The Technical Exorcist

January 14th, 2007

Internet Explorer Issues

Posted by exorcist in Website Updates

Today it was reported to me that Internet Explorer wasn’t displaying the Troll Cave or the Ape Man’s romping grounds correctly. The Troll cave only displayed one screen’s worth of text, and the way she likes to go on, I knew that they wouldn’t let me let it slide. After banging my head against it for a while, I figured out that she’d copied her post from Open Office, and it contained some non-standard code that threw IE off. The W3C Markup Validation Service was big help figuring that one out.

The Ape Man had lost his sidebar at the bottom of the screen, and that turned out to be a bigger pain. When I ran his code through the W3’s validator, it couldn’t even begin to validate because it said there was a character on line 190 that wasn’t part of the UTF-8 character set. I quickly located it and deleted it, but when I told it to recheck the site, it still claimed the character was there. I figured it was probably lying, so I saved the source code for Ape Man’s site to my hard drive and then had the W3’s validator check that. It shouldn’t have made any difference, but since it actually was lying, the validator didn’t choke on it. Instead, it found over 100 problems. Ape Man has a post that is really messed up, and he’s planning on fixing it soon. I didn’t feel like fixing it for him, so I gave up on getting his site to validate for the moment and decide to pursue other avenues.

A Google search turned up a lot of clues. Most of them said that IE was idiotic about margins, padding, sizes, percentages, and anything else you might think of. They all said you had to use a kind of a hack to get things working. They got me all off track investigating the “Holly Hack”, “Star Hack”, and a couple of other different names for basically the same thing. Problem is, those hacks really only seem to help IE 5 and below, and I was having problems with IE 6, which was ignoring the hack code.

In the end, I just made the sidebar float on the right side of the screen, and gave it a -100px left margin. It sounds like the kind of trick that would goober everything up, but it actually made all the browsers happy, and preserved the intended look of the site.

One Response to ' Internet Explorer Issues '

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to ' Internet Explorer Issues '.

  1. Mother of Barbarians said,

    on January 15th, 2007 at 7:30 am

    When my sidebar dropped below, I found it was a missing closing div tag that was causing the trouble. But when that was the problem, it showed up in every browser.

Leave a reply