How to fix huge text in Firefox 3 Beta 5 on Kubuntu 8.04

Firefox 3.0 beta 5 on Kubuntu 8.04 renders some text way too big. It turns out to be an issue when using points for your font size units in CSS (although generally relative units should be preferred, anyway!). You can fix this by

  1. Going to about:config
  2. Look for the setting called layout.css.dpi. The default value is -1.
  3. Change it to 96

The problem appears not to be Firefox, but the GNOME window manager’s settings. However, I don’t know how to change those when running KDE instead of GNOME. Anyone know?

Firebug may also have trouble running so this post has a tip on how to sort that out. Continue reading

IE8 – meta switch = IE7!?

Microsoft's announcement of a switch for proper standards mode in IE8 makes that browser passing acid2 test less useful than initially seemed! So Microsoft announced a way to support standards without “breaking the web.”

The challenge they had was to find a way to “enable (and encourage) interoperable web development, but don’t force IE to break pages that work properly in IE today.”

They eventually settled for a <meta>-based “opt-in to the browser version I tested with” strategy.

What this means is that if you as a web developer want IE 8 to render according to their best implementation of standards then you opt in by adding a particular meta element into your HTML (or send down a similar HTTP header in the response).

In other words, for web developers trying to do the right thing they must pay a small “don’t-break-the-IE-web tax!”

Many prominent web developers and designers have been highly critical of this. But, ironically, is this actually a positive thing in the long run? Continue reading

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Slows Down Web Development

This has been said so many times on the web by web developers frustrated at IE’s rendering bugs, lack of progress in support for web technologies, and so on, that at first I didn’t want to bother writing this post. However, a number of other posts on this site make reference to this point and I end up repeating myself, side tracking from the point at hand. For that reason, and for the benefit of some readers not familiar with this issue, this post serves as a summary of those concerns. Continue reading