16 December 2006

Internet Explorer still not working

N.B. Now fixed, 20 December. Thanks to Christine - see comments.

I wrote a post some time back about the benefits of Firefox (a far better way of browsing the web).

I am shocked and disappointed to find that this new blog, based on a new standard Blogger template, doesn't display properly in either IE6 or the new IE7.

The banner at the top is orange, the title Advocacy Blog is a link, and the photo of lichen from Moel Siabod should neatly fill up just the subtitle row with the text showing up neatly on top of it (no white background).

IE just doesn't work.

Now I think Blogger must have some responsibility for this - I'd expect them with their expertise to be able to create templates that work in IE.

On the other hand all web designers know that IE is notoriously difficult to make pages work in, especially if you're interested in accessibility and standards compliance.

So to all you IE users, please switch to Firefox so you can see this post in the way that it's intended. (Feedback from any Safari (Mac) users would also be welcome here.)


Jeremy said...

Yeah, saw some of your problems w/IE.

I'm having issue on my blog as well


i feel like it's a blogger issue.

Christine said...

It's not that IE doesn't work, it's that your template isn't well written and tested.

Christine said...

Hi Henry,

I taught myself what I know about web design, learned from practice, and of course reading many articles online. I take a lot of pride in writing valid xhtml and css, which I believe qualifies as "standards complaint." I don't hang out in groups where they complain about IE and hail the glories of Firefox, and since I don't see it in actual practice, I'm not on that bandwagon. Besides, you will never get everyone to use Firefox, you must design your site for all browsers. It's ridiculous to say to your readers- you must download and use Firefox to read my site. Do you really think the majority will do that? Or will they just move on to a more IE friendly site?

Valid code is the ticket, in my experience. I find that IE displays valid code perfectly well. I find that when the code is invalid is when you start having unpredictable problems with the various browsers. Yes, they will all display valid code slightly differently, and sometimes I do have to tweak even valid code to get the display I want in all browsers. It's not usually IE that forces me to do that.

On to your problem.

Replace what you sent me, with this:

#header {
padding:0px 0px 0px 0px;
margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;
border-bottom:dotted 1px $bordercolor;
background:$descbgcolor url("http://www.advocacyaction.org.uk/images/lichenbackground.JPG");

In case the formatting is messed up because of the comments- on the "background" line, there should be one space before url and ZERO spaces between url and the first parenthesis.

I've done this and it's displaying fine in IE, Firefox, Netscape, and Opera on my computer. (My Lord but they've made Netscape so freaking slow and bulky. sigh.)

I hope I've made my case for VALID and well written code instead of insisting that there are serious problems with IE. I am not necessarily a fan of IE, I just don't see the problem everyone is complaining about. No program is perfect. I find if people would just write valid code, the display will be find in 99.9% of cases.

I'm a fan of valid code, and designing for your viewers, rather than trying to force your browser, connection speed, monitor resolution, font size, etc., choices upon them. Because the fact of the matter is that it's very unlikely they're going to change to suit you.


Henry said...

[N.B. Email sent at 18:30]

Hi Christine

Thanks for your comment. I have two problems. Firstly I use Ubuntu Linux, so it's hard to test the Blog in IE (not usually a problem).

Secondly, the only thing that's broken (as far as I've heard) is the header. All I changed was this bit of code:

#header {
padding:0px 0px 0px 0px;
margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;
border-bottom:dotted 1px $bordercolor;
background-image: url("http://www.advocacyaction.org.uk/images/lichenbackground.JPG");
/* background:$descbgcolor; */

Substituting the bold line for the final commented out line. This works fine in Firefox, which I understand to be standards compliant, but why not in IE?

Now I'm not a web designer, and I don't know anyone I can ask for help except for nice people who take the time to comment on my Blog, so if you have any helpful suggestions I'd be grateful and provide proper attribution...



Henry said...

Thanks again Christine. I've now updated my Blog template as you suggested. On my Linux version of Firefox it still works. I'll try to ask someone if it works with IE...

As for the Firefox thing, I know quite a few people who find it difficult to identify what their browser is, including people who, even if they have both Firefox and IE installed, often use them interchangably and fail to notice the difference...

On the other hand I read A List Apart and I read Slashdot and various other sites that CONSTANTLY harp on about IE. In particular about the extra code that is often required to make IE work. Now your solution seems to be pretty simple and work in multiple browsers (I hope), but I rarely see people saying and showing how simple it is to code for IE as well as other browsers.

But even beyond that, it is true that M$ has a whole range of anti-competitive, monopolistic, and what I would call unethical approaches to developing and marketing their software. I want everyone to be able to use the internet on an equal basis, regardless of their income or social status. It does seem that the priority M$ puts on safeguarding the rights of the producers in the capitalist system tends to take away from the rights of many (potential) consumers...

Anyway, thanks for replying and offering your solution. I hope others will learn from it.


nikolas said...

i dont think that I.E is buged......i hate firefox......



Christine said...

I see a lot of that hating IE, "everyone should switch to Firefox" business too. It's just that in practice, I NEVER run across the problems everyone is having fits about. So I don't get where it's all coming from. I never took a web design class in my life, maybe I missed out on the whole "IE is terrible" mindset? Is that where it's coming from? I don't know.

I have never had to add extra code to make IE work. As I said, it's usually other browswers which cause me to tweak this or that a little bit. Opera was very bad for a long time, but now it seems to be displaying valid code well. (I recently updated my version of Opera).

I am not a fan of any browser over another, and I'm not a fan of MSN- I find they're way too aggressive and in fact don't go there or use their stuff anymore (hotmail, msn messenger, etc). So it's not about defending IE. I just don't see the big deal.

These same professionals who scream that IE is terrible, many of them ARE NOT WRITING VALID CODE!! Seriously. I don't get it.

But anyway. My view is this: here I have a website. Is it smarter to design for one thing (one browser, one screen resolution, one connection speed) or is it wiser to create something user friendly to most people who will come along? You can't dictate other people's choices, so why not just make your site friendly to them all as much as you can? It's not that difficult.

Valid code is the ticket.

Christine said...

And before I go...

Thanks for this little conversation, I rather enjoyed it. I try to preach "valid code, user friendly" but most people either don't know what I'm talking about or already made up their minds and don't want to hear it.

It's nice to feel listened to.