Facebook blank page

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The Dríver
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Facebook blank page

Postby The Dríver » 02 Feb 2012, 15:51

For some reason I can no longer load Facebook in Firefox. It works fine in Opera and IE, though I don't like using either browser as much.

I can view the login page but after logging in all I get is the header at the top. Following a bit of searching in Google I found that if I edit the page URL to https instead of http the page magically appears, but of course as soon as I click on a link I go back to a white page. I certainly don't want to have to do this for every page I visit.

I have reinstalled FF, updated Flash & Shockwave, deleted all cookies, run an anti-virus and anti-malware scan (neither of which showed up anything). I have tried with my firewall and antivirus disabled but still no joy, so it's not one of them blocking access (and anyway, I can still view in other browsers).

All this is on a Netbook running XP updated to include all latest patches. First noticed it happening about four or five weeks ago.

Any ideas
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Jude
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby Jude » 02 Feb 2012, 16:49

Do you have any Fx add-ons installed?
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The Driver
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby The Driver » 03 Feb 2012, 12:07

I do, though I haven't added any in months, and certainly was using Firefox to view Facebook for sometime after the last one. That said, I can't say that nothing was updated...

I'll try disabling some or all and seeing what happens...
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The Dríver
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby The Dríver » 03 Feb 2012, 12:41

All Add-ons disabled and still all I get is a page which contains the header and the frameline which runs down the page to create the left margin.

Oh, and the copyright notice and adjacent links under that frame. None of the actual page content, though.
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The Driver
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby The Driver » 03 Feb 2012, 12:46

Don't know if it's connected but when I try to clear all cookies and history from firefox I get an unresponsive script error.

The script concerned is called:
chrome://browser/content/santize.js:135...

All addons and plugins definitely disabled. All other sites I've tried display correctly. No viruses or malware.

Flumoxed!
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JQW
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby JQW » 03 Feb 2012, 15:47

It could be a problem with a proxy server at your ISP.

I've seen blank page issues in the past when trying to access some sites from my local library, due to their proxy server being mis-configured.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

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Jude
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby Jude » 03 Feb 2012, 18:21

JQW wrote:It could be a problem with a proxy server at your ISP.

I've seen blank page issues in the past when trying to access some sites from my local library, due to their proxy server being mis-configured.
Not likely if it works on other browsers though.

I'll have a think when i have more time. I suspect Fx support would advise a clean install on a fresh profile.
Betty Denim wrote:And, quite frankly, if I had been raped and you said to me 'well yeah, it's crap innit; it's like that time I had to have a turnip curry' I'd do more than insult you.

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The Dríver
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby The Dríver » 06 Feb 2012, 12:44

Did the clean install and all of the usual guff, but found out the root cause at the weekend.

In Facebook's Account settings there's an option under Security where you need to tick a box against "Browse Facebook on a secure connection when possible". Ticking this effectively does the trick of prefixing the URLs with https and lo and behold, it all works.

Mystifyingly, though, the same version of Fx on my PC at home (running Vista) gave me no such problems. The only significant difference is that on my netbook i'm using a mobile broadband dongle, but that doesn't explain why Fx wouldn't display my pages but IE and Opera would...
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JQW
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Re: Facebook blank page

Postby JQW » 06 Feb 2012, 22:38

Those mobile dongle services make heavily use of proxies. They also make heavy use of compression to cut down bandwidth, using their proxy to host highly compressed images, and amending all HTML to both reduce its size (by removing all comments and whitespace), and adding in some clever Javascript to allow you to download the full version of images. Naturally this Javascript doesn't always work properly, causing some sites to misbehave.

The advantage of turning on HTTPS: is that it tends to bypass these proxy servers.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell