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Note:These pages make extensive use of the latest XHTML and CSS Standards. They ought to look great in any standards-compliant modern browser. Unfortunately, they will probably look horrible in older browsers, like Netscape 4.x and IE 4.x. Moreover, many posts use MathML, which is, currently only supported in Mozilla. My best suggestion (and you will thank me when surfing an ever-increasing number of sites on the web which have been crafted to use the new standards) is to upgrade to the latest version of your browser. If that's not possible, consider moving to the Standards-compliant and open-source Mozilla browser.

September 2, 2003

Disappearing Content

<rant>

I just happened to fire up IE 5.2 (MacOSX), and looked at this web site. The GIF image of the Asymmetry Data from BELLE in this post was simply missing! Here’s the offending code:

<div style="text-align:center;overflow:auto;margin-bottom:20px;">
  <img src="/~distler/blog/images/asym-highr-wsm.gif"
       title="http://www.kek.jp/press/2003/image/asym-highr-wsm.gif"
       style="border:0;width:567px;height:420px;"
       alt="Asymmetry data in B to phi K_S from BELLE" /><br />
<span class="figurecaption">Asymmetry data from BELLE, from which the value of
 <math xmlns='http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML'>
  <mo lspace="0em" rspace="thinmathspace">sin</mo>
  <mo>(</mo><mn>2</mn><msub><mi>&phi;</mi> <mn>1</mn></msub><mo>)</mo>
 </math>
is determined, plotted as a function of the decay time. The
smooth dotted curve indicates what one would expect from the
Standard Model, whereas the smooth solid curve is a fit to the
observed data.
</span>
</div>

Ignore that IE doesn’t support MathML; many people don’t care about being able to read the formulæ. But not to display the entire <div> because it doesn’t know what to do with overflow:auto?? That’s just brain-dead.

I give up. Life is too short…

Henceforth, InternetExplorer is UNSUPPORTED. If you view these pages in that family of browsers, they may look odd, whole sections may be missing, all sorts of bad stuff may have happened. I don’t know, and I don’t care. And I ain’t gonna “fix” it.

Get yourself a Standards-compliant browser

</rant>

Update (9/5/2003): Having cooled down a bit, I managed to fix this particular problem with IE. But I stand by my “UNSUPPORTED” position, and now have posted a warning for the (mercifully few) IE visitors who frequent this blog.

Posted by distler at September 2, 2003 5:06 PM

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11 Comments & 2 Trackbacks

Re: Disappearing Content

Bravo Jacques!

I know you tried very hard, but it is a wilderness out there. I agree it’s just not worth it. I wish I could make the same decission, but when working on other people’s pages, you just don’t have that much of a choice.

Posted by: Martijn on September 3, 2003 3:47 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

I don’t know exactly what you did, but is there a reason why your site looks like this or this when I view it in Internet Explorer on-line, but like this or this when I save the page and reload the saved HTML file?

Just curious, but are you sabotaging us Internet Explorer losers? :)

Posted by: Michel Vuijlsteke on September 3, 2003 1:26 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

OK. Just this once I will attempt to “fix” things for y’all. But from now on, you’re on your own.

http://www.mozilla.org
You won’t regret it.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on September 3, 2003 2:43 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

Hey, I’m not bothered–I was just curious…
For the record, I use Firebird like a good little trooper for most, but not all of my browsing.

Posted by: Michel Vuijlsteke on September 5, 2003 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply to this
Read the post Just add that 14 bytes of accessibility
Weblog: Weblog about Markup & Style
Excerpt: Yes, that is correct just 14 little bytes (even Google wouldn't notice...) and your site will be easier to navigate. And you won't have to add them on you most frequent visited page. If you homepage is the most visited...
Tracked: September 15, 2003 1:03 PM
Read the post IE Standards Pressure, Eolas Update
Weblog: Eclectic Echoes
Excerpt: Microsoft’s IE has long been the bane of web developers. IE’s support for standards is spotty and inconsistent. This has led to (amongst other things) CSS hacks to hide or modify CSS behaviors for IE versions 5, 5.5 and 6—instead...
Tracked: October 9, 2003 8:50 PM

Re: Disappearing Content

Ai!

I’ve been tempted to just drop IE support for so long now, if only Firefox could take a bit more, 15-20%, of the market, I think I’d feel no remorse.

So congratulations on taking a firm stance. Perhaps I will follow soon.

Posted by: Joseph Abrahamson on May 15, 2005 8:22 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

While your stance on IE is a noble one it’s not incredibly realistic. Regardless of IE’s standards compliance or lack thereof IE is here to stay, and to say that “we will not support IE” is saying “We don’t care about 80 to 90% of my target market”.

Sure, to other web developers and I.T. savvy individuals browsers like firefox are an obvious choice, but to the other 99% of the world who a) don’t have the technical expertise to install new applications (a surprisingly large market) or b) are using corporate computers and don’t have the access to install anything else (another large market especially in the government sector), IE is the only option.

No matter how much you dislike IE it’s here to stay, and considering the number of people who use the browser I think your stance is a little premature at best.

I’d challenge anyone to develop an eCommerce website that doesn’t support IE and see how well it does.

Posted by: Tom on February 19, 2007 7:12 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

While your stance on IE is a noble one it’s not incredibly realistic. Regardless of IE’s standards compliance or lack thereof IE is here to stay, and to say that “we will not support IE” is saying “We don’t care about 80 to 90% of my target market”.

My target market is surfing with a MathML-capable browser. At the time this post was written, that did not include any Internet Explorer users.

Now that the MathPlayer2 plugin exists, my target audience includes a smattering of IE users (still a tiny fraction of those surfing this site in MathML-capable browsers). So I’ve mellowed my stance … somewhat.

I do endeavour to ensure that the browsing experience of IE+MathPlayer users is, at least, tolerable. (It is beyond my power to make it “good.”)

No matter how much you dislike IE it’s here to stay …

So are punch cards, and teletype terminals.

I’d challenge anyone to develop an eCommerce website that doesn’t support IE…

In case you hadn’t noticed, this is not an eCommerce site.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on February 19, 2007 7:24 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

I do endeavour to ensure that the browsing experience of IE+MathPlayer users is, at least, tolerable. (It is beyond my power to make it “good.”)

A few weeks ago, I was fooling around on a friend’s computer and happened to glance at an n-Category Cafe discussion thread in IE. All the comments were smushed up against the left-hand margin, with vertical blue bars running through the text of the nested replies.

Problem: opening Musings and the Cafe in IE makes horrible output. Solution: don’t do that. I installed Firefox and — when I pointed out AdBlock and Flashblock — made my friend very happy too.

Posted by: Blake Stacey on February 20, 2007 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

Was this IE6 or IE7? I assume that IE7 would have a much better time with the CSS in these pages, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on February 20, 2007 5:21 PM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

IE6, I believe, though I’d have to check.

Oh, on the off-chance you hadn’t noticed yet, and Rob Knop’s blog has moved into The ScienceBlogs.com hive mind, so Planet Musings should probably be updated.

Posted by: Blake Stacey on February 22, 2007 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Disappearing Content

Yes, it was IE6.

Posted by: Blake Stacey on February 26, 2007 12:27 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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