Lexis and Mozilla

Many months ago, I wrote that Lexis-Nexis had agreed to fix their broken HTML, which prevented their research service from working with the Mozilla browser. At the time, they said it would be fixed “within a month.” Since then, I have received emails from many Mozilla users with similar problems.

I recently wrote Lexis to ask why they hadn’t fixed the problem, and got this response:

 Thank you for your message. The fix for the issue you are describing went in for Netscape earlier this year. All other platforms will be addressed in a release planned for late August this year. Thank you for using LexisNexis for your research needs. Regards, lexis.com product development 

The “fix” in question would be to switch




. I installed Netscape to see if their claim was true, but it wasn’t—still broken HTML, broken links. They wrote back again:

 I just tested linking on the tabs in both NS 7.1 and 7.02 using www.lexis.com and http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/ and I can link on the tabs just fine. I tried the same on Mozilla 1.3.1 and the tabs do not work. This would be consistent with the fixes we have put in. As I mentioned, the tabs should work for all browsers after August. I don't know why you are still experiencing the issue in Netscape. Are you using an older version? Are you on a MAC? I do appreciate your pointing out the issue and trust that we are trying to address it. If you want to discuss or investigate the nonfunctioning tab issue further please call our Technical Customer Service Department at 800.543.6862. Thanks again! 

As it turns out, what they had done is checked to see if you were using Netscape 6 or 7 under Windows only, and if so, deliver content with the proper tags. Otherwise, you get the broken tags.

So the temporary fix is to spoof your user agent, which you can do under Mozilla Firebird with the User Agent Switcher. There are several other programs with similar functionality. If you set your browser to report to Lexis that it is:

 Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.0.2) Gecko/20030208 Netscape/7.02 

Then you will get the proper tags and Lexis will work!

I know this may only interest a small group of people, but I wanted to get it out there. It’s frustrating that Lexis hasn’t made more of an effort to provide functional HTML, especially when the fix is so trivial.