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Best viewed in…

This site looks at its best on recent, W3C standards compliant browsers. Its content should, however, be viewable and the site navigable on any browser.

These are a bit iffy…

On any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer on Windows the design degrades at least a bit. Even Internet Explorer 6 gets some of the spacings wrong, especially between blocks of text, as it just doesn’t support enough CSS. It also gets some of the colours wrong. I’ve tried to make the site look acceptable on later versions of IE but I simply can’t be bothered finding work-arounds for all the problems with that browser.

Opera 6 sticks the navigation buttons in the wrong place and can’t wrap text around the pictures. Opera 7 would seem to be OK.

…but these are fine

The site looks just fine and dandy on Netscape 7 (and probably 6), Camino, Internet Explorer 5.2 (Mac) and Firefox. These browsers are much more standards compliant that any of the current versions of IE on Windows. It should look fine on any of the recent Gecko browsers based on Mozilla/Netscape code.

…and this seems to be OK now

Early versions of Safari on the Mac had problems with the left hand column on three column pages which sometimes ended up very narrow. I’m told that this doesn’t happen with current versions and the site looks OK.

Handheld devices

Browsers on handheld devices, such as mobile phones and pocket PCs, are by all accounts a bit of a mess. I wouldn’t know since I don’t have access to one.

For the past two or three years this site has been sending an entirely blank stylesheet to any device which thinks it should use a handheld stylesheet. This should, in an ideal world, have made such devices display the site with no styling whatsoever. The world’s not ideal though. Some handheld devices do, I’m told, load the normal screen stylesheet and then apply the handheld one over the top of it. This is simply wrong and such devices are broken so far as styles are concerned. I can’t be bothered with these things. If the browser’s broken then it isn’t really my problem.

By all accounts the best handheld browser around at the moment is the portable version of Opera. The site certainly works OK on the desktop version if I tell it to emulate a small screen. One of the worst offenders amongst the broken browsers is, unfortunately, Microsoft’s browser which comes installed with Windows CE.

Recently, I’ve taken to sending a handheld stylesheet which includes some very simple styles which should, again in an ideal world, make the site look marginally better on handhelds than it used to. Broken browsers will still get it wrong though.

If you must…

If you really must look at the site and your browser makes a complete pig’s ear of it then I suggest either viewing it with the browser’s stylesheet support turned off or upgrading your browser to something more capable if that is a possibility.

23 October 2005