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Firefox, IceWeasel, Opera, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Some webpages for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will not immediately work with Opera or the Mozilla family of browsers (Firefox, IceWeasel, and similar) because, in their words, "you must use, at minimum, Internet Explorer 5.5 sp2 or Netscape Communicator 7.0."

For some (all?) of those sites you must also use 128-bit encryption and have javascript enabled.

Here is a (partial) list of specific webpages for which this is the case:

  • ???

The pages appear to work if you change the user agent string of your browser appropriately (see the Legal Disclaimer, below).

The easiest way (for me) to do this for IceWeasel was to download and install the Mozilla UserAgent Switcher FF add-on and use that to choose "Internet Explorer 7 (Windows Vista)"

Thanks to Keith Erekson of the LVLUG for pointing me to the UserAgent Switcher FF add-on and to the SOMiS website (see below).

For more details and other information, see below.



Legal Disclaimer

There is some chance that, with a browser other than a recommended browser (Internet Explorer 5.5 sp2 or Netscape Communicator 7.0.) that some parts of the web page may not be visible, may be obscured, or may be garbled.

You may want to view them in your preferred browser, but then view them again in a supported browser to make sure no important information is not visible.

I cannot be responsible for any consequences of any such missing or garbled information, nor any other problems stemming from your use of a non-supported browser on those pages.

Installing the UserAgent Switcher FF add-on

This was easy for me--I opened UserAgent Switcher FF add-on from within IceWeasel. When I clicked on "Download" it asked if I wanted to install the UserAgent Switcher FF add-on. I answered in the affirmative.

I was then prompted to close and then reopen IceWeasel to complete the installation.

Using the UserAgent Switcher FF add-on

In IceWeasel: Choose Tools -> UserAgent Switcher -> Internet Explorer 7 (Windows Vista)

Using SOMiS to check the user-agent-string your browser is reporting

You can view this SOMiS page to see what user agent your browser is identified as.

When the UserAgent Switcher is set to report Internet Explorer 7 (Windows Vista), SOMiS shows the user agent as:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)

If you can get your browser to be recognized similarly, we suspect the page will work.


  • () RandyKramer - 2009-06-03
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Topic revision: r2 - 2009-06-04 - RandyKramer
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