Valid XHTML 1.1!Valid CSS level 3!MG WebWhoAmIDisplaySitemapContactMG Web License

Tips for displaying

Compatible with:
(Browser logos are registered and unregistered trademarks of their respective owners. Use of these marks does not imply endorsement of the trademark holder by MG Web/Mattia Gentilini, nor vice versa)
Google Chrome
Microsoft Edge
UC Browser
Internet Explorer
Gnome Web
Mozilla Firebird
Netscape Galeon

Supported browsers | Video resolution and colors | Recommended browsers | Known problems

The goal of MG Web sites is to work on every existent browser. However, I chose to support the specifications given by the W3C, i.e. XHTML 1.1 1 and CSS Level 3, and the code for every page is automatically fixed by HTML Tidy before displaying. In particular, if you have a browser with limited or absent support for CSS (like Netscape up to version 4.8), you could have major displaying problems. I don’think I’ll write much code for old browsers, because I think that the use of shared and accepted standards is most important in Web design, more than accesibilty for old-generation browsers, so if you have such I browser it’better to update it. Is it exaggerate? I think that it’s worse to force Web users to a particular browser because of ActiveX controls or other proprietary technology, especially for public interest websites (e.g. institutions)
Instead, MG Web sites are built on open standards (XHTML, CSS, Javascript in some cases), and all the pages with XHTML and CSS validity logos should work perfectly with those (and later) versions of those browsers: Firefox (and probably all derivatives), Safari 1.2, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 5.0, Konqueror 3, Camino 0.7, Opera 7, UC Browser, Epiphany/Gnome Web, Iceweasel, Iceape, IceCat, SeaMonkey, Mozilla 1.0, Firebird 0.6, Netscape 6.0, Galeon 1.2, Lynx 2.8, Links 0.9 and ELinks 0.9. Is that enough?
So, please report only problems with these browsers, after checking the known problems section below. If you have a browser not listed here, test the site and report me your results: if they are OK, I’ll put it in the compatible browsers. You can check your browser version and its capabilities using the link below. Suggestion: don’change your browser identification, as Lynx, Opera, Konqueror and others make possible, except if you want to make tests.

Check your browser version

As for screen resolution, 1024x768x16bpp or better is strongly suggested. For fonts I chose Open Source faces made available by Google Fonts using the CSS @font-face rule, which should work starting from Internet Explorer 6.0, Google Chrome 4.0, Firefox 3.5, Safari 3.1, Opera 9.0 and probably others. Where this doesn't work, I chose font faces that should be available on every device.

^ top

The best browser?

Veeeery humble considerations on current browsers

If you want my opinion about what browser to use, here’s my answer: Firefox (Iceweasel in Debian), for Linux/Windows platforms. Because it is quite light and standards-compliant, it is good to see, it features tabbed browsing, popup blocking, RSS/Atom support, good AJAX support, and because it is OPEN SOURCE, providing you the opportunity to improve it, either participating in the development or writing extensions. That's why it reached, in less than a year after the announcement of 1.0 version, 100 million downloads, and 200 million in 2 years. Particularly suggested is version 2.0, which includes some features from the most used extensions (like RSS/Atom reader built-in and session saving), possibly with Tab Mix Plus extension. And the others?
Mozilla (or SeaMonkey, its respawn, named Iceape in Debian) is heavier and has less graphic integration with modern Windows environments than Firefox (on Linux, SeaMonkey and Firefox use a more up-to-date GTK2 library, while Mozilla uses GTK1); and if you still want its e-mail client, you can easily switch to the stand-alone clone Thunderbird. There’s nothing more to say, as Mozilla uses the same rendering engine as Firefox (called Gecko).
Netscape is not free software, but its rendering engine is based on Mozilla's, and as of version 8 the browser is built on Firefox code and can use, on Windows, the IE rendering engine, for those sites still unaware of the existence of MANY browsers. Probably, many innovations will be implemented in Firefox/Mozilla, but not immediately on Netscape. And IMHO, Netscape graphic is very heavy.
Galeon and Epiphany require GNOME e Mozilla to work, while Firefox only needs GTK2 on Linux. Galeon interface is also more complex, while Epiphany has no RSS/Atom support and a more limited set of extensions.
Konqueror has a compact interface, but it depends on KDE, and this could make the browser slow, especially if you don’use KDE as your desktop manager; like Safari, it has a great CSS2 support, but it doesn’t support inline use of XSLT through the <?xml-stylesheet?> declaration, like Firefox does. Also, like Safari, it is not up-to-date about AJAX support, making some Web applications (like Gmail, Google Reader, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar) not work or work bad.
Internet Explorer? The only positive note up to version 6 is that maybe it still has the best XML/XSLT support, but a very bad CSS support, which makes displaying different from other browsers (there’s also a bad PNG support). AND it will never be open. AND it will never be ported to Linux. AND version 7, which makes things better for CSS, PNG, feeds and tabbed browsing, is available only for Windows XP SP2 and upcoming Vista. It’s good to know, however, that the challenge launched by Firefox had made Microsoft to improve a product that still has about 90% market share.
About Opera, the discussion is more complex. Before 7.50 version it was really upsetting: quite all IE problems (but with Linux support), very heavy interface, a nonsense THIRTY-FOUR (34) euros price, which (if not paid) led to heavier ads. With 7.50, things went better: lighter interface, more standards-compliant, a complete Internet Suite (with mail user agent et al.). Then, with 8.02, Opera went free. Now, Opera is a good browser, but if you want your browser to share the look n’ feel of your GUI, or a if you want a standalone browser, then it’not for you.
So, I suggest to install Firefox (which also has a beautiful eye-catching logo). You’ll always get the best displaying of MG Web pages. At least, avoid Internet Explorer before version 7.
What about Mac? I don’know what to choose between Camino, Safari or Firefox itself; the first and the third are indeed more “free” than the second (which, moreover, is available only for Mac OS X), but Safari seems to be faster and more robust (surely Safari on MacOS X is better than IE on Windows), and it has probably the best CSS2 support available and a good built-in RSS/Atom reader (developed before those of IE7 and Fx2). Alas, like Konqueror, AJAX support is weaker than in IE/Firefox, making applications like Gmail chat not work. My choice (I have a MacBook since November 2006) is to use Safari, switching to Camino/Firefox whenever necessary. Probably, a Safari with a full support of AJAX will definitely be the best choice.

^ top

Known problems

* Massive use of entities (thanks to Tidy) would permit better visualization of non-7bit characters, like accented letters, euro symbol, typographic quotes and apostrophes etc. In some cases (especially with text browsers) you should have to manually set the encoding to ISO-8859-15 or ISO-8859-1 (UTF-8 for some pages); with old browsers, some entities would not be displayed correctly.

* Fixed positioning property, a CSS2 feature, is not supported by Internet Explorer up to version 6; PNG handling is also faulty (both things are corrected from version 7). This will lead to a slighty different displaying for some pages.

* Currently there is no mobile version of the site; only MG Web homepage was adapted. This is work in progress; I want to make both a specific address for mobile (something like and a auto-redirect on “mobile” version if a device of that kind is found. I want to point out that mobile/non mobile device recognition is done through User-Agent processing with the browscap.ini by Browser Capabilities Project, so any error is their fault :-)

1There is a difference between XHTML 1.1 and XHTML 1.0 Strict that gives me problems in migrating pages to the newer standard.
It is the absence of the name attribute in the <map> element. Ideally, browser had to find a client-side image map using the id attribute; actually, all browsers use name and don’t consider id if used alone. The problem is that, with 1.1, you can’t specify both id and name attributes to solve the problem, like you can do with 1.0 Strict, because the document wouldn’t be valid 1.1. So you have to remove image maps or keep 1.0 version.
There is only one page with client-side maps in sites hosted by MG Web, and it is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict; the other pages are all valid XHTML 1.1.

W3C®, XHTML, CSS are registered and unregistered trademarks of World Wide Web Consortium (MIT, ERCIM, Keio).

^ top

MG logo Mattia Gentilini

MG WebWhoAmIDisplaySitemapContactMG Web License
Last update: 2020-10-01 11:22:58