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IE7 Beta 3 and FTP

Wil Alambre
Wil Alambre Senior Programmer
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I use Windows Explorer for my FTP client. At first, this will attract cat calls for the "smarter than thous", telling me to use a "real" FTP client like Filezilla or CoreFTP or somesuch. I have downloaded, installed, and tried a variety of FTP clients and I had the same problem with all of them: they are a completely seperate program from my regular OS browsing.

I usually have a couple Windows Explorer windows open, accessing folder locally, on the network, etc. I am extremely happy being able to drag and drop between them, double clicking to open a file in it’s associated program or editor. I can easily browse a set of folders and files and make changes to a web development.

What I do not enjoy is then switching to a completely different program, and having to browse to those same local or network folders so I can upload them. And no, I do not want to set up an FTP client to be able to locally browse and open files in associated programs. That’s what the OS is for.

In my opinion, the FTP client should be just the remote directory. I do not need a local directory listing. Windows does that just fine. And I want to be able to drag from Windows Explorer to my remote directory, and back again. Using Windows Explorer as my FTP client gives me that. I still have a seperate FTP client for anything fancier or more advanced, but 90% of my FTP use is uploading and downloading graphics and text files.

So then Microsoft provides IE7 Beta 3 for download and testing. I download and install it and test it. The first problem I encounter is that FTP seemingly does not work. I can get an HTML directory listing, but I can no longer get a FTP client.

I look into it on the IE developer listings, I follow the instructions, still no good. I look into it through Google, and find that authenticated FTP access has trouble in IE7 currently. Some people are successful, but some people are not. I was a not.

No problem. I tried IE7 Beta 2, and after some testing, was able to uninstall it without lingering after effects. I tried the same here, removing IE7 Beta 3, and reverting to IE6. Everything was fine until I tried FTP.

I could only get an HTML directory listing. Going into the IE6 options and tring to reset the appropriate settings and checkboxes had no effect. It seems IE7’s FTP problem had completely infected Windows Explorer.


To make a long story short, I eventually had to System Restore back to before I installed IE7 Beta 3. We work off a network specifically so if something like this (or worse) happens, nothing critial is lost. Still, quite annoying.

So, lesson learned: more research beforehand :)