Monday, January 05, 2009

"ONE ON'T CROSSBEAMS GONE OUT ASKEW ON TREADLE!" *



* Translation: Trouble at the SLIFR mill

Updated in bold Tuesday, January 6

Updated ONCE AGAIN in bold Sunday, January 11

It has come to my attention, through the conscientious communiqués of several SLIFR readers since the holidays began, that there have been some problems when it comes to reading this blog. (No, I mean other than the ones involving ability to express opinion, writing style and general agreeability or lack thereof.) It seems that some readers have been, for about two weeks now, seeing the (Alert: Dario Argento reference) deep red of the sidebar take over from the usual pale yellow on which the black type text usually sits. It looks like this…


when it oughta look this.

And it ain’t very readable, that black text on that deep red background.

So, after a polling of those concerned e-mailers, it was quickly determined that what the folks who were having problems had in common (including myself, whenever I access the blog at my office computer) was that we were all using Mozilla Firefox browsers. Apparently there’s something that needs to be tweaked, yanked, jerked or otherwise manhandled in order to keep this from happening to those of you who, in a free society, choose to use Mozilla Firefox to navigate the whitewater of the Internet. Being the technical incompetent that I am, I will be consulting with the many geniuses that surround me in the hopes of making up for my inadequacy with HTML code and getting that puzzlement righted as soon as possible. Of course, if any of you reading this have any suggestions they would most eagerly be accepted. Faithful reader and friend PSaga advises that clicking on individual entries seems to restore the template properly, and it does seem to work for me. But until such time as I can tell you that the problem has been taken care of across the board, if you're a Mozilla Firefox user you might want to trust your online reading experience to Internet Explorer or some other able browser when you read SLIFR over the next few days. This is serious, folks. I’ll accept responsibility for rotting your brain, but your eyes are sacred.

UPDATE Sunday, January 11: Well, it seems like we (and by "we" I mean "not me") may have zeroed in on the problem. A reader going under the moniker California dropped a comment this morning that is well worth reprinting here, for those of you who may still have some curiosity about this situation. It went a little something like this:

"I don't think it's just a matter of 'Firefox is no good, use IE.' The reason that the individual posts look fine but the main page doesn't, is that there's a single post there causing trouble.

When you look at the snowed-in drive-in post on its own (here) you get the red background error. So when that post is bumped off of the main page, the problem will move from the main page to the first 'Older posts' page. Problem not quite solved, but less noticeable.

Which piece of the code is actually causing the trouble I have no idea, but it's probably an easy if you know what it is."


It so happens that I can recall noticing the bleeding red for the first time round about when I first published that apparently troubled drive-in entry, so I will be very interested to see if California's theory turns out to be true. Once a few more posts get added to the SLIFR main page and that drive-in post gets bumped to the "Older Posts" section we may very well see this problem if not exactly go away, then at least move to a less conspicuously annoying position. Thanks, California, for sharing your astute observations!

16 comments:

The Driveindude said...

I just switched over to I.E. to read SLIFR.

So... where's our Sensurround update?

blaaagh said...

Haha! I never trusted Mozilla Firefox, and now I know why! Anyway, I think the frustrated-Cartman picture is perfect.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Aaaaargh. Read like Wild Bill Kelso in 1941: You guys aren't trying to make light of my misery, are ya?

Nate Y. said...

Dennis, I should note that I'm using Firefox and I can read your blog without any trouble. I'm also on a Mac, though. Don't know if that helps.

Robert Fiore said...

You can go into the comments page and click on "Show Original Post" and it's readable, though you don't see the pictures.

Internet Explorer works for some, but personally I prefer a browser that isn't so generous with my personal information . . .

Jonathan Lapper said...

Dennis, that's strange. Given that the code for the template defines the jpeg image to be repeated as the background (the crumpled beige paper image that is behind the text) it shouldn't make any difference what browser one uses, they should all read and translate the code the same way - but apparently not.

I have Firefox at home as a backup for the rare occasions I have a problem with I.E. I'll open up SLIFR later tonight at home with Firefox and see what I get. Then I'll open one of my test blogs using a Scribe template and see if I can figure out what the problem might be.

p.saga said...

Sign of a healthy person: makes Monty Python and South Park references in the middle of an HTML snafu.

(Hey, did you see that MP gang has released high-quality videos on its own YouTube Channel? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGqX-tkDXEk)

Some user data for your troubleshooting: I use Firefox 3 on a Mac and the background is normal when I click on individual entries. The red takes over only on the main page of your blog.

blaaagh, you trust IE over Firefox? Remind me to roll my eyes at you and sigh dramatically next time we meet. ;-)

bill r. said...

That's been happening to me, too, and I figured it was the Firefox upgrade, but it always corrected itself pretty quickly, so I wasn't sweating it.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Well I'm home now. I opened SLIFR in Firefox and noticed that the red isn't bleeding into the post area, the image for the main wrapper in the background isn't repeating upon load, an importance difference. When a single post is selected, as noted by p.saga, the background gif image repeats properly. I'll have to open up a scribe template and see if there's a reason for that I can find.

But I just have to point this out because I can't resist: p.saga said this "blaaagh, you trust IE over Firefox? Remind me to roll my eyes at you and sigh dramatically next time we meet. ;-)" in a post about Firefox failing to properly open even a simple blog template. Sorry, p.saga but you got to admit, that's kind of funny. Like someone noticing two cars, one that runs fine and one that dramatically breaks down and then saying, "You mean you prefer the car that runs fine? Man, that's weird." :)

Jonathan Lapper said...

So, I've done my research and ...

the problem lay with Firefox. And apparently, from the stories I found from Google, there are plenty with Firefox when it comes to website and blog template uploads. Some sites said Firefox upgrades corrected it, others offer patches that you can load into Firefox. As a sidenote, I read one hilarious blog entry from a guy who switched to Firefox and then ran into all kind of posting and viewing problems with his blog and then goes on and on about all these elaborate, complicated fixes to make it work that you, dear reader, can use too! Dude, here's an even easier solution: switch back to IE.

So Dennis, you have done your duty. It's up to the Firefox user him or herself to correct it from this point on. Sorry, there couldn't be a better answer.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Jonathan, have you ever considered opening a detective agency? Thanks for all the research. Interestingly, I initially switched to Mozilla Firefox because I was having load problems, especially when trying to upload pics for the site, when I used Internet Explorer, and the changeover seemed to solve the problem. That was about three years ago, and I haven't had problem one with MF until this one.

So I guess I have to agree: If you're currently using Mozilla Firefox to read this site, try Psaga's suggestion and hopefully it'll clear up the immediate problem. I'm not sure there's anything else that I or anyone else can suggest at the moment, and I'm damn sure unwilling (and probably incapable of) jumping through all the hoops that Jonathan's comically frustrated blogger suggests.

Thanks, everyone, for alerting me and sticking with the site, even during its attempts to render you all blind or, at the very least, at the mercy of what the late Robert Urich used to refer to as a "four-alarm bangeroo."

Flickhead said...

On some pcs, Mozilla can't even read the simple music html I have on my main website.

Jonathan Lapper said...

And on IE sometimes, I can't access certain blogspot blogs. But I can't stand the browser appearance I get with Firefox. I have both and switch back and forth. Plus I have two pcs (one laptop, one desktop) and two Macs (one laptop, one desktop) so basically, I've got the bases covered here no matter what.

But it would be nice if someone could create a browser that worked with everything.

California said...

I don't think it's just a matter of "Firefox is no good, use IE".
The reason that the individual posts look fine but the main page doesn't, is that there's a single post there causing trouble.

When you look at the snowed-in drive-in post on its own (here) you get the red background error. So when that post is bumped off of the main page, the problem will move from the main page to the first 'Older posts' page.
Problem not quite solved, but less noticeable.

Which piece of the code is actually causing the trouble I have no idea, but it's probably an easy if you know what it is.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

California: What was it that Henry Higgins said to Eliza Doolittle?

That post, now that I think about it, must be the source of the problem. I believe it was after I posted it that I first noticed that bleeding red.

I really appreciate your astute observation of the situation. Nice to know that, once I get off my tired ass and actually post some new material in 2009, we might be able to look forward to not having this little annoyance to worry about.

Extra nice to hear from you on this Ssunday morning!

M.Chavez said...

I know this is late in the game, but I just read your post about this. Figured I'd help out.

If it's possible, look at the actual raw html source (I'm pretty sure blogger lets you do that). Right as you start the actual meat (way down near the end of the raw html source - around line 2115) of your entry, there is some bad code. You'll see this:

<div class='post-body'>
<p><div/div><br />


When compared via GREP to one of your other 'normal' posts, that should actually be:

<div class='post-body'>
<p><div></div><br />

Notice how there is now a 'lesser than' and 'greater than' symbol in between the two 'div' codes on the second line. In other words: the incorrect source had two div codes that were smashed together and weren't properly formatted. One opens and the other is supposed to close the 'div' declaration. Since it's legally just an open div, it cascades all the way down the rest of the page, hence how it screwed up your front page for a while.

I suppose one way to have fixed this is to have cleared out that entire post and rebuilt it; whatever glitch occurred the first time would probably have not reappeared.

Give it a shot!