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IE6 Quirks Mode

The Fog Creek comment at the top of the HTML seems to trigger quirks mode in IE6 regardless of the DOCTYPE specified. I suspect this because the text on my web site appears at the wrong size when the comment is there, and at the right size when I delete it. I am using font-size: small to set the text size in CSS.

Rev. Dominic Lloyd
Friday, September 20, 2002

How much I hate the first comment, it works fine for me in IE6. Please provide more info (url etc.)

Adriaan van den Brand
Friday, September 20, 2002

The URL is . If you go there with IE6, you should see text in a reasonable size, assuming that text size is set to medium in your browser. This is caused, I think, by the browser being in quirks mode due to the Fog Creek comment before the DOCTYPE. Now do a search for something like "sugar". In the search results, the text is too small. This, I think, is caused by the browser now being in standards mode, since there is no comment before the DOCTYPE. If I take this source and put any kind of comment before the DOCTYPE, or any characters at all before the DOCTYPE, the text size changes to the correct size, presumably due to the browser changing to quirks mode.

So in this case, quirks mode is actually better, but I would prefer to have a choice, rather than being forced into quirks mode.

Of course, there could be another explanation for all of this. Thanks for having a look.

Rev. Dominic Lloyd
Friday, September 20, 2002

You use a import with a relative URL, whilst your search comes external to your site, and therefore the stylesheet can not be imported. Use full URL to stylesheet.

By the way: I don't believe your DTD is set correctly. It won't bother the browser however.

Adriaan van den Brand
Sunday, September 22, 2002

I put together a test to show that the Fog Creek comment triggers quirks mode in IE6. To see this in IE6, go to

Then go to

Actually any comment above the DOCTYPE has the same effect on IE6, so it does not seem to be a very good place for a comment.

Rev. Dominic Lloyd
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

So, if you don't want quirk mode what do you do?

Joel C. Goldstick
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

As far as I know, if you are using CityDesk and you don't want quirks mode in IE6, you are out of luck unless you remove the comment yourself. I wrote a Delphi program that removes this comment from every page on my web site. It works fine, and solves the problem, but eliminates some of the convenience of using CityDesk.

If anyone knows of another way to solve this problem, I would be glad to hear about it. But I think the best solution would be for Fog Creek to eliminate the comment, or at least move it so it's not before the DOCTYPE.

Rev. Dominic Lloyd
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

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