Fix: display issue affecting IE7 and autoselect
I received the following email from a reader:
"I had an interesting email a few days ago from an IE7 user. He visited www.tigardchurch.org to find most of the text on the Home Page surrounded by “b’s”. I don’t own the site however; my wife is involved with keeping it current. I tested everything from: IE6, Mozilla Firefox to Adobe Safari and it all looked fine. I have held off loading IE7 for 1 yr after release and advised my clients to do so as well. Have you encountered this issue before?"
First of all, I argue strongly against recommending that people stay away from IE7 for "1 yr after release" unless there is a definite reason for deferring installation - that is, there is a line of business application that breaks, or an important Web site affected that you *must* be able to access, and even then I would consider it wiser to install an alternative Browser so that you can view the affected site rather than run the risk of continued exposure to the security exploits that affect IE6 and earlier and do NOT affect IE7. Of course, if a line of business application breaks, then that is something that may force you to defer installing IE7 until the application's vendor resolves the issue.
IE7 includes security updates and improvements that are simply too important to forgo without a good reason - IE7 has been immune to virtually every exploit that has affected IE6. Then there is the Phishing Filter, and Extended Validation Certificate support, and the Add-on Manager. Please don't hold off installing "just in case" or impose a stay-away timeframe.
Now, on to the Web site issues. I have been able to reproduce display problems for the site simply by toggling "Autoselect" under IE7's encoding options (tap the alt key on your keyboard if the Menu Bar is not enabled, then select View, then Encoding. You can turn off Autoselect there.
When I turn on Autoselect the page immediate refreshs and exhibits problems. When I turn off Autoselect and force a refresh of the page, the problem goes away. Examples below:
Unfortunately I simply don't know enough about Web page design and coding to be able to tell you how to fix this. Quick and dirty fix is to advise visitors NOT to enable the Autoselect encoding option, but the site's owners should also have a chat to somebody wiser than me about how to fix the issue, and whether the issue is with IE7 or the site itself.