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Say good-bye to empty Web pages

by Robin Schreier Hohman

Network World Fusion


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(IDG) -- One frustrating outcome of the browser wars has been the incompatibility of Web design between Microsoft and Netscape products, which can lead to viewing empty pages. One unknown company hopes to alleviate all that.

CyScape, based in Vienna, Va., has created software called BrowserHawk 2.0 that tells servers which version of which browser users are running. Armed with this information, the server can make sure that users are receiving the best version of a company's Web site.

BrowserHawk sits on your Web server and detects the browser used by visitors to your site. The software then directs the proper HTML and scripting code for each browser.

For instance, if a user is running Microsoft's Internet Explorer, then the server will hand over a version of the site featuring ActiveX. If not, then it will hand over the page that has simpler coding.

The new version adds the ability to detect whether cookies are enabled or disabled and do reverse DNS lookup to resolve IP addresses to host names. It also integrates with Web authoring tools such as Microsoft Visual InterDev 6.0.

BrowserHawk is a server-side ActiveX component. It can find information about more than 40 properties of visiting Web browsers, including the browser name, version, language, platform, Java, and JavaScript version, style sheets, frames, DHTML, SSL, SSL key strength, tables and table background colors, and file upload capability.

BrowserHawk 2.0 is shipping now and costs $99 per Web server. CySpace offers a free evaluation copy at its Web site (see link below).

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