Things don't scroll properly in Opera!

  Joe Wood 22:59 25 Feb 2005


I'm designing a webpage and several of the pages need to be fairly lengthy. In IE, Netscape and Firefox the site works fine but when I open it in Opera the scrollbar scrolls to the bottom of the track but only takes me half way down the page and then "runs out"...i.e. the rest of the page is hidden below the status bar!

I've tried reading through the code but I can't find anything wrong! Has anyone ever had problems like this and if so how did you fix it?!



  Pesala 17:59 26 Feb 2005

You can get the best advice about Opera from the Opera forums: click here Most problems are caused by using code that does not conform to the WC3 standards.

If you can post the URL to your site here Opera users can look at it to confirm that the problem is with your site, and not with your PC.

  Taran 18:56 26 Feb 2005

even when you DO use code that conforms to the WC3 standards Opera messes it up sometimes, as does every other browser I know of.

Standards compliance is all well and good and some browsers are promoted on that basis more than others, but not one of them can deal with standards compliant code properly and Opera is no exception.

I've run more browser and code experiments and tests this last 18 months or so than I care to relive, and they all came to the same conclusions; browsers CAN NOT cope with good code. Period.

Each browser interprets HTML,XHTML and CSS in a completely different manner and the way in which XHTML should be served actually kills it dead in most browsers.

CSS level 1 is still not 100% supported in all mainstream graphical browsers, yet they all claim that it is, and most also claim CSS2 support. Throw anything other than the very simplest CSS and HTML at the top four browsers and you'll get a very wide disparity in the way pages are displayed in them.

Some browsers are more forgiving than others, but all of them fall flat and standards compliant code is not necessarily a step forward in terms of reliable display, although it should still be taken into account when writing sites.

The only reliable way I know of to get a consistent display over all the mainstream browsers is to write browser specific code hacks to take their various idiosyncracies into account.

  Pesala 20:03 26 Feb 2005
  Taran 20:14 26 Feb 2005

So I guess I'll shut up and leave alone what I obviously know nothing about.

  Pesala 20:45 26 Feb 2005

There is nothing wrong with your knowledge of web design, just with the dismissive tone of your comment. I said that most problems with Opera are caused by non compliant code, which is a fair comment.

I never said that Opera is the only browser that renders compliant code or that all pages would render correctly if they used compliant code. Many issues in Opera are caused by faulty code that IE renders fine, because the designer only tested their code in IE.

If webdesigners test their code in different browsers it can only be good for users. I could post links to sites that work fine in Opera, but not in IE, but that is not the point. The question was "why is this happening in Opera?" so let's just try to find out the reason for that instead of starting a browser war.

  Taran 21:55 26 Feb 2005

I'm not going to leave this one alone.

We could go on and for no good reason that I can see.

You did say - you didn't say...

Well, whether it may sound childish or not, if you re-read my above comments, I think you'll find that I never said that you said.

My comments were, in fact, directed at all web browsers abilities (or lack of them more to the point) in dealing with standards compliant code.

How is that in any way inaccurate or dismissive ?

And that got me a nice fat link to a cliche site - thanks for that.

Forgive me if I took it the wrong way but there seems only one way I possibly could take something like that - whether that was your intention or not.

It seems you want your say, which you are entitled to.

I am no less entitled to mine.

This is how it works.

Over the last 18 months or so I've been testing code on different browsers and platforms as part of a large, commercially backed research project.

I've documented all my evidence and the simple statement I ended my last post with "The only reliable way I know of to get a consistent display over all the mainstream browsers is to write browser specific code hacks to take their various idiosyncrasies into account" is a vastly abridged but very accurate summary of the results, not only of my own tests but those of the other participants around the globe.

A link to Joe Wood's page would certainly help solve the issue, but my observations on browser specific code hacks could be construed as a rather heavy hint (which was my intention) to look into that very aspect of this problem as a possible fix.

I seem to remember some rather heated discussions about Opera in the past.

Anyone is entitled to use any browser they like, for whatever reason they might want to; features, personal preference, masochism or pure devilment - any motivation is fine by me. I admire the fact that Joe Wood is testing browser compatibility - I'd like to see more people do the same when designing sites.

I also think that unless there is a very, very simple and obvious code issue at work here (which Joe Wood indicates is not too likely) a browser specific code hack will probably be required to rectify the problem.

If you'd like to see any amount of screen captures from different browsers on Windows, Apple Mac machines and Linux computers when they request fully standards compliant pages and mangle them to varying degrees, feel free to ask. Much of my own findings are also confirmed by two commercial products that perform cross-browser testing and load testing on sites.

fourm member may have the best idea of all, given that Opera has certain weaknesses (depending on the version being used and your point of view personally) with lower page content. Adding a few hard returns into the page could well fix its scrolling issues, although I would never advocate it as good practice - it often works though, despite that fact.

  ThePast 12:29 27 Feb 2005


You claim you documented all your evidence, then why don't you provide a source for your documentation. Without a verifiable source, your claim for documentation is about as solid as a cats fart in a hurricane.

  ThePast 13:04 27 Feb 2005

Joe Wood if you suspect that there still may be parts of your code that are non-standard, try the W3C validator @ click here

  Taran 13:29 27 Feb 2005

I've been called a lot of things and accused of many more - some of them might have even been true.

What I'm not is a liar or fabricator.

I have beta tested for Microsoft and others for a lot of years and I am regularly involved in projects along the lines of the one outlined above.

If you don't want to believe a word I've said that's your prerogative and I'm really not interested in trying to convince anyone otherwise. Personal opinion of me is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. What I object to is this assumption that because I have not instantly provided a documentation source I am somehow making the whole lot up and that my findings are so much drivel.

Releasing my own data is plausible, up to a point and I have already offered that, for genuinely interested parties. Forgive me if I get the impression that you do not fall into this category.

The findings of the project I've been involved in will be made available once all data is collected from all participants and I have no direct control over it since I have merely been testing under certain criteria as requested by the sponsor. As I said, it is/was a commercially backed project and so the data from that experiment does not belong to me.

If you ever do research for another party try publishing it without their direct approval and see where you get. You'll be in pretty deep water in short order.

It is interesting that a few weeks ago I mentioned some of my tests had outlined HTML and CSS as a better potential option than XHTML/CSS in terms of real world accessibility, mainly down to the way in which XHTML should be served as opposed to how it currently IS served. Serving the pages the way they should be kills them dead in anything other than IE. The same claims were later made in several subsequent articles on the web by other authors.

A very large Open Source project for UK local authority Content Management has since gone 'back' to HTML/CSS for this very reason. They found that more browsers could cope with the output properly since XHTML and CSS (to a lesser extent) support is, in fact, quite weak in most browsers while HTML support is comparatively strong.

One of our forum members recently redesigned part a university library website and had to rework some code to browser specific requirements for consistent display.

Here is a statement of fact, not opinion: web browser software is the weak link in page display.

Ask any commercial designer/developer what their biggest headache is and most will have consistent page display over alternative browsers/platforms at or near the top of their list.

It's one of the loudest and most regularly debated moans out there and every commercial designer I know suffers from it to one degree or another.

I'll end by reminding people that this is a family forum with a wide selection of age groups taking part.

  Taran 13:41 27 Feb 2005

If you are using FrontPage 2003, use these options:

Tools >> Optimise HTML

Tools >> Browser Compatability

Tools >> Accessibility

If you are using Dreamweaver:

File >> Check Page

From the subsequent menu options you can:

Check Accessibilty

Check Target Browsers

Validate Markup

When checking against specific target browsers you can change the browser options in Edit >> Preferences >> Validator to take different browsers and versions of them into account.

Adobe GoLive has its own built in syntax checker and most other web code editors like HomeSite and TopStyle have validation tools to check your code for possible errors, many of which will be listed as browser specific, that is, the code will be fine in one or more browsers but will not be supported by others....

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