Web Matters

This site and Internet Explorer

I have heard from a few readers that there are problems viewing this site in Internet Explorer (at least in version 6). These typically take the form of a paragraph that disappears, or a block of the pale background that gets replaced by a block of dark background. In one case all the text on the page disappeared.

These problems are caused by unpredictable errors in some copies of Internet Explorer, not by errors in the site itself. (They appear to be related to the well-known Peekaboo bug in IE. They are not however all the same because I am told they also occur in places where there are no floats.) In most cases the page is displayed correctly after reloading.

The various copies of IE 6 that I used to have didn’t suffer from the reported problems, or only very intermittently, which made investigation of work-arounds almost impossible. And having upgraded my computers I no longer have it at all.

If you hit these problems on this or any other site I'm afraid I can only suggest:

  1. try moving the page up or down a line with the arrow keys, or
  2. reload the page, or
  3. try changing the window size slightly and reload, or
  4. download yourself a decent browser, such as Opera or Firefox. (Both of them are free.)

Most, if not all, of the problems have been fixed in IE 7 and IE 8. If you encounter them in either version, please let me know. With IE 6 usage down to around 3% now, this will hopefully soon be a problem of the past.