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  • Need help understanding Opera

    I'm supposed to be ignoring Opera for the time being and just getting my site up and running, but this problem is really driving me crazy. Here's the issue. I have implemented pull-down menus for my site using JavaScript. They work great in all browsers EXCEPT Opera. In Opera, they don't show up at all. I know that JavaScript is turned on because I have a rollover image that DOES work in Opera. It's just the menus that don't. (A bit of a navigation problem for users.)

    When I try inserting "alert" commands into my Javascript code to help me debug it, they don't show up either. Write/writeln also shows nothing. There are NO errors generated in the Javascript. It's just that no menus appear. The Javascript source says it works in Opera, and in fact when I run the sample provided with the source FROM THAT SITE in my Opera browser, I do see the menus. But, if I copy the exact code to my own server and look at it in the same browser window, NOTHING shows up!

    If I could just view the output of my alert statements, I might be able to start debugging it. But as it stands, I'm completely in the dark.

    Does anyone (perhaps David? ) have any advice as to how I might figure out what the problem is?

    Thanks, Jeanie

  • #2
    I normally surf using Opera, and have had no end of problems with it not seeing pull down menu's not allowing me onto secure sites, etc. There is a new version of Opera out that fixes alot of the old problem, Opera 7.

    Just out of curiosity which version are you running?



    • #3
      Sorry - I should have mentioned that. I'm using Opera 7.



      • #4
        I had never tried Opera before so I downloaded it just now and tried it with my sites. For the Mac, the current version is 6.

        I've been merrily creating web sites using CSS and divs for positioning things on my pages and like you Jeanie, I had a version that used pull down menus - they aren't there and my navigation that hides and shows divs doesn't work either.

        The version that uses tables works fine in Opera and it seems to be the only one that works consistently in all the browsers.

        I was hoping to avoide having a dozen pages to display so little information, but I guess it can't be avoided for the time being.

        Sorry Jeanie, I don't have any ideas about getting your drop down menus working, but if I come across anything I'll let you know.



        • #5
          Debugging: the process by which a programmer gets his program to fail in ever more interesting ways

          Here's what I've figured out so far:

          In my page, I have an area that consists of several div's all occupying the same space all have visibility set to "hidden" by stylesheet. There is a row of "buttons" along the top of the div's and when the user clicks on a button, that div should be revealed. (think of a settings dialog box with tabs across the top that allow you to access different settings)

          When the page loads, the javascript is run to set the visibility of the first div to "visible" and that works correctly BUT, when I click on any of the other tabs, the area goes blank.

          I inserted "alert" at various places in the javascript and discovered that the other divs were in fact being correctly set to visible; indeed while the alert box was on the screen, the div was visible. As soon as I dismissed the alert box, the div disappeared.

          My conclusion is that for some reason in opera it is going back to the html to display the div and sees the class (where the visibility is hidden) and hides the div again.

          Now that I know what's happening, hopefully I'll be able to find a workaround.

          The page in question is here

          Now that I've ftp'd it to the server, I see that it won't work at all in Opera

          Feel free to pick it apart, I'm going out for a bit, but I'll be looking for your comments when I get back.

          Take care, Margaret


          • #6
            Margaret, you can actually SEE your alert boxes in Opera?? I've never seen one on my page, and I inserted dozens of them at one point!

            I don't know if this will make you feel any better or not, but on my PC (running Windows XP) in Opera 7, your buttons do work!! I can see very little difference between in your page displayed in IE6, Netscape 7 and Opera 7.



            • #7
              OK, so let me ask this question (mostly directed at Clare, but anyone else feel free to comment): If your experience with Opera is that you have "no end of problems with it not seeing pull down menus", then why do you use it? When you run into problems on a site, do you end up blaming the website for not coding correctly or assume that the browser is not rendering correctly?

              And most importantly, do you use another browser to view the site or do you skip it and move on? I'm not asking to be flip, I really want to know b/c your answer may determine how much time and energy I put into fixing my site to work in Opera (if it's even possible.)

              Thanks for any insight into various browsing habits and mentality!

              For those of you just dying to know what my site looks like so far, you can sneak a peak here. (I only have the first page up, so the menu items won't take you anywhere.) From my testing so far, it works perfectly in IE5-6 and Netscape 7. Usable, but not pretty in Netscape 6-6.2. Unusable in Opera 7 (and the last I heard, Safari). I'm not really ready for much feedback yet. (There's not much to give feedback on and I'm still making changes daily. ) But, I thought it might help show the problem I'm having in Opera if you could actually access the site.



              • #8
                Hey jeanie,

                the site preview is looking good, I really like your idea of the image fading back and forth between before and after using flash, it's very effective. as for Opera, the reason I use it is none of the other browsers I've tried could match it for speed, it's fast and I can't live without my "tabbed browsing" feature. if a site doesn't display correctly, then I just go right to IE to see if it works. but I know that a lot of people wouldn't even try, they'd just figure it was a site that was not working or buggy and leave. one idea occured to me, I'm sure you've already spent a lot of time on the menu system (which I like, I looked at it in IE), but you could maybe make one using flash? I'm not sure how well or if that would work, but it's a possiblity anyway.

                - David


                • #9
                  Hi Jeanie, Good news!! Your site looks wonderful in Safari now - I read back over my notes from before and everything that was wrong before is fixed. The only thing is that the text doesn't flow properly around the Flash image - there are a couple of lines of text at the top of the page, then the image is at the left side, with nothing beside it and then the rest of the text is below the image.

                  I used Safari first so I didn't see anything wrong with the text flow until I looked at it in IE. Safari is still in development, so I wouldn't worry about it.

                  IE and Netscape 7 both work flawlessly, and it looks good in Opera 6, but as you said, the menus don't show up.

                  On Netscape 6, the Flash doesn't load but it's trying to because the text flows properly and when I right click where the flash should be, I get the flash menu (play, rewind etc.)

                  Netscape 4.7 - the page loads quickly, the menus work, the flash loads, the text flows, everything lines up - you are a miracle worker!! I've never been able to get anything to line up on Netscape 4.7

                  I wouldn't worry about Netscape 6 on the Mac, I don't think anyone ever used it <g>

                  As to your other question, I use the Safari browser because it has some features I like and it's fast. If a page doesn't work in Safari, I jump to one of the other browsers.

                  The one group you might want to pursue is the AOL crowd. My sister is on AOL, and we've found that pages that work fine for me don't work on AOL.

                  I know I've probably given you too much information again, sorry, Margaret


                  • #10
                    David, thanks for responding to my questions re: browsing with Opera. Maybe someday in the future I can use Flash to make a menu, but to be honest, I have a LOT to learn in Flash before I'd be up for something like that. I somehow learned just enough to kludge together the movie that you see on my home page, but that's it! So, I came up with the idea of putting a background graphic in that portion of the my table telling the user to click on my sitemap link which I just added to the bottom of all of my pages. It's not elegant (in fact, it's pretty klunky ), but it will provide an alternate navigation method. Do you think that would keep people from leaving the site right away? (BTW, the sitemap isn't usable right now - just a place holder until I can create a "real" one.)

                    And do you have any idea why I might not be able to see my debugging alert pop-ups in Opera? (Do you know if there is an Opera forum where I can ask questions?)

                    Margaret, there is no such thing as too much feedback as far as I'm concerned! Every bit helps at this point. I'm glad to hear that my site is looking a little better in Safari. And it works in Netscape 4.7?!? It doesn't work at all in Netscape 4.8 on a PC! How strange. (I've already decided I'm not going to worry about Netscape 4.x. I don't really have a prayer that my site will work in those versions, so I don't know why I continue to test my site with them. ) I've got AOL covered since that's what my sister also uses (and I'm visiting her right now.) I haven't encountered any problems so far with my site, but I have experienced other sites that have severe problems in the AOL browser.

                    Thanks again for the feedback.



                    • #11

                      you could try posting in the opera newsgroup:opera.general , or there's the official opera forums here

                      - David


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jeaniesa
                        OK, so let me ask this question (mostly directed at Clare, but anyone else feel free to comment): If your experience with Opera is that you have "no end of problems with it not seeing pull down menus", then why do you use it? When you run into problems on a site, do you end up blaming the website for not coding correctly or assume that the browser is not rendering correctly?

                        And most importantly, do you use another browser to view the site or do you skip it and move on?

                        Hello Jeanie,

                        I use Opera because I don't like IE, I like the fact that when downloading and testing web pages they are all kept neatly in one program not spread all over the taskbar. If I come across a site that doesn't apear to be working in Opera I look at the content that has downloaded - if it seems to be of interest or have answers to my questions I go to IE and view it there. The only time I don't do this is if in the inical download I think 'nope not on there', regarding what I am looking for.

                        If I was looking for Restoration and came across your site, I have enough information (in Opera) on the first page that would make me switch browsers. The site map is a good idea for those who really don't want to change. I would also put an email address on the front page so if people were really having problems but wanted to get in touch they could.

                        There are some web sites that I go to (used to include retouchpro) that I know before I start they just don't run properly for these I don't even bother with Opera, just go straight to IE. Opera 7 now shows this site properly

                        Your Flash graphic was well worth the effort, it looks fantastic

                        Your flash bar is working okay in my version of Opera and IE



                        • #13
                          Thanks for the feedback - I'm glad to know that the tab bar is working. Now I can move on.

                          My site seems so plain compared to your's, but the audience for my will be no-nonsense long-haul truckers, so I was going for a down-to-earth look and feel.

                          Take care, Margaret


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by winwintoo
                            My site seems so plain compared to your's, but the audience for my will be no-nonsense long-haul truckers, so I was going for a down-to-earth look and feel.
                            It's not plain, you have conceptualized it for the viewing audience, thats what makes the design work


                            • #15
                              David, Thanks for the Opera resources. I really appreciate it!!

                              Clare, Thanks for your feedback - and for the idea of the e-mail link on the first page. Good idea. Do you think it would be enough to include the link in my copyright statement, or should it be more prominent? Perhaps as a link in my first sentence for "Lotus Flower Imaging Solutions"? So many details...

                              Margaret, I can guarantee that if any truckers visited a site created for them with my design, they'd be running in the opposite direction. Your site design is perfect for your audience - and that's the first element of a good design!

                              Thanks again, you all are the BEST!!



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