13.0199 ideas on browser problem

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Mon, 20 Sep 1999 21:16:46 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 199.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Jack Lynch <jlynch@andromeda.rutgers.edu> (16)
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

[2] From: David Halsted <halstedd@tcimet.net> (97)
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

[3] From: Tim Reuter <T.Reuter@soton.ac.uk> (12)
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

[4] From: Garvin Tate <gltate@d-a-c.com> (102)
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 21:11:29 +0100
From: Jack Lynch <jlynch@andromeda.rutgers.edu>
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

Willard McCarty writes of his _Onomasticon_ project:

On the PC, in Netscape, a common problem is that the cited
line often (but not always) appears partially or wholly
beyond the top of the frame, forcing the user to scroll the
frame up a bit to see the line. This is a small annoyance
that quickly becomes a big one. . . . Any ideas on how to
avoid the problem?

Which version or versions of Netscape? I use IE as my main
browser, but I keep an old copy of Netscape 2.0 on my machine,
and it gives me no trouble: everything lines up correctly.

I've learned from experience not to expend energy working around
the bugs or quirks of a specific browser if it departs from the
HTML standard. In the time it takes you to jerry-rig a solution
(if one is even possible), a new browser with a new set of bugs
and quirks will be out. Besides, the more you twiddle with the
niceties of HTML, the more likely you'll give another browser

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 21:11:52 +0100
From: David Halsted <halstedd@tcimet.net>
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

Yeah, that's a pain. One thing you could try (you probably already have) is
to generate another <tr> line right above the entries for the individual
lines, and put the anchor for the line in that, so that the browser would
hit the table row above the one you actually want to display. Then you
could use JavaScript to highlight the number of the line people are actually
trying to see (turn it red or something), so that it'd be easy for the eye
to fall immediately on the line requested. Highlighting the search terms
might be a nice trick as well--if you want to leave the whole thing on the
browser, though, you may have to do some work to find a way to do this that
runs equally well in Netscape and in IE. I've done it in IE (which, for all
its Microsoftness, offers much better support for some JavaScript/style
sheet tricks that are actually kind of nice).

You could also try adding cellpadding and/or spacing to the table that
generates the whole page, and you could stick in <p> tags defined in a style
sheet in such a way that you add some leading spaces.

On another topic entirely, I wonder why you're loading the whole book on the
right (and all that info on the left). Would it be possible to load, say,
the ten lines surrounding the line sought? I'm running a cable modem and a
K6 II 350 with 64 MB of RAM; not a great machine, but even it took time to
load the text files, and I'd imagine that somebody on a slower connection
with less RAM and a slower processor might really have to wait. Delivering
it in smaller chunks might also help solve that Mac problem. On the left
side, why not enable scrolling through by section entry, instead of loading,
say, all the names with M?

I don't mean to be too critical. I like the resource and I'd like to see it
made as accessible as possible.

David G. Halsted, PhD
Head of Technical Research and Development
Centromine, Inc
Ann Arbor, MI

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 21:12:12 +0100
From: Tim Reuter <T.Reuter@soton.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

Presumably the simple fix is to make the left-hand link refer to
line n-1 rather than n -- a straight tweak of the perl generator?

Perhaps someone can explain why browsers when following a linke
put the target at the top of the page rather than in the middle
anyway -- that would seem more practical, no?

Tim Reuter

# Tim Reuter
# Department of History, University of Southampton
# Southampton SO17 1BJ
# tel. +44 1703 594868 (home: 552623; fax: 593458)
# email: tr@soton.ac.uk; http://www.soton.ac.uk/~tr/tr.html
# ALFRED CONFERENCE: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~wmc/alfred.html

Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 21:12:37 +0100
From: Garvin Tate <gltate@d-a-c.com>
Subject: Re: 13.0195 ideas on browser problem?

Willard McCarty,

We have to deal with these aggravating issues constantly,
so I asked one of my programmers to take a look at your
frames problem. I am no programmer, but his response follows.

I spent some time at the URL in question with NS 4.05 for the PC. I
did not directly experience the problem referred to but have a couple
ideas. First, there are some well-known 'oddities' with the way
Netscape displays information in frames. This is particularly annoying
when one lays out a frameset with a specific number of pixels with the
intent to display a background image in one of the frames. IE displays
the image perfectly, and NS offsets the frame border by some annoying
amount. I don't think that is necessarily the problem here, although it
needs to be understood in advance before planning a site layout using

I looked at the source code for one of the right-hand frames. If I
understand the proposed problem, one possible remedy might be to move
the <a name="...."> tags outside the <td> tags. Also, the way the code
is marked up, anchors split across table columns -- not recommended.

In other words, replace

<tr><td valign="TOP"><a name="10.021">21</td><td><pre>Tartara, descendi,
nec uti villosa colubris</a>

with something like

<tr><a name="10.021"></a><td valign="TOP">21</td><td><pre>Tartara,
descendi, nec uti villosa colubris

Play around with variations on this theme with a known page that does
not behave correctly. Might cure the problem.

Hope these ideas help.


Garvin Tate
Digital Arts Consulting
Digital Enlightenment Corporation
(972) 524-8548

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