Quirky Quirks

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So, here's the thing.

Up until two or three days ago all of my so-called legacy web pages,  
authored with html 4.01 transitional over a period of several years,  
automatically triggered the Quirks mode in IE8 (XP) and rendered my pages in  
the style I had originally intended. All other browsers I've tried--that  
would be Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and even SeaMonkey (my favorite,  
actually--was among the first browsers to drop the infernal default  
pepper-based flash video, for one)--render Quirks automatically and my pages  
read just fine, indeed.

But, now, suddenly, IE8 wants to render my legacy pages, not in Quirks (as  
it should), but in Standard mode, which leaves every single line of text  
within every single table in center-aligned--not left-aligned as I had  
originally created the pages. Looks really amateurish, to say the least.

Anybody have any ideas what's going on? Or, is this problem confined solely  
to my computer? I can of course get into Developer Tools and punch the  
Quirks option manually, but this is truly silly.

Here's one of my pages, as an example of the problem in IE8 (XP):


Even the Drudge page, I note, is a legacy page and renders automatically in  
Quirks in my IE8. So, why doesn't my own page pop up automatically in  
Quirks? In Preview mode, or when I click on files housed on my computer, IE8  
renders my pages in default Quirks, but once the page is on the web only  
default Standard applies.

One can reasonably assume here that I am not in the mood to go back into  
every page I created and repair the erring center tag for each table. I did  
locate an appropriate meta tag to place within the head--that would be, of  
course: <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=5"> . This forces IE8  
to automatically switch to Quirks, naturally. And it does, indeed, work.

But, now, I'm going to have to go back into every page and place that line  
in the head. Not an expenditure of time I relish, obviously.

Is there a better way to do this--in other words, can I write some kind of  
acceptable code and place it on my server (it's Apache, by the way), to  
force every one of my pages to Quirks in IE8? Recommendations,  
assistance, most welcome, indeed  

Oh, yes, one more thing...I executed a System Restore to a date prior to my IE8 difficulties. No joy.

Re: Quirky Quirks

On 2013-07-21, Inyo wrote:
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   In quirks mode, you should expect quirks.

   If you want consistency, use standards mode.

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   What's the problem?

Chris F.A. Johnson

Re: Quirky Quirks

On 7/21/13 4:34 PM, Chris F.A. Johnson wrote:
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I see a difference for the cited page between IE 8 and SeaMonkey 2.19.
In IE 8, the paragraphs under "Preface" and beyond are centered (in CSS,
it would be "text-align: center").  In SM 2.19, those paragraphs are
left-justified (in CSS, it would be "text-align: left").

The problem is likely a result of using the <TABLE> element to provide
margins, a non-table usage.  The beginning of the table has
There is no matching </CENTER> until after </TABLE>.  IE's quirks mode
thus centers everything between that <CENTER> and its matching
</CENTER>.  I think the Gecko rendering used by both Firefox and
SeaMonkey infer a </CENTER> at the end of the <P> paragraph, which
occurs with the start of the table.

If you do not want to use Standards mode, at least change your pages to
use Transitional mode.  Then test your pages at
<http://validator.w3.org/ .

David E. Ross

Concerned about someone (e.g., the government)
snooping into your E-mail?  Use PGP.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/PGP/

Re: Quirky Quirks

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Excellent analysis, indeed.

All righty, then--it's not specific to my own IE8. I will give your  
suggestion a try and see what happens.

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Re: Quirky Quirks

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In the future, I will certainly use the correct DOCTYPE above the head to  
force standards on all browsers...but, for now, my horse has apparently  
already left the barn, so to speak.

Curiously, though, when I inserted the right DOCTYPE into one of my pages,  
as a test, the misalignment (all text in every table is centered, not  
aligned left) continues in IE8, even though I'm in standards mode. In all  
other browsers (listed above), with that correct DOCTYPE introduced, there  
is absolutely no alignment problem. There is joy. The only way to cause IE8  
to honor the correct alignment is to force it into Quirks with a specific  
meta tag in the head.

Conclusion, I reckon, is that absent Quirks mode IE8 cannot render properly  
the text left-align within my tables. Further, IE8 apparently sees no reason  
to automatically default to Quirks when it encounters one of my legacy  

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If you're saying that you see no problem when using IE8, I am relieved,  
indeed. Must be my own internal browser situation, if that's indeed the  

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Re: Quirky Quirks

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

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It appears that the server is sending [X-UA-Compatible] => IE=3Dedge, if =
apache is
setting the header simply Header unset X-UA-Compatible or find where it is =
and remove it.

BootNic                                               Sun Jul 21, 2013 08:0=
4 pm
  Good habits result from resisting temptation.
  *Ancient Proverb*

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Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=signature.asc

Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)



Re: Quirky Quirks

Just took a read of your suggestion. Holds promise, indeed. Will look into  

Re: Quirky Quirks

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You can insert any bit of text you like into any number of pages by  
using a text editor that has Search & Replace facilities, all good  
editors do. You can simply find some constant in all the pages (some  
end tag say in the head) and tell the program to replace that end tag  
with an identical one followed by the text you want to insert. Having  
done this, you then select all your files (maybe even the folder of  
your HTML docs) and upload to the server replacing the ones of same  
name there.

The other way of saving a lot of future editing work is to use an  
"include", a small line of text that acts as an instruction for the  
server to insert whatever file you have on your server in a special  
folder called (say) includes.


Re: Quirky Quirks

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Very good information. I will certainly take this under advisement, indeed.  

Re: Quirky Quirks

Inyo wrote:
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I've been using EditPro for many years.  It can open hundreds of files  
at once and do global search and replace /very/ quickly.


There is also a free version, EditPad Lite:


Ed Mullen
Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have any film.

Re: Quirky Quirks

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Sometimes in Photoshop, during some batch processing, there is a  
"literal" opening of photos to make the changes wanted (you know, each  
launches and opens briefly on the monitor), a machine operating like a  
factory, the first time I saw this, I was very impressed. In my  
BBEdit, F&R over a lot of files, it works quietly in the background  
and then announces the job done and a list is shown with the names of  
the changed files.


Re: Quirky Quirks

dorayme wrote:
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Yes, I've some programs I use that do similar things.  Sometimes so fast  
it's pretty amazing.  I'll click "Go" and be sitting here and think:  
"What the hell was that?!!!"  And then get a nice neat report that all  
went well, the target folder opens up in Windows Explorer and there are  
all the converted files.  Fun stuff!  :-)

I virtually never read my own sig lines but that one is pretty funny!

Ed Mullen
I hate sex in the movies. The seat folded up, the drink spilled and that  
ice really chilled the mood.

Re: Quirky Quirks

dorayme wrote:
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Meant to mention, talking about technology, I got a new car Friday. I'm  
still reading the freaking manuals.  When did cars become more  
technologically complex than my desktop computer?  Sheesh!

The new car (Infiniti M37S) has a USB port.  I am now in the process of  
xfring my music library to a 64Gb USB drive.  Which, from my tests on a  
a smaller scale, when plugged into the car will bring up on the Nav  
screen the entire folder structure of the disk and begin playing it.  
 From there you can choose various options including "Random all tracks"  
which should make for a nice drive to Texas in a couple of weeks.  
Probably won't get to hear all of the nearly 15,000 songs but, hey, a  
surprise every few miles.

The one nice thing is that I found the car's manuals online in PDF  
files, downloaded them, and can sit and browse at my leisure.

I think I've figured out how to fill the gas tank. (Just kidding!!!)

Ed Mullen
How do you tell when you run out of invisible ink?

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