Cross browser compatibility (FireFox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari)


It's hard to check your theme in all browsers. There are a number of tools which are available to help look at your theme in multiple browsers.

  1. Browser Shots is freely available but can take a while to get your screenshots.
  2. BrowserCam is paid service with a 24 hour trial.

On Windows you can use Internet Explorer and download Firefox or Opera. On Linux you can use Konqueror, a KHTML based browser, which Safari uses on MacOS, Opera, Firefox for Linux, and Internet Explorer can be run under WINE. On Mac OSX you can use Safari and download Firefox or Opera.



Actually debugging problems in your theme


There is no easy solution to debug your theme. If you are having trouble you should try to use the simplest base theme possible or select a theme that is known to work that is as close to your end goal as possible. Learning the CSS classes in your theme is critical to understanding where your CSS changes will be applied. Try to find other themers by talking in IRC, providing documentation, and tutorials of what you have done. Make your existing theme available so that others can review and provide feedback on what you have done. Making friends with PHP programmers who can help you understand what the underlying PHP theme template is doing is also very important. Consider an exchange of skills to get support.

This page was written by Kieran Lal, and Trae McCombs from CivicSpace Labs with Theodore Serbinski. If you would like to contribute or help m

Cross browser compatibility (FireFox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari)

Tools for managing inconsistencies in your theme

  1. We recommend you start with a standards compliant browser for your themes such as Firefox. Firefox allows you to highlight portions of your web page and right click view selected source to understand what your themes CSS classes are. Understanding how CSS classes for you theme are applied to the underlying xhtml is the key to understanding your theme.
  2. Use standard CSS naming conventions. We recommend adopting these naming conventions for you CSS classes.
  3. Select a valid DOCTYPE type for your theme and include a DocType Declaration(DTD).
  4. To help in analyzing your HTML and CSS we recommend you install the Firebug plugin for Firefox. It is an invaluable tool that allows you to look at your css and html and change it in real time to evaluate the effects of your changes. Another very useful Firefox plugin is the Web Developer toolbar. This has tons of handy utilities.
  5. The view formatted source extension for FireFox displays formatted and color-coded source and optional CSS information for each element.
  6. Before you start modifying your CSS to fix your bugs it is important to ensure you are styling valid HTML or xHTML. There is a web validator built into the Firefox Web Developer toolbar. Opera has built in validation, just press Ctrl+Alt+V.
  7. A more advanced tool for analyzing HTML pages for looking over code, spotting errors is the Watchfire WebXACT tool.
  8. If you find a problem with invalid XHTML in a module file an issue and include screenshots showing how this causes problems in the theme.
  9. To see how your site will look to search engines you can use Lynx viewer.
  10. Positioning problems in your site with Internet Explorer can be resolved using these references: Position Everything Internet Explorer Primer
  11. A library of examples of problems can be found at Quirks mode.

It's hard to check your theme in all browsers. There are a number of tools which are available to help look at your theme in multiple browsers.

  1. Browser Shots is freely available but can take a while to get your screenshots.
  2. BrowserCam is paid service with a 24 hour trial.

On Windows you can use Internet Explorer and download Firefox or Opera. On Linux you can use Konqueror, a KHTML based browser, which Safari uses on MacOS, Opera, Firefox for Linux, and Internet Explorer can be run under WINE. On Mac OSX you can use Safari and download Firefox or Opera.

Your page should not look the same everywhere

Another very important thing to notice is the nature of HTML and CSS. They are meant to look different in different places. My mobile phone is not able to show your fancy 6 column fixed with javascript based layout. And it should not be able to. Safari and Konqueror decided to not allow certain styles in forms (security and desktop consistency). Large screens will resize your font and that might break your fixed with layout. People using older screens will have larger font sizes set. People with bad internet connections often disable images. Or even CSS.

So keep in mind that your style is nothing more than an advice for browsers to display it in certain ways. It is by no means a law.

Problem: The "Mail" button is missing

You can customize the toolbar to add or remove icons, including the mail icon

  1. Right-click the Star icon in the IE window
  2. Choose Customize Command Bar
  3. Choose Add or Remove commands
  4. Click on the Read Mail item in the Available toolbar buttons list
  5. Click the Add button to move the button to the Current toolbar buttons list
  6. Click the Close button

If the button still isn't visible, it may be pushed off the side of the screen. To fix this:

  1. Right-click the Star icon in the IE window
  2. Uncheck Lock the Toolbars
  3. Drag the dotted splitter in the command bar to the left until all of the buttons are visible

Problem: Crashes or hangs

If IE crashes, the most likely problem is that there's a buggy add-on (Toolbar or Browser Helper Object). In order to verify and isolate the buggy add-on, follow these steps:

  1. Start IE in No Add-ons mode, either by right-clicking the Desktop icon, or clicking START | RUN and typing: iexplore.exe -extoff
  2. Determine if IE fails.
  3. If not, use Tools | Manage Add-ons to disable all browser extensions and toolbars.
  4. Restart IE and reenable browser extensions one-by-one.
  5. Once you've found a broken extension, contact the manufacturer and ask for an update.

(Reference: http://support.microsoft.com/?id=928426)

If IE still crashes on startup, and you've got Google Desktop installed, please ensure that you update to the latest version of Google Desktop.

Solaris Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning

These pages have been updated for Solaris 10. While some information is included for versions of Solaris back to 2.5.1 (when these pages were first written), some information for older versions of Solaris has been discarded where it interfered with the clarity of presentation. The focus of these pages is on Solaris 8-10.

The purpose of these pages is to provide a summary of tools and techniques available to troubleshoot problems on the Solaris platform. This collection reflects publicly-available information from Sun documentation, books on Solaris administration, web-based resources and magazine articles. Source documents are referenced on several of the included pages. (Particularly outstanding references may be found at the bottom of this page.)

The content on these pages is maintained by Scott Cromar. (Used with permission.) Comments on the contents of this page may be logged to The Solaris Troubleshooting Blog. Thank you to the people who have pointed out erroneous or poorly presented information.

How to Troubleshoot Your Refrigerator

Step 1:
Make sure the cord is plugged in and that the breaker hasn't tripped.

Step 2:
Check the settings on the temperature control if the fridge is too warm or too cold. This is the dial that's usually located at the top front or right rear of the refrigerator.

Step 3:
Note the ambient temperature of the kitchen. If the fridge seems to be running for a long time, it may be that the room is just warm. If that's not the case, make sure the door isn't being left open and that the door gasket is sealing.

Step 4:
Vacuum the coils under the fridge. Dust may be keeping them from cooling properly.

Step 5:
Be sure that the appliance is at least 4 inches from the wall to ensure enough circulation to the coils on the back.

Step 6:
Notice if the light comes on, but the motor doesn't run. The temperature control may be turned off. If the control is properly set, you may have a bad thermostat.

Step 7:
Change the switch if the bulb is staying on when the door is shut. You can check this by pressing the button located along the hinged side of the door. The light should go off when you press it.

Step 8:
Listen for unusual noises. Are the shelves rattling? You may need to tighten the supports on the back wall. Items on the shelves may also be the cause of the sound, such as glass bottles clattering together.

Step 9:
Remove the base grill. Is the defrost pan the culprit? Make sure it's on its tracks and that the felt pads are in place.

Step 10:
Check the condenser fan under the fridge. Sometimes paper stuck in it makes a racket. If there is something there, be sure to disconnect the power before you attempt to remove it.

How to Troubleshoot the Worst PC Disasters

What do you do when your computer suddenly seems possessed? Whether it's satanic software or a hard drive from hell, there are hundreds of vexing problems that can make it devilishly difficult to get anything done.

Don't call for an exorcist just yet. For most people, a little troubleshooting knowledge goes a long way. We'll show you how to solve puzzling network failures, save devices that were accidentally dropped in water, retrieve mistakenly deleted digital photos, and even revive a dead hard drive by popping it into a freezer.

Not every trick in these pages will work for everyone, but they're worth a shot when things go bad. With a pinch of luck and a bit of skill, you can send those digital demons back to wherever they came from.

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT PRINTER PROBLEMS

What do you do when your computer suddenly seems possessed? Whether it's satanic software or a hard drive from hell, there are hundreds of vexing problems that can make it devilishly difficult to get anything done.

Don't call for an exorcist just yet. For most people, a little troubleshooting knowledge goes a long way. We'll show you how to solve puzzling network failures, save devices that were accidentally dropped in water, retrieve mistakenly deleted digital photos, and even revive a dead hard drive by popping it into a freezer.

Not every trick in these pages will work for everyone, but they're worth a shot when things go bad. With a pinch of luck and a bit of skill, you can send those digital demons back to wherever they came from.



PRINTER

1. Read the book. I cannot begin to tell you how many people have brought their printer to my shop with the User Manual and paid my wife (no computer expert) $32.50 to sit-down, read the book, and fix the printer. Unfortunately, some printer books aren't worth reading...

2. Check the manufacturer's web site. The problem you are having has most likely happened before. If the manufacturer has a good web site, you may find the answer there and save a lot of time, money, and frustration. Go to our Manufacturer Links page to get there fast.

3. Is it plugged-in? Make sure the printer is plugged into a live outlet. If it is plugged into a surge protector, make sure it is on. Try moving it from the surge protector to a known-good wall outlet.

4. Is it on? Ok, you can't print and Windows, etc. says it can't find the printer. Make sure the darn thing is turned on and there are no error lights (LEDs) lit. If there are error lights, refer to the user manual/manufacturer's web site. You should hear the print mechanism initialize when power is applied and most printers have at least one light which will be illuminated when it is on.

5. Is it on-line? Most printers have and on-line LED and button or the equivalent. The computer cannot communicate or send stuff to a printer that is not on-line; i.e., not connected to the cable between the printer and computer, and that is what "on-line" literally means. Again, I have gone to customer sites, pushed the on-line button, and charged them for my time and travel (I try to accomplish at least that much on the phone, but some...).

6. Is it beeping at you? Most printers will beep once or twice during or after initialization. If it beeps more than that or beeps constantly, the poor thing is either hurt or trying to tell you something is wrong. Look in the manual or go to the web site to learn what it is saying. Unfortunately, beep code documentation can be hard to find, the beep you hear may not listed, or the meaning of the beep is nebulous. Most, printers will beep when out of paper or out of ink and those are the most common causes for a printer turning into a road runner.

7. Does it test-print? Most printers have a built-in diagnostics program which can be very useful for troubleshooting problems and test-printing without a computer. They are usually initiated by pressing a button or two while turning on the printer. Check your user manual. If the printer test-prints OK, you have probably eliminated the mechanical print mechanism as the problem.

8. Does it have ink or toner? Is the Ink cartridge full, ribbon installed correctly, or laser cartridge full? An ink jet printer may have a black and a color cartridge. Check both of them or at least set the printer to use a cartridge with ink in it. You can usually extend the life of a laser cartridge long enough to order a new one by removing the cartridge and gently shaking it side-to-side to redistribute the tone. Sometimes you can get a ribbon going temporally by removing from the printer and manually advancing the ribbon past a worn spot by turning the sprockets.

9. Is it clean? Most ink jet printers have a simple user procedure for cleaning the print heads. You may have to clean them periodically or after the printer has been idle for a few days or weeks. If you see funny colors or print-outs are missing colors, a cartridge may be empty or a head dirty. You may have to clean a head many times to get it working again.

10. Does it have paper? Be sure the paper is installed correctly and there is enough of it. Most printers have a paper-out detector. On most dot matrix printers it is a photo diode. If form-fed paper is not aligned correctly (usually on the left side) the diode won't see it. DOS may indicate it has lost communications with a printer which is out of paper instead issuing a paper-out error.

11. Is it jammed? Paper jams are frequently the reason my wife is able to fix many printers. She's very good at it (and she has smaller fingers than mine). Always read the manual on how to clear a jam. Don't be a "gorilla" with your printer! You can easily damage a printer (strip gear threads, etc.), or even get hurt, if you do not follow instructions and are not careful. Turn the power off--unplug it. You have 110 volts running around the inside many printers. And print heads, gears, etc. like to nip fingers.

Laser printers have some very fine wires to remove static charges from the paper near the fuser mechanism which will break if you aren't very careful. Also, the fuser itself can be very hot (it fuses/melts toner to the paper).

Don't move a print head unless the instructions direct it. You can damage the belt, etc.

Address labels cause many paper jams and cannot always be seen. The old shirt cardboard trick can be used to dislodge them from many printers. Just feed a shirt cardboard (or cut a piece of like-sized cardboard form a file folder) through like a sheet of paper and wiggle the label loose and out.

Staples, paperclips, dog hair, and cookie crumbs are among the many things we have coaxed out of printers. A staple will raise havoc with the drum in laser printers. If you see vertical lines on pages printed by a laser printer (or copy machine), the drum is probably scratched. Replacing it can be a very expensive repair, indeed.

If jams persist, or the printer won't feed paper, there is a good chance that gears are stripped or rollers are worn-down or have flat spots. Fixing this sort of problem may require specialized tools and elaborate alignment procedures and is often best done at a printer repair depot. It is not usually economically feasible to send low-end ink jet and dot matrix printers, etc. to a repair depot. Sometimes roller problems can be fixed by cleaning the rollers.

Changing to a different kind of paper may help. Refer to your user manual for guidance.

On humid days, slightly damp paper can cause jams by sticking together causing more than one sheet to be fed at a time. Try removing the paper from its tray, etc. and fanning it. Make sure the edges or corners aren't curled and the tray is either not too empty or too full. Read the book...

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