Minz. Out of the box

The .local phenomena

12/02/2003

Introduction

You all might remember the big cheers about having multiple Internet Explorer versions on one Windows platform. The question still remains, wasn't this documented? At least somewhere? Well, the .local phenomena isn't mentioned at msdn (or I just haven't found it). Finally, a close friend of mine, Karl Haak (did I already mention, that I designed his webpage? ;)), stumbled over a source. Since he has got no weblog, I am going to post his review here. Thanks Karl.

Brief summary about the new .local phenomena regarding Internet Explorer 5.0 and 5.5.

Behind the scenes

The reason for this behaviour is connected to a feature that was introduced with Window 2000.

We probably all remember the time of the dll-hell too well (a time before .NET), when developers could never be certain which dll-library the system was going to pick at execution time. In former times the system would search for a particular component in the systems path and sometimes pick a particular version of a library that was just not compatible with our code.

By now using the application.exe.local extension we can force the system to look in the applications path directory first before grabbing any common library in the system's path. This is a not very well known or documented feature which can be quite useful as it is the case with parallel installations of IE.

The only time I came across a short explanation of this behaviour was in Professional VB.NET 2nd Edition by WROX (p.873)