open in new tab” still works, but that’s not a fun way to navigate a web site. Discussions on the Orange mailing list indicate that it works in IE and Safari, but little else.

Trying to work out how the page works in order track down the problem is a nightmare. The site is created by some horrible looking Java servlet engine. And there are large numbers of interacting Javascript files.

Firefox, of course, is helpful in tracking down the problem. Actually, it’s almost too helpful. Opening the Javascript console shows a huge number of errors. But clearing it and reloading the page shows that there’s a Javascript function (called dcsLoadHref) which isn’t getting defined. This function seems to be part of the click-tracking software that Orange are using and that this software is supplied by WebTrends. I can’t tell if the WebTrends software is fundamentally broken or if it’s just whoever implemented it on the Orange site who broke it.

There’s also some browser detection code in there as the site wants to use ActiveX if you’re running IE. I think it’s trying to use it to display a Flash presentation, but I don’t see why it can’t use EMBED or OBJECT tags like most sites do.

All in all it’s very broken and looks like a very amateur job. There has certainly been no testing of the site on anything other than IE and with IE market share falling, that’s an incredibly stupid mistake to make.

It’s worrying to think that even in 2006 there are still web design companies who buy into the Microsoft “one browser web” idea and even more worrying to think that there are big companies who will accept this view of the web.

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4 Comments

  1. WebTrends are a pack of idiots anyway. I emailed them weeks ago about evaluating their software with a view to purchase, and they never even bothered getting back to me!

  2. Well, I’ve been trying to set up an account on Orange’s uk consumer site for over a year now. In Firefox it goes around in circles, and when in despair I tried IE – well, IE just freezes. So does Opera. With Safari, the site just manages to get out a message ‘the registration process is under way’ before it freezes.This happens on two tested 4Mb connections at separate addresses.Looks like they’ve got Group 4 doing their programming.

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