Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Powerful Improvement

In February I mentioned that electronics retailer Powerhouse had an awful web site which didn’t work in Firefox. Well the good news is that it now has a reasonably good site which does work.
That link was from this BBC News Online article which mentions how 1 in 10 of the top UK consumer web sites do not work in Firefox. Powerhouse and English Heritage are cited as examples of organisations who have cleaned up their act lately, but Odeon, Job Centre Plus, Lloyds TSB Insurance, British American Tobacco, Companies House and others still have web sites that do not work properly in Firefox.
I recently found that since upgrading to Deer Park Alpha 1 the status pages on the internal web server on our ADSL modem don’t work properly (they worked in previous versions). However, I’m unsure whether I’d class this as a regression since the underlying HTML code is bloody awful – here’s an excerpt of the code that doesn’t work:

<TABLE cellpadding=6 cellspacing=6><TR>
<center><img src="/images/binatone.jpg"></center>
<p><FONT color=#33CCFF><B>Quick Start</B></FONT>
<A HREF=loginout.htm target=main><LI>Login Status</A>
<A HREF=elog_idx.htm target=main><font><LI>Login Settings</font></A>
<script language='javascript'>
if (WanType == 1)
document.write("<A HREF=diagtest.htm target=main><LI>Diagnostic Test</A>\n");
<P><FONT color=#33CCFF><B>Status</B></FONT>
<A HREF=home_idx.htm target=main><LI>Overall Status</a>

With code like that, I’m impressed that it’s worked in Firefox this long, actually. I just can’t see any reason for it to be so bad – I’m sure that proper code with CSS for the layout would be much more compact than that, and more compatible, too.


  1. According to this page, a GreaseMonkey script is available that will fix the Odeon website problems. I’ve not tested it, though.

  2. Yes, I saw that Steve. I still continue to use the “text-only” version coz it’s so much nicer/easier/quicker to use.

  3. I use DPA1, but I find the ‘User Agent Switcher’ gets most sites working.