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IE on Mac - CSS trouble

 11:55 am on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi - I am currently putting together a new site for a client, using css to control layout. I have prepared a mock-up page, which displays correctly on all browsers on PC and in Firefox on Mac ... However, my customer reports that the page doesn't function in IE on Mac.

The html validates, as does the css. My customer reports that the page does not function correctly in various versions - including most recent - of IE on Mac (positioning is all wrong, with upper half of page missing).

I suspect (?) the problem comes from method I'm using to centre site in browser, which is:

#container {top:50%; left:50%; position:absolute; width:760px; height:500px; margin-top:-250px; margin-left: -380px; z-index:1; background-color:#FFFFFF; border:1px solid #DDDDDD;}

The mock-up is at <edited>

Can anyone help? Please? ...

<Sorry, no personal URLs.
See Terms of Service [webmasterworld.com]>

[edited by: tedster at 7:19 pm (utc) on Mar. 27, 2006]



 3:18 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hello there and welcome to WebmasterWorld.

Sorry to say that URL you've posted will probably be "snipped" soon since it is against WebmasterWorld policy [url:http://www.webmasterworld.com/help.cgi?cat=agree]WebmasterWorld policy[/url] to allow specific URLs like that.

(They prefer you include all the relevant info in the post itself, so that the thread can be a useful reference even after you've fixed the trouble with your site.)

This question is a good one for the [url=tp://www.webmasterworld.com/forum21/]HTML & Browsers[/url] forum although you can sometimes get good Mac advice here.

Now that we've got that out of the way, yes, you are correct, the #container line is causing the problem.

Would a "graceful downgrade" satisfy your customer here, or does IE 5 have to look perfect like the modern browsers? If a downgrade is OK, you can try hiding the offending code from Mac IE 5:

#container {

( Your existing CSS stuff here. )

padding: 10px;
/* hide from IE5/Mac \*/
left: 50%;
margin-top: -250px;
margin-left: -380px;
/* End hide from IE5/Mac \*/



 3:39 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Good suggestion Timster (any relation to Tedster..?), but you can go one better. If the client will accept a graceful downgrade in IE Mac, and if you consider a well-organized text page to be a graceful downgrade, then you could use your method to hide all the css from IE Mac by making your main stylesheet this way:

/* hide from IE5/Mac \*/
@import url(styles/for/modern/browsers.css);
/* End hide from IE5/Mac \*/

Alternatively, if you think it's untidy to have two stylesheets to do a simple job, you could put the same code in the page head between two style tags.



 4:48 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

including most recent - of IE on Mac

Microsoft has officially ended support [webmasterworld.com] for the product.

Most sites traffic logs will prove that Mac IE users are statistically insignificant. (With a few sector's exceptions.)

If you can, convince your clients to stop caring about Mac IE.


 5:05 pm on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you can, convince your clients to stop caring about Mac IE.

Also good advice, but this should not mean serving up a broken page--especially when there's a simple means to hide css from the browser (see above...) One caveat: to make this work, you'll have to give your html pages a meaningful document structure...



 3:58 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thank you all for your help - much appreciated. I apologize for placing the URL in first post - an honest error (didn't think it was against etiquette).

Thanks again


 6:23 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

While I completely agree with you bedlam, there's a voice in the back of my head whispering, "If enough pages are screwed up, those last few Mac IE users will upgrade."

It's a very tiny voice, though. :)


 2:12 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

salamano, if you've come to a solution with this, could you let us know what you did?


 2:30 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes - I spoke with my client and discussed the situation bearing in mind the comments of people on this forum. The result is that I have successfully persuaded my customer to forget about IE on Mac - from my point of view I have to find a way of consistently pursuing best practice, and this seems to me to build standards-compliant sites (although pursuing best practice sometimers conflicts with customer requests!). In this case the numbers using IE on Mac I think are negligible, and the browser is effectively defunct in any case.

I did try to implement your first suggestion, just to satisfy my curiosity - it didn't work, and I may have misunderstood what to do with the snippet of code you gave.


 7:20 am on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

> but this should not mean serving up a broken page

If I serve up any page in curl they look like utter bollox. Does this make them broken? No, it just means that curl is incapable of understanding the content in any way other than plain text. A broken page is one that "does not work as intended." A page that was never intended to work in IE 5 Mac is not broken if it does not work in IE 5 Mac. That is like saying a Word document saved for Word 97 or better is broken because it doesn't quite show up right in Word 95. It might arguably be "broken in Word 95" [or "broken in IE 5 Mac"] but that doesn't make the document broken. Of course it's probably not going to work in something outside of its intended scope.

Damn, I outta sue my electric company because their energy won't power my gas range. Thanks for the eye opener, everywhere I look, everything is broken. ;)


 2:29 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Given that Microsoft stopped any further development of IE/Mac over 3 years ago, and completely stopped any support for it as of the beginning of this year -- I consider IE/Mac to be a defunct browser undeserving of support by web developers.

If MS doesn't even support the thing, why should a web developer spend any time doing so?

It might be different if IE/Mac had any sort of significant market share, but the numbers are tiny and shrinking by the day.


 3:55 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

If MS doesn't even support the thing, why should a web developer spend any time doing so?

Time? I offered a three line solution for properly marked-up documents! What do you want, a solution in a keystroke?!

Of course it's probably not going to work in something outside of its intended scope.

But this is one of the great things about the web--your documents can work outside their intended scope if you do a little planning at the outset. Note that I'm not necessarily talking about doing any extra work, and I'm not necessarily talking about making pages that render exactly the same way in old browsers as they do in new ones--though that should be clear enough if you re-read my comments above.

The great majority of documents on the web are just that: documents. Provided new documents are marked up as documents with a meaningful structure--this means, for example, using headers, paragraphs and lists to appropriately mark up information as headers, paragraphs and lists--they can be made to degrade perfectly well in older browsers.

In browsers (really I should say 'useragents') that don't support css these documents simply show up as text pages--they're ugly, but they work (i.e. they render as well-organized, readable, but unstyled documents). This means that most of the pages I build today work in Netscape 2, Lynx and even curl if you like. It does not mean that I'm doing even 2 minutes' extra work to achieve that result though.

The problem comes with browsers that only partially support css. In these cases, you do sometimes need a way to hide the css to keep them from making pages into an unusable jumble. If you consider IE Mac to be one of these can't-handle-css-well-enough-to-bother browsers, then timster and I provided a simple (three line!) solution to hide css from it.

However, in my opinion, when it comes to commonly used css, IE Mac's support is not weak enough to serve up text only pages--I spend much more (but not actually very much) time building a separate box-model-fixer stylesheet for IE 5.x for Windows and fixing various 'haslayout' bugs for the whole IE Windows family than I usually do needing to fix anything for IE Mac.

At some point, I will stop doing even the small fixes for IE Mac, but for now I don't see enough problems with it to cease support altogether--the set of css it supports is not significantly better or worse than other browsers that are still on the 'irritating-but-still-supported' list (IE 5 Windows, I'm looking at you...)



 4:20 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Time? I offered a three line solution for properly marked-up documents! What do you want, a solution in a keystroke?!

No, I don't even want to launch IE/Mac to see what things look like. I simply don't support it, period. It's a dead browser with a market share that's so minuscule as to be non-existent -- and it has no future whatsoever. Its market share will never grow, it will only continue to shrink. If there are any security vulnerabilities in it, Microsoft will not be releasing any patches -- their response would be, that browser is officially unsupported, use a different browser. Well, for a change, I agree with MS, and that's my response, too, and I'll point people to MS's announcement on their site if necessary.

Of course, it's fine that you want to support it and are willing to spend time tweaking for it, but I don't, and I think my course of action is as legitimate as yours.


 5:21 pm on Mar 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

No, I don't even want to launch IE/Mac to see what things look like.

Please try to understand that what I actually recommended is an extremely minimal level of support: if your documents are well marked-up (and I guess you'll want to do this for seo purposes if for no other reason) and you simply hide the css from older browsers, you won't even need to open the page to know that it works in them...besides, you'll already know how it looks from the development stage before the css was added...



 1:12 am on Apr 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I design with a mac but also have a PC to check the pages. the browser I have the most problems with are Win XP and Win XP Pro which both cause different problems.

Re not wanting to bother with designing for the Mac, which usually runs about 3% of traffic, if you had 1000 visitors that would be 30 of them that may not be able to read your site correctly. If this was a physical store would you lock 30 people out of your store?


 9:22 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think there is a big difference between testing a web site you create/maintain on a mac and tested it in IE on a mac.

Sure, you really should test it in safari and firefox on a mac. Just as you test in MSIE on windows.

But forget MSIE on Mac OS X especially post version 10.3 .

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