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While logging into Stack Exchange Data Explorer (SEDE), I noticed I did not have the usual OpenID icons (for Stack Exchange, Google, Yahoo, etc.), but a blank line. Suspecting my NoScript plugin that filters unwanted (from my point of view) cross-site scripts, I found that I needed to allow microsoft.com to get the icons. I have not seen this on other Stack Exchange sites.

I realise that on the query pages the scripts from Microsoft are used to get the user id (and probably other functionality), but why is this necessary for logging in? And wouldn't it be better to display a warning about missing JavaScript instead of just not showing the icons when those scripts could not be loaded?

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Blocking a popular JS CDN is not the best idea... –  ThiefMaster Apr 8 '13 at 12:00
    
@ThiefMaster: I am not sure Microsoft is a popular CDN. I have been using this software for at least 2 years (with several hours every day on the internet) and this is the first time I had to enable Microsoft apart from going to a microsoft website. –  Anthon Apr 8 '13 at 12:17
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It is most likely the default CDN when using jQuery in an ASP.net application. It is also referenced by jquery.com/download and (obviously) asp.net/ajaxlibrary/cdn.ashx. However, apparently people are supposed to use ajax.aspnetcdn.com when accessing the CDN and not the microsoft.com hostname –  ThiefMaster Apr 8 '13 at 13:12
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Wow, you really like your typos? :-( –  Arjan Apr 8 '13 at 20:50

2 Answers 2

Stack Exchange sites are using jQuery hosted on Google servers:

http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js

The Data Explorer was not written by Stack Exchange staff, it's an open source project supported by Stack Exchange and using its data, that's all.

The programmer writing Data Explorer chose to use jQuery hosted on Microsoft servers:

http://ajax.microsoft.com/ajax/jquery/jquery-1.7.1.min.js

That programmer is Tim Stone, he's roaming Meta often enough and answering questions related to the Data Explorer, so just ask him for the reason. :)

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Not only that, but the whole SE Data Explorer itself is hosted on Windows Azure. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 8 '13 at 11:33
    
@Bolt thanks, wasn't aware of that. So is this the reason for using the jQuery from that location? –  Shadow Wizard Apr 8 '13 at 11:36
    
I suspect so... –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Apr 8 '13 at 11:36
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Actually Sam wrote SEDE as part of becoming a Stack Exchange employee back in the day, so that first bit isn't entirely true. For my part, I just poke and prod at it now. Also @BoltClock'saUnicorn, SEDE is hosted on SE servers in Oregon, it was moved off of Azure a while back (but it's likely that was the reason for the original decision). –  Tim Stone Apr 8 '13 at 19:10
    
@Tim thanks, can you please edit my post to make it more accurate regarding who is responsible to SEDE then? –  Shadow Wizard Apr 8 '13 at 20:39
    
@BoltClock'saUnicorn - since when? I wasn't aware of this... –  Nick Craver Apr 8 '13 at 20:47

There's no particular reason for it to be inconsistent with the network, so now it will be.

And wouldn't it be better to display a warning about missing JavaScript instead of just not showing the icons when those scripts could not be loaded?

Probably, yes. We could also just fall back on the local copy, which is probably preferable. I'll look into it.

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Just curious: did you ever consider using Microsoft's CDN on the other sites instead, as a workaround for the flaws in its Tracking Protection blocking lists? –  Arjan Jul 14 '13 at 13:19
    
Well, I certainly don't control that, so my answer is no, but a Stack Exchange developer might have more insight ;) –  Tim Stone Jul 14 '13 at 13:21
    
I hope it does not require codebase update on Data Explorer, it wasn't updated for almost a year and personally I don't think it will ever be updated again. –  Shadow Wizard Jul 14 '13 at 13:25

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