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CSS: Friend or foe?

Well I’ve changed the theme of my stylesheet today for the blog. It’s nothing how I want it to look, but as far as I can tell (using both IE and Firefox) it might just make it damn well readable to everyone.

A lot of it is based upon how different browsers ‘cope’ with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), where Firefox follows the rules properly, but good ol’ Internet Explorer has got its own demented backwards way of deciding how IT thinks things should look.

Interestingly Uncle Bill Gates & Co. are bringing out IE7 this summer, but it may be too late by then for them to win back the browser market. They are recognising (at last) that they’re four years behind on a lot of web technology (e.g PNG, CSS 2.0) support that has come out since then. All I can say people is .. just because your nice shiny Windows XP computer came with Internet Explorer 6 on it, doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Get FirefoxI know it suffers from being over-hyped, but Firefox is so much better, in terms of it being non-bloated, faster to load, more secure, and shows webpages that conform to how they were coded, and not how Microsoft think that they should be displayed.

In the meantime people, if you’re using IE, goto ‘Tools‘, ‘Text Size‘ and see if it’s set on ‘Medium‘. If it’s set to small or smallest, then you’re probably have a hard time reading this right now, and that’s not my fault!

If you’re using Firefox as your web browser then just press CTRL-0 (zero) on your keyboard, which is the same as going to “View”, “Text size” and “Normal”, just to see what happens, and please please please post in the (new!) comments section if the text is still too big or too small for you, or any other variation.

Re: My back, well … I can walk about now with almost no pain, but sitting down is a problem as when I go to stand up it becomes a major effort. So i’m avoiding sitting down anywhere at the moment!.

One iPod mention for today which merges new technology with old – if you’re into your old computer emulators, someone has figured out how to plug your iPod into your old ZX Spectrum (or spectrum emulator) and ‘load’ up games to it in the same way that you used to play things in off of a cassette tape.

i.e. the iPod contains the modem-like sounds to play into your spectrum! How fantastic is that?

14 responses to “CSS: Friend or foe?”

  1. By the way, it displays in Netscape identically to Firefox, in case you were wondering. Hey, I’m first! I feel like Chris, even though I didn’t know what F5 was until recently.

  2. Neil says:


    Have you considered a serif font such as the one I use – Georgia?

    I find this current one a little squashed up in places and hard to read.

  3. Paul Webb says:

    Hard luck with the back, Geoff. I had one just as bad a few years go (in my 20’s!, but I was a postman at the time) and found that any muscle relaxant worked well (eg, scotch, brandy, valium, scotch & valium, Jamaican Woodbines), and try to find a good osteopath. And people with bad backs live longer – they quickly learn their physical limits and do not stress their hearts!

  4. Hi Geoff

    Interesting changes!. I agree with pretty much everyone else that the font is a bit of a downside, but it all works well still.

    Just noticed that you haven’t commented on the Frank Arnesen thing at all yet – it’ll probably be the biggest thing that happens to our club this summer – no matter who we end up getting!

    Get well soon, hopefully you can still enjoy the Doctor Who episode on Saturday – I’ve just ruined it by reading the damn tabloids today – I knew there was a reason I was avoiding them this week….

  5. Wayne says:

    re the Great Font Debate: is it right/normal that on the opening page the font is one size (IMHO a litle bit ‘squashed’ to be comfortable), but click on the comments section, and the text of the blog entry is double the size (reminding me of those Large Print books for OAPs in the library). Erm, that was a question actually, so better put a question mark in there: ? I ask, by the way, as a non-blogger who knows zilch about the techie stuff.

    Anyway, get well soon Geoff

  6. F5 Chris says:


    You wait 5 days for a new blog entry, then find two of them at once! Not only that, but I’m not the first to comment on either of them!


  7. Brian says:


    It might be worth going through these pages and fixing all errors:

    My suggestion re font size is to NOT specify any size. Just use relative units for headers and any text you want to be smaller than usual. This means that all users will see the main article text at the size that they have specified in their own browser. Power to the people!


    PS: Ctrl + scroll-wheel is the easiest way to change font sizes in IE

  8. James says:

    The font is too small in IE, and is definitely the wrong colour. Why not go back to the Johnston/Trebuchet font that the old blog had, and the royal blue you used to use.

    Get well soon.

  9. F5 Chris– have you noticed that I am usually the LAST to comment? Maybe it is because Hawaii is in the world’s last time zone, nearest the dateline; we are always about the last place to ring in the New Year. Except for probably some isolated, obscure Pacific Islands.

    Re: Fonts.. “Condensed” (squashed) fonts such as the one displaying on his blog now, are always harder to read. There is an interesting theory in the world of graphic design that the easiest fonts on our eyes are the ones with serifs (Century Schoolbook, Garamond, etc.) because those were the first fonts we saw when learning to read. Remember our primary grade reading schoolbooks? (“See Jane run.” etc.) All the fonts they use in those books have serifs.

  10. Ian says:

    Is it just me, or are your other blogs in the RHS appearing in a random order each time?

    I always thought that Hawaii was an obscure pacific island, actually.

  11. Andrew says:

    It’s an obscure Pacific island with a Telescope
    (apparently the air is very clear/steady there – anyhow it seems to be a good place to send astonomers on a jolly)

  12. Actually, you’re right Ian… Hawaii IS obscure… we are the most isolated (from any major land mass) archipelago in the world. Read: Damn far from anywhere! Which gives us very unique flora and fauna of course.

    And, make it SEVERAL telescopes on top of Mauna Kea! The last count was 10 I believe… there’s an impressive astronomical community here. Considered the best place in the world for astronomy due to lack of light pollution and other factors. See here for more. I’ve been up there a couple of times and it is very interesting to tour an observatory. If you can stand the altitude… 13,792 feet.

  13. Frank Middleton says:

    The reason serif fonts are easier to read that sans serif is that the serifs make it easier to recognize and distinguish letters. Sans serif fonts have very similiar looking characters.

  14. Anthony says:

    Take your Firefox and… errmm… keep it.

    I’ll stay with Opera, which is truly splendid.

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