Web Browser Support

Carlyle Gardens Gnome World Wide Web pages conform exactly to WWW Consortium specifications and recommendations on web pages. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, the first web site, the first web server, and the first web browser, is an active director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). W3C know what they are talking about.

Internet Explorer does not show my web pages. This is because of Internet Explorer bugs that Microsoft have declined to correct. Specifically, an XHTML web page is required by the specifications to be supplied by the web server as application/xhtml+xml (as my web site provider correctly does by default), and not as text/html. However Internet Explorer fails to recognise this. Microsoft appear to have corrected this bug in Internet Explorer 9.

View in a Standard Browser

To view these pages, use any standards compliant web browser. Download a web browser such as Apple's Safari, Mozilla's Firefox, or even Opera (although that is not as cutting edge). Any standards compliant browser will work. This essentially means any modern browser, with the exception of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

I use web standards. Unlike many web sites, all pages are valid XHTML, and have been validated by W3C as being technically correct. All pages are written in the simplest, most semantically reasonable XHTML I can manage, given the limitations of semantic support in XHTML. Tables are not used, except where tabular data is present. Even general elements like divs and spans are used sparingly. Just use your browser to check my source code to see how plain the markup is, compared to most web sites.

All the major browser owners (Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox, Apple's Safari, and Opera) are members of the W3C. All have agreed their browsers should comply with W3C recommendations. I take the browser designers at their word, that correctly written pages will render correctly.

Internet Explorer

Why don't I provide more support for Internet Explorer? Because I am sick and tired of writing complicated kluges and special tricks to fix problems and bugs in Microsoft browsers. This page will render correctly in any Standards mode browser. Microsoft, the errors in rendering are your problem, not mine. Since I am sick of supporting Internet Explorer, I now write my pages in XHTML, and allow my web provider to serve it correctly as application/xhtml+xml. What happens in Internet Explorer then? It will not load the pages! This is a Microsoft decision. They have been asked repeatedly to fix this problem.

The Internet Explorer architecture is ancient, with support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) dating back to IE3 (the first browser to use CSS), when Microsoft started embracing CSS in their browser battles against the then dominant Netscape browser. The Trident rendering engine dates from IE4. Due to the importance Microsoft place on maintaining compatibility with the vast number of badly written web sites out there, they have problems when updating. Microsoft are continuing to improve standards support in Internet Explorer. I look forward to the day when a future version of Internet Explorer renders this web site the way I wrote it. However that day does not seem close, until IE9 is released.

Special note to web site designers and developers. If you don't know how to write a standard web site, stop claiming that you do. Write your broken page in HTML Transitional, not HTML Strict. Then browsers would use Quirks (broken) mode, not Standards mode.

Optimised for Fluid Design

This web site uses a fluid design, with no fixed width or fixed size text, no fancy fonts, and no giant graphics without warnings. You can shrink or expand the size of your browser window. If you use a very wide display, the text will continue to have a suitable measure (line length) for easy reading without getting too long. You can magnify the text to (almost) any degree that you like. The web page will adjust to suit your display or your eyesight.

These web pages are styled with a cascading style sheet. They include support for using your own custom style sheet to make the pages appear any way you please (for the hundred or so people in the world who do that sort of thing).

Just for mobile phone users, the Carlyle Gardens Gnome web site is also optimised to be (relatively) easy to read on an iPhone or an iPod Touch display. The xhtml includes the viewpoint meta, which allows Webkit to select its own width and height, even for iPhone models that do not yet exist. Enjoy, but let me know if something fails to work. Yes, I know the logo at the bottom of the page falls off the right hand side of the display. The alternatives to fix that on a small display all seem worse to me, so it is working as designed. Most alternatives involve horizontal scroll bars, or forcing text sizes. These are worse choices, and don't work on all mobile devices.

Free from Errors

How do you know that I am actually writing my web pages correctly? Especially when surveys show less than 5% of all web pages are written in a valid manner (up from less than 1% at the turn of the century).

When a web pages is written in XHTML, and served as application/xhtml+xml, all standards compliant web browsers treat the web page as XML. One special requirement of XML is that a browser MUST reject the page if it is not well formed. In short, I am automatically held to a higher standard than most web pages. If I make any technical error, the page I wrote will not display. See my deliberate XHTML error page for an example of what happens.