Monday, July 25, 2005

Public Service Notice

Some readers may have noticed the style on my page went totally bonkers (displayed CSS code, incorrectly split up posts). You would have only noticed this problem if you used Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The KHTML (Konqueror/Safari) and Gecko (Mozilla/Firefox) renderers both drew the page correctly. The main problem was caused by a bug in IE that incorrectly turns off “standards compliant mode” if the !DOCTYPE declaration (that declares the document to be Strict XHTML 1.0) is not the first thing in the document. I had an XML/XML-stylesheet declaration at the top of the page, which is *correct* XML/XHTML. The page still doesn't look perfect in IE (most of the sidebar appears at the bottom of the page, and I haven't the foggiest idea of why), but the text should be readable. I would suggest, for this and other reasons (like security) that you switch to a different browser. Firefox is available for just about every platform in wide use, and can be freely downloaded from mozilla.org.

Thanks shanna for pointing this out, as I would have never noticed otherwise.

Comments:
Hey! Don't go implying that I use IE by choice! The Commonwealth won't le tme install anything else on my work computer. At home, it's Firefox all the way!

(My own blog has its share of IE rendering problems, actually.)
 
Seriously, though, thanks for pointing it out. ~30% of page views (only 30%!!!) are Internet Explorer. It would be really bad if 30% of the attempts to read my page didn't work at all. If it's just *a little* messed up, maybe that'll help convince a few more people (who have a choice) to switch to a more standards-compliant browser.
 
If it's just *a little* messed up, maybe that'll help convince a few more people (who have a choice) to switch to a more standards-compliant browser.


Excellent plan! Maybe I'll use that as the reason why the text drifts outside of the boxes in IE on my blog...
 
Heh, this is the first I heard of Firefox loading correctly and IE not (I am a dedicated FireFox user).
 
In most cases where IE loads something "correctly" and Firefox doesn't, it means that the page's author used a Microsoft-only HTML or CSS extension, or ActiveX controls. The authors themselves are then intentionally shutting out users of other browsers by writing standards-incompliant code and/or using Windows-only technologies , thereby defeating the purpose of the web, which is platform-independent rendering.

My page, as far as I know, conforms to W3C XHTML 1.0. It can't conform to W3C CSS 2.0 because Blogger itself adds code that's not 100% standards compliant. For the XML issue, though, my code is not the source of the incompatibity, IE is. If I find a way to fix the rendering without breaking the standards, I will. Ideally, a web page should be completely browser independent. But, if I can't achieve browser independence on all modern browsers, I'll side with the standards, and at least make the page work on those browsers that bothered implementing them correctly.
 
I use the "IE View Extension" if a page doesn't look right. The problem is that I can be missing content and not even know it.

https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&id=35
 
It's totally useless to me. There is no IE for my platform. If I have HTML/CSS rendering trouble in Gecko, it's usually rendered correctly in KHTNL. I do miss out on ActiveX controls, but, I've never found an ActiveX control I couldn't live without.
 
PS - what I really hate are: (1) pages that have "best if viewed in ... " logos. The concept is just idiotic. (2) pages that check your browser identification and won't let you in if you don't have a specific browser. It's doubly stupid.
 
Way to fight the power. I am a quite a bit behind current technology. I let the HTML revolution pass me by- is there a tag I can use in Haloscan to create a hyperlink with a label?
 
Nevermind
 
There are two things sad about my previous post- how little I know about the technilogy I use everyday, and how easy it is to find quick answers to any question (and hence never get a deep understanding) using google.
 
On the bright side, if you have a general understanding about how these things technologies work, you can always look up the specifics easily.
 
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