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Print Styles Equal Difficulties October 22, 2005 – 9:34 p.m. – Permalink

As things began to come together for the launch of ALA 4.0, we realized that the print styles weren’t up to where they needed to be. Thanks to some maddening browser behaviors, articles were printing out partially, or with severely mangled layout. It wasn’t just one browser, either.

ERIC MEYER,
A LIST APART

Or, Firefox Crashed Today (initial title).

About a week ago, I decided to modify my style sheet so it would look good for printing. I decided to use the article Going to Print by Eric Meyer, located at A List Apart. I decided, to make things simple, to test the print style sheets in Mozilla Firefox first.

I don’t know if this was a good choice or not. It took me about two hours just to get the print style sheet the way I wanted. Then I clicked File and Print Preview in Firefox and I was just about to celebrate when ... uh oh, everything is wrong.

After tweaking with my print styles for about an hour longer, I tested them again. The margins were off by a lot. So I went back and adjusted the margin. And, continuously, Firefox became slower and slower as it usually does if it runs for longer periods of time.

Finally I was waiting about ten minutes to upload, reload, select, view, close, and edit Firefox and TopStyle Lite, the CSS editor that I use regularly. The margin was never right and I tried negative margins, no margins at all, even inch–margins. But all to no avail.

After around a half hour of doing this annoying thing, I decided to print out the blog page to test how the lines matched. I was scrolling down the print preview just to check it out, when three things occurred:

  1. Firefox crashed and the ugly Windows error message popped up.
  2. The Firefox Quality Feedback Agent popped up.
  3. A canary popped up.

There was no canary, by the way.

That is the first time in the history of my installing Firefox that it has crashed. And somehow I’m not disappointed at all in Mozilla. Of course, there was a response from my friend Pat, who is an avid fan of Netscape and everything else Netscape. You can guess what the response was.

Then just today I decided to read ALA’s New Print Styles, also by Eric Meyer, regarding ALA 4.0’s new print styles (gee, wonder where they got that title from!). They were having a ton of problems, just as I was.

I think I’m going to jump right back into the print styles and get it right, not only in Firefox but every browser.

Web design is the most obsessive thing in the world.