A users OS and browser

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A users OS and browser

Postby MaxD » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:06 pm

What difference does a users OS make to how a browser renders a page? Logic would suggest none but recently two instances have caused me to ask. On a discussion forum a user points out that a page renders incorrectly on his Linux powered PC using Firefox. On my dev site a page viewed through the same version of IE8 will render differently on two PCs using XP and Vista respectively, which can't be explained entirely by different screen sizes, asthe smaller screen PC using XP renders the page OK in Firefox.
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Re: A users OS and browser

Postby syrupcore » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:34 am

they can definitely be different though I'm not entirely sure about why. For sure, on the mac all of the fonts are smoothed and this can make headlines and small small type render pretty differently.

we occasionally get bugs from firefox on linux, particularly when it comes to flash/video.
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Re: A users OS and browser

Postby MaxD » Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:56 am

Hi Syrupcore. The differences are more marked than that unfortunately. In the XP version of IE the content is being forced south, whereas in the Vista version it looks OK. Firefox looks OK too.
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Re: A users OS and browser

Postby syrupcore » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:50 pm

can you share the URL? Are you sure both versions of IE8 are in the same mode (ie7 mode, ie8 compatibility mode, ie8 mode)?
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Re: A users OS and browser

Postby MaxD » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:37 pm

I would add a url, but its an early release and still in development. I'll drop back maybe next week.

Strangely though on my isp home page there is an ad which says 'we have detected you are using XP, scan your PC now' (Its genuine but I have no intention of using it). Presumably if its possible to detect your OS its possible to affect how a browser renders a page?
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Re: A users OS and browser

Postby syrupcore » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:56 pm

for sure, you can detect OS and browser via the HTTP headers sent by the browser and serve something differently but man, what a pain. two+ codebases and the user agent strings are notoriously inaccurate... if you can solve it without going down that path, do!

Here's some Q&A around the topic: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1008 ... -detection

there's lots more info (and warnings) out there.
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Re: A users OS and browser

Postby MaxD » Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:51 pm

As it turns out the problems are a bit more mundane. Turns out I had 'compatability mode' enabled on IE8 which prevented a menu working properly :roll: so you were right about checking the settings thanks. Content boxes need a bit of reworking too.

Interesting about the OS detection though. May come more important as mobile phones get even more sophisticated. Apparently someone has already installed wordpress on a Palm Pre
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