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Prevent Compatibility View

Internet Explorer 8 introduced a button beside the address bar that looks like a rectangle with a break through its middle. If you click it, Internet Explorer reports, "Compatibility View on" but the button does not clearly indicate if compatibility view is on or off. Compatibility view is Internet Explorer 8 pretending to be Internet Explorer 7. To prevent your website visitors from clicking this button, simply make it go away:

Include either the following meta element (which in invalid in HTML5) on your page <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=Edge"> (before any script elements!) or set the following HTTP header on your page: X-UA-Compatible: IE=Edge

[Source,, Activating Browser Modes with Doctype]

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OOOooh NO!


Starting on or about the third week of April, users still running IE6 or IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 will get will get a notification through Automatic Update about IE8. This rollout will start with a narrow audience and expand over time to the entire user base. On Windows XP and Server 2003, the update will be High-Priority. On Windows Vista and Server 2008 it will be Important. [Source, IEBlog, Prepare for Automatic Update distribution of IE8]

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Firefox Crash Recovery Fails

My workstation is having trouble. I suspect a piece of hardware is dying or a huge dust bunny is wrecking havoc inside the case. It spontaneously reboots a few times a day which is not really a problem because I wouldn’t take breaks otherwise and Firefox always comes back in the same state as before the crash…well, almost always. I don’t help myself because of the way I use the computer. I have many apps open at once and typically will have multiple Firefox windows open with 10 to 20 tabs open in each one. This is how I do research and it is typically work related or blog related. In today’s instance I had 4 windows open. 3 were work related and 1 was filled with information I might one day blog about. These are usually just bookmarked at Delicious for that day I finally get a round to it. Considering my machine was having trouble and I had far too many tabs open, I was just starting to bookmark everything and reduce my windows down to the very few I needed when the computer crashed hard. Upon coming back up, Firefox opened to just a single blank window…no tabs. I needed that work related research! I can reproduce it but this is just frustrating!

So, is there a way to tell Firefox, "restore the previous, previous state?" I think I’m faced with scrolling through the mornings history and pulling up pages one at a time.

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Aardvark is compatible with Firefox 3!

Aardvark is a Firefox extension that I frequently use before resorting to MODIv2. Both of these tools outline elements in the browser and reveal the underlying CSS. When CSS is being mystical and you have keyboard shaped dents in your forehead, these tools can pull the man out from behind the curtain and help bring on that a-ha! moment which solve the problem. Aardvark needs to be installed from the developer’s site as its review for addition in the Mozilla Firefox Add-ons is not complete. I highly recommend Aardvark!

Oh, the Web Developer Toolbar also has similar functionality under Information->Display Element Information. (cntl+shift+f) The Web Developer Toolbar is the absolute most essential Firefox add-on for us Internet junkies!

Update: Like MODIv2, Aardvark now comes as a bookmarklet! That means Aardvark can be used with Internet Explorer and Safari also.

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Today’s Technical Challenge

I like the semantic web. That means that when I create a website I use markup as its intended. We used to have to use tables to make elegant layouts. Browsers have matured and become more compliant to the HTML specification. Now tables can be used for tabular data; however, designers still have tools which cut and slice designs up into tables rather than using CSS. Tables have their place in HTML. Specifically, tables use be used for presenting tabular data but not for arranging graphics or chopped up pieces of images in the browser window.

Menus and navigation are lists semantically speaking. Of course, no one wants to see a menu with a bunch of dots beside it nor should ever menu be presented as a vertical list with indentions for submenus. Using CSS we can remove the bullets, turn the list horizontal, and make the submenus appear as submenus when the mouse rolls over the navigation. This works great in a browser and because of the semantic nature will present well in a pda, phone or other mobile device. However, the WYSIWYG editor in an email client wreaks havoc on the page. "Huh?" is the correct response because really web pages, particularly dynamic web pages, should not be sent by email. Instead a link to the web page should be sent. BUT Internet Explorer is kind enough to provide under its FILE menu (PAGE menu in IE7) an option to "Send Page by Email" which in theory will deliver an HTML email that is an exact representation of the web page.

In reality, in a specific case which has not been narrowed down yet, the CSS menu is rendered with conditional comments.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>o<!–[endif]–>

Obvious steps have been to make sure that IE is upgraded to IE7 and that the email client is updated. And to confirm that the email is being sent as HTML and not plain text. Aside from returning to a tabled design, what other options should be explored?