RSS 2.0 Feed
RSS 2.0


Atom 1.0 Feed
Atom 1.0

  Rendering Size (and other things) Correctly in FireFox 


One thing that I just can't stand, is when a web page I build looks different in FireFox than how it looks in IE. Well, who doesn't?! The thing that really sucks is that there are things build in to how ASP.NET works that will cause this to happen. So unless you're checking your pages in FireFox (and other browsers) than you can bet they'll render quite a bit differently than in IE.

There's many things that will render differently in IE and FireFox, however, there are a few things that annoy me. First, is the “Width” property for server controls such as TextBox, Label, Button, etc. Try adding a TextBox to an ASP.NET page. Set it's Width property to something (“125“, “125px“, “80%“, etc - anything). Now take a look at the page in IE and also in FireFox. Notice something? That's right. You see the TextBox sized to the specified width in IE, but not in FireFox.

TextBox with Width property set in Internet Explorer   TextBox with Width property set in FireFox

Notice how the TextBoxes and Button properly reflect the specified Width in IE, but they apprear to be ignored in FireFox? Here's why this happens. If you look at the source of the page in each browser, you'll notice that the TextBox is rendered as follows in IE:

<input name="Textbox1" type="text" id="Textbox1" style="width:100%;" />

Now look at the source in FireFox and you'll notice the TextBox is rendered differently:

<input name="Textbox1" type="text" id="Textbox1" />

Obviously, the reason why we don't see the TextBoxes with the specified width in FireFox is because they are rendered without the width set at all. That just sucks. The reason why the TextBox's Width property is rendered as style=”width:125px;” in IE but not in FireFox is because FireFox is seen as a down-level browser in ASP.NET 1.x so it is rendered without the style attribute. Just lame. Well, you have a couple of routes to fix this problem. First route you can take is to not use the Width property. You can either set the width in the style yourself, or use the Columns property instead. If you set the Columns property to something like Columns=30, it will render as Size=30 and all will be well with both IE and FireFox. However, the Columns property is less flexible (con't set a percentage etc), so you might just want to set the Width in the style, such as style=”width:100%;”.

This is all fine a great, but we're really only fixing the manifestation of the problem and not the problem itself and that is no good. A better way to fix the problem is to force ASP.NET to recognize FireFox as an up-level browser that supports things like style, etc so that controls will automagically render themselves properly as they do in IE. To do this, we can either modify the web.config file for the web page or modify the machine.config file so that the change is recognized in all sites/pages hosted on that machine. By modifying/adding the browserCaps section of the config file you can add an expression to match the user-agent of mozilla/gecko based browsers, such as FireFox, to properly identify that browser as an up-level browser. Basically the System.Web.HttpBrowserCapabilities class reads the config information, matches on the user-agent and then decides how to render thigns based on what it knows about the browser (or doesn't know about the browser because it didn't match on the user-agent and assumes down-level). You can see more about what to modify in the browserCaps of the config file, as well as download an already modified config file from slingfive.com.

Basically, adding the appropriate sections to your browserCaps section of your config file, FireFox will be detected and the style=”width:125px;” will be rendered with the TextBox so all the sizes will be right. Unless you don't have access to the file system on the web server, I'd suggest just making the change to the machine.config file and be done with it, otherwise you'll just have to remember to add that to the web.config for any projects you do from then on. Since the machine.config isn't as deployable as the web.config, you might consider leaving it in the web.config for any applications that might be deployed to customers or as a commercial product.

This change to the config file fixes a lot of things with how pages are rendered for FireFox, such as how Panels are rendered. Add a panel on a page:

<asp:Panel id="Panel1" runat="server">ASP.NET Panel</asp:Panel>

You'll notice in IE, it is rendered as follows:

<div id="Panel1">ASP.NET Panel</div>

In FireFox, the same panel will be rendered as a table:

<table id="Panel1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" width="100%">
    <tr>
        <td>ASP.NET Panel</td>
    </tr>
</table>

This might end up looking right, but it also might not. Either way, you don't need/want more tables in your rendered HTML slowing down the page and increasing to the size of thigns. This problem, and many others, are also fixed by modifying the browserCaps section of your config file.

Modifying the config file to recognize FireFox as an up-level browser won't fix all your problems, but it will fix quite a few things that should just work right out of the box.




                   



Leave a comment below.

Comments

  1. Kent J. Chen's Tech Space 9/7/2005 12:05 AM
    Gravatar
  2. Juan Carlos 9/7/2005 1:47 AM
    Gravatar
    Your better option is to get ASP.NET to create HTML that is standards-compliant and forces browsers to adhere to standards. ASP.NET 1.x renders an incomplete doc type that forces IE and other browsers to render in Quirks mode, which will guarantee that everything will often look different on different browsers.

    If you want things to look as exact as possible in as many modern browsers as possible, use standards compliant doc types. How you do that in ASP.NET 1.x? With a lot of difficulty -- do not use the visual designer, and in HTML view always ensure a standards compliant doc type at the top. The moment you switch to the visual designer, it will screw up your settings.

    Another option: use XML/XSL instead (but compile and cache the XSL first for performance. Sometimes I have seen this being much more performant than the controls! But you have to be careful with your XSL. Override Render completely so that XSL does full output.)

    Another option: wait for ASP.NET 2 and Visual Studio 2005, which will support standards compliant doc types.

    Lastly, remove all visual attributes and use CSS strictly for visual presentation. (When you do this though, you will find IE really sucks at CSS, until IE 7, hopefully!)
  3. Josh 9/7/2005 8:07 AM
    Gravatar
    Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks Ryan.
  4. Ryan Farley 9/7/2005 8:54 AM
    Gravatar
    Juan,

    Well, that's all great in a perfect world. But I live in a world where I just need to deliver good solutions to my clients within the budget set for the project. I don't want (or have time) to reinvent the wheel. I want to use ASP.NET and the server controls available and just have them look the same in the various major browsers out there.

    Do I care about standards? Abolutely! Do my clients? Not really. I do take every opportunity to make my ASP.NET apps standards compliant, but the only way I could really do that 100% as you suggest is to not use VS and the server controls provided with ASP.NET. Sure you won't have that problem by emitting XML/XSL for the pages, build my own variant of server controls, or override the render of the ones that come OOTB (which all of these I do when the project requires).

    I just want what any web developer out there wants. To use the tools that allow me to keep my clients projects within budget and be productive - while having things look the same in the various browsers out there.

    -Ryan
  5. Juan Carlos 9/8/2005 2:38 AM
    Gravatar
    "Well, that's all great in a perfect world. But I live in a world where I just need to deliver good solutions to my clients within the budget set for the project. I don't want (or have time) to reinvent the wheel."

    I use the XML/XSL solution on some very large sites.

    You want to understandably "use the tools that allow me to keep my clients projects within budget and be productive - while having things look the same in the various browsers out there" and not "reinvent the wheel".

    What I am saying is actually about using more standards technologies to create standards-compliant output!

    Saying that, I fully appreciate that there is a learning curve for XSL, standards-compliant/semantic XHTML, CSS, unobtrusive DOM Scripting etc.

    But, ASP.NET 1.x doesn't product standards compliant output, so I am genuinely curious to know how you "do take every opportunity to make my ASP.NET apps standards compliant." The only ways I know are the ones listed above. If you have other suggestions, I would be very interested to read them.

    By the way, if it helps, here is a site that provides a nice intro to standards-based development.

    http://www.maccaws.org/kit/way-forward/

    (apologies if a smililar post was made earlier. I had an error first time posting, so had to type all this again!)
  6. Milan Negovan 9/8/2005 5:39 AM
    Gravatar
    Oh, about the Panel control. I banned it from our product at work for the exact same reason you mention above.

    I use PlaceHolder instead because it has no visual representation and is a nice way to group controls. You can't apply styles to it via properties, but you know the hassle with uplevel and downlevel browser detection. I simply put controls in the PlaceHolder and assign them proper IDs or add inline CSS styling. Works like charm.

    Blame Adaptive Rendering! :) http://www.aspnetresources.com/blog/adaptive_rendering_redux.aspx
  7. Jayant Apte 9/21/2005 9:59 PM
    Gravatar
    Thanks man. Your solution works awesome. Cheers!
  8. Kipp 9/22/2005 10:51 AM
    Gravatar
    Thanks for the solution Ryan. Great blog.
  9. Manish Agrawal 9/27/2005 11:53 PM
    Gravatar
    Thanks Ryan,

    This is the information I was looking for and you have explained this very nicely.
  10. Bernie Reyes 10/4/2005 3:43 PM
    Gravatar
    You're a lifesaver. Thank you so much for posting this solution.
  11. John 10/13/2005 2:28 AM
    Gravatar
    I have exactley the opposite problem. How to force IE to render a table as designed. In Firefox the table displays as intended and uses about half the screen, in IE the table expands so that to view the rest of the page you have to scroll. In Firefox the table looks great, in IE from a design point of view it just doesn't work.
  12. Joe 11/25/2005 12:34 AM
    Gravatar
    Does anyone use RichTextBox? ... i applied the browser caps and everything works fine ... except for my RichTextBox ... the text editing buttons are all missing ... it appears in IE but not firefox ... but without the browser caps firefox looks crap ... but the RichTextBox displays fine .. I've tried to find a way around this but haven't yet figured it out ... any suggestions that might help?
  13. Nik 3/25/2006 4:33 AM
    Gravatar
    Bit late in the day, but still...

    Surely the title of this post should be "Rendering Size (and other things) Correctly in Internet Explorer"? Seeing as how IE is clearly poor and Firefox renders HTML correctly according to W3C standards...

    Also "FireFox is seen as a down-level browser in ASP.NET 1.x so it is rendered without the style attribute. Just lame." Damn straight. What kind of madness is it to ignore Firefox in that manner? Clearly the issue of lameness lies with .Net failing the third-party browser demographic.

    I guess it's pointless mentioning this now anyway as net2 seems much better :)
  14. matt del vecchio 5/16/2006 11:20 AM
    Gravatar
    the Panel is a big disappointment, once you learn about complaiant HTML. instead of the Panel control, i use a div, w/ an ID and runat=server attributes. presto...generic html containers w/ child contents, which i can programmatically control (toggle visiblity, etc).

    my last probect is in ASP.NET 2.0, yet i still see non-standards compliant naming conventions used by it... it will start html element IDs w/ an underscore ("_"), which is not compliant.


  15. Sensy 6/20/2006 4:42 AM
    Gravatar
    Thanx mate. For this I give you 2 thumbs up. You made my day!!

    I got you bookmarked :)
  16. Max 8/16/2006 3:05 PM
    Gravatar
    Thank you soooooo much!
  17. Nataraj.k 9/6/2006 11:12 PM
    Gravatar
    This is ok, but its not working for <asp:FileUpload> style="width:0px"
    can u give suggestion or solution for this. i dont want to the textbox attached to browse button in fileupload control. its working in IE but not in firefox.
    send reply to
    meetnati@yahoo.co.in
  18. fabricio 9/18/2006 8:40 AM
    Gravatar
    thank you, its that i need to make my site working in firefox...

  19. Andrew 10/2/2006 5:09 PM
    Gravatar
    Thankyou! This page is a Godsend for those of us who are stuck with ASP.NET 1.1 for the time being.

    Cheers!
  20. Will 11/7/2006 6:20 PM
    Gravatar
    Rock it baby!
  21. I tried all this 1/22/2007 10:55 AM
    Gravatar
    and nothing works.
    both browsers renders asp.net text boxes server control perfectly
  22. host 6/13/2007 11:32 AM
    Gravatar
    the Panel is a big disappointment, once you learn about complaiant HTML. instead of the Panel control, i use a div, w/ an ID and runat=server attributes. presto...generic html containers w/ child contents, which i can programmatically control (toggle visiblity, etc).

    my last probect is in ASP.NET 2.0, yet i still see non-standards compliant naming conventions used by it... it will start html element IDs w/ an underscore ("_"), which is not compliant.
  23. Nilu 6/18/2007 2:21 AM
    Gravatar
    Awesome! Thanks Ryan!
    :-)
  24. Ed Winchester 7/6/2007 8:29 AM
    Gravatar
    back to the first issue- width of the textbox that autmatically comes with the asp:FileUpload control.
    I entered
    <asp:FileUpload runat="server" id="ctlFile" Columns="60" />

    but it had no effect. Columns = "60" works fine with Firefox with standard asp textboxes but the with the asp:FileUpload control textbox.

    I also added the BrowserCaps section to my web.config, but no luck.

    I want the user to be able to see the full pathname for the uploaded file, before clicking Upload.

    Any suggestions.
  25. nrocha 9/14/2007 5:09 AM
    Gravatar
    For the asp:FileUpload control, if you put size="100%" in the control declaration, it renders with the size you requested both in IE7 and FF2
  26. zeeshan 10/15/2007 3:20 AM
    Gravatar
    //For the asp:FileUpload control, if you put size="100%" in the control declaration, it renders with the size you requested both in IE7 and FF2

    I tried setting width="100%" but problem remains the same, it still looks weired in ff2
  27. ArturoMar 3/10/2008 10:44 AM
    Gravatar
    Thanks Ryan:

    I just follow the link
    BrowserCaps and other Browser Testing/Detection Resources - slingfive.com

    ...downloaded the web.config example and copy-paste the browserCaps section.

    After that, like magic, my problem was solved.

    Thank you very much.
  28. Desmond 6/13/2008 8:26 AM
    Gravatar
    This is not the case. FF is a far better browser and it is IE that sucks. Also it is bad programming practise to set the with as 125 as you state in the top of your page. You must use units px or em the following works fine in both FF2 and IE7

    <html>
    <body>
    <form>

    <input type="text" style="width:100px;" value="test"><br>
    <input type="text" style="width:70px;" value="test">

    </form>
    </body>
    </html>
  29. Ryan Farley 7/25/2008 10:10 AM
    Gravatar
    Hi Desmond,

    I'm not sure you really read the post, did you? You're saying exactly what the article says.

    -Ryan
  30. karthikeyan 3/9/2010 11:26 PM
    Gravatar
    sir i have problem on browser capabilities in developing web page in asp .net. in IE browser its running properly but in fire fox have problem. i used this code for creating panel
    <tr>
    <td colspan="2" align="center"><div>
    <asp:Panel ID="Panel1" runat="server" Height="50px" Width="1000px" BackColor="Silver" GroupingText="Search Result" >
    <asp:GridView ID="GridView1" runat="server" BackColor="#CCCCCC" BorderColor="#999999" BorderStyle="Solid" BorderWidth="3px" CellPadding="4" Width="705px" CellSpacing="2" ForeColor="Black" AutoGenerateColumns="False" PageSize="5">
    <Columns>
    <asp:BoundField ReadOnly=True HeaderText="Employeename" DataField="firstname" />
    <asp:BoundField ReadOnly=True HeaderText="Designation" DataField="designation" SortExpression="desig" />
    <asp:BoundField ReadOnly=True HeaderText="WorkExperience" DataField="workexp" SortExpression="wrexp" />
    <asp:BoundField ReadOnly=True HeaderText="EmployeeID" DataField="empid" SortExpression="empid" />
    <asp:BoundField ReadOnly=True HeaderText="Technology" DataField="technology" SortExpression="tech" />
    <asp:BoundField ReadOnly=True HeaderText="Domain" DataField="domain" SortExpression="domain" />
    </Columns>
    <FooterStyle BackColor="#CCCCCC" />
    <RowStyle BackColor="White" />
    <SelectedRowStyle BackColor="#000099" Font-Bold="True" ForeColor="White" />
    <PagerStyle BackColor="#CCCCCC" ForeColor="Black" HorizontalAlign="Left" />
    <HeaderStyle BackColor="Black" Font-Bold="True" ForeColor="White" />
    </asp:GridView>
    </asp:Panel></div>
    </td>
    </tr>

    how to clear this problem help me pls..
Comments have been closed on this topic.



 

News


Also see my CRM Developer blog

Connect:              


Sponsor

Sections