94-Browser support

Browser Support Notes (as of 3 Oct 2009)

This page may be out of date, so check the modified date at the bottom before panicking.

Internet Explorer 8 is out and more and more people are going to be using it. We seem to keep returning to Mozilla’s Firefox which at this writing is at version 3.5.3. As I complain about elsewhere, the problem is that we have only one CSS style sheet which has to support every browser anyone might be using… So far it appears that this site is usable with all of them although it doesn’t necessarily look great with all of them.

If anyone has experience with Safari, drop a note and let us know how it looks on that.

Google Chrome

On 1 Feb 2009 we downloaded and installed Google Chrome.  We can understand why people like it. It’s clean, intuitive and fast. Unfortunately, the behavior we observe with our “golden” CSS in Firefox we also see in Chrome. This means that either Internet Explorer displays it wrongly or both the other browsers do. But IE has the lion’s share of users on the net. So what do you do?

The two things that really look bad are the menu and the decoration around players when they’re inline. There are probably other things I haven’t seen yet but will.

(The following text is a little out of date; I’ll fix it up soon.)

Firefox issues…

The site seems to look pretty good in Firefox 3.5.3.

A couple things I notice when I run my Firefox browser..

Maybe this one is just on my system…the default text font (I think it’s “body” in HTML lingo?) is pretty small in Firefox, but a reasonable size in IE. Fortunately it’s easy to tweak that in the Firefox View menu, but if I can figure out how to detect which browser is being used and adjust it automatically in CSS or something I’ll do it.

There is an issue with previous revisions in that the menu of top level pages is moved to the right. It seems that Firefox is ignoring a CSS margin command of “-10px” that Internet Explorer 7 doesn’t. Hopefully you’ll be keeping your Firefox up to date and that problem has gone away. (This vindicates our belief that our CSS was correct.)

FF also seems to be interpreting how I laid out the highlighting/hovering/visiting links in that menu a little differently as well… In any case, the menu will still allow you to get around the site, in conjunction with the detailed page list in the right hand sidebar, so hopefully that will work out for you.

A Chrome annoyance: “install the Flash Player…can’t install the Flash Player”

Surely this will get fixed I’m sure they’ll fix this, but it caused us a little head scratching at first.

For better or worse, most of the Web (including YouTube and even the Chrome intro) uses the (free) Adobe Flash plug-in. Chrome even helpfully notifies you that you need it and offers to download if for you. But then it presents a window that tells you you need to close Chrome to install it.

Basically, that’s what you need to do. You need to locate the folder where the Flash player “.exe” file was downloaded to. Close the Chrome browser (and any others that might be open). Run the Flash installer .exe, and click OK on any warnings about security risks (it’s most likely that it won’t cause any problems on your system, if you downloaded it from the legitimate adobe website). The installation really takes only a moment.

Then, when you re-open Chrome, it detects the Flash player, and for most web sites you should run just fine. Not everything works perfectly, for instance, the Pandora “mini-payer” doesn’t seem to detach correctly, but everything else looks OK.

info address as png graphic

Page#94 / last modified 20091003

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