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Forum: Bug Report and Feature Requests

Views on various Browsers

Capt Zapp
Updated:

I was checking out the new listing formats Lazeez implemented when I came across something I hadn't noticed before.

When using Firefox on my laptop or the built-in browser on my Android tablet and do a category search, I get the following:

Search By Category (DEMO PAGE)

Select all the categories that you would like to find

for more information on what the codes mean Read the FAQs.


When I do a category search using Chrome on my tablet, it gives a list of 'popular combinations'. It does NOT give this list using Chrome on my laptop.

Does the site use some special coding to determine which browser is being used? If so, which browser is recommended for SoL?

I also notice that SoL does not seem to detect when I am on my tablet and automatically switch viewing formats. My tablet is running Android 4.1.1

Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

When using Firefox on my laptop or the built-in browser on my Android tablet and do a category search, I get the following:

Search By Category (DEMO PAGE)

Select all the categories that you would like to find

for more information on what the codes mean Read the FAQs.


On my desktop (windows 7) using Firefox

I see the "Select all the categories that you would like to find for more information on what the codes mean Read the FAQs."

But not the (DEMO PAGE)

This is likely because you don't have a premier membership or you're not logged in to the site properly on the laptop. Category search is a premier feature.

When I do a category search using Chrome on my tablet, it gives a list of 'popular combinations'. It does NOT give this list using Chrome on my laptop.


I have been a premier member for many years. I have used the site with both MS IE and Firefox. I don't recall ever seeing a list of "popular combinations" for the category search.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Many people have also noted that the Forum response feature doesn't function properly on phones and tablets (it doesn't attach the previous message).

Ernest Bywater

Access to your higher level SoL services due to being logged in are recognised via a cookie SoL sends you when you log in, and it gets stored in one of the browser's folders. So, if you use multiple browser you may have to log in for each one; some browser save the cookie into a system folder and they get to share, but not always. Also, with multiple
devices you need to log in with each one. I use a tablet for reading in the bath and my desktop for most reading at SoL. Whenever I get a major upgrade of the tablet software I have to log into SoL on it again, but then I'm automatically logged in until the next upgrade wipes out the cookie. Meanwhile, my desktop stays permanently logged into SoL.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Many people have also noted that the Forum response feature doesn't function properly on phones and tablets (it doesn't attach the previous message).


Not really relevant to my comment the (Demo Page) note on the category search is a clear indicator that he isn't a premier member or isn't logged in.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

I'm not a Premier member, but I am logged in. I was wondering why the (supposedly) same browser shows different things on different devices. I wish Google on the laptop would give the 'popular combinations' too.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
sejintenej

Interestingly I changed the settings on my iPad Safari (latest OS) to minimalist and increased the text size several times but those actions had zero effect on the display of the home page nor a story which I pulled up.
Went back to my Windows7 IE laptop and found it had been changed from Classic to minimalist but the display on the home page and on a story page was also unchanged from the Classic
In fact I am happy with the standard Classic display, thanks Lazeez.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt Zapp

I was wondering why the (supposedly) same browser shows different things on different devices.


Mobile devices like smart-phones and tablets don't have the computing power or screen space of a notebook or desktop, thus the browser is cut back a bit to suit the capabilities of the devices, Fire Fox has two basic versions: mobile and PC - and the mobile version is et up for tablets and smart-phones with restrictions to suit their screens and the average capabilities of the devices in general. While the PC version is the full blown FF.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Capt Zapp

Search By Category (DEMO PAGE)


Demo page is shown to non-premier visitors, whether logged in or not.

When I do a category search using Chrome on my tablet, it gives a list of 'popular combinations'. It does NOT give this list using Chrome on my laptop.


Popular combinations are shown to unlogged users. This is for the benefit of search engines mostly. For non-logged in users, the tags themselves are also clickable.

Does the site use some special coding to determine which browser is being used? If so, which browser is recommended for SoL?


The site doesn't do browser detection except to decide whether to serve mobile pages or full sized desktop pages. But not for features.

I develop and test on a Mac, using Safari (I like its developer tools), so best client side functionality is on Safari for Mac. I do my best to test with firefox and chrome and make sure those work because they're both available for Mac.

I can't test with IE/Trident (whatever Microsoft's browser is called these days) because I don't have a windows machine as it's a security risk to be on my networks.

I also test with iPhones and iPads and an android tablet, because that's all I have.

Some things don't work on iPhones and tablets, like the auto-scroller. I could never get to work properly on those. I works well on some versions of iOS, but not others.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

Many people have also noted that the Forum response feature doesn't function properly on phones and tablets (it doesn't attach the previous message).


It works on iPhones and iPads. I haven't tested on android or windows mobile.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@sejintenej

Interestingly I changed the settings on my iPad Safari (latest OS) to minimalist and increased the text size several times but those actions had zero effect on the display of the home page nor a story which I pulled up.


The new themes are strictly for story listings. They don't affect the library, the home page nor the stories. Stories have always had a different styling system to allow fine control over readability for long text passages. Different requirements :)

Capt Zapp

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Popular combinations are shown to unlogged users. This is for the benefit of search engines mostly. For non-logged in users, the tags themselves are also clickable.


I went back and checked and I was not logged in on the tablet as I had assumed.

The site doesn't do browser detection except to decide whether to serve mobile pages or full sized desktop pages. But not for features.


When I log in on my tablet, it doesn't switch to mobile view.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Capt Zapp

When I log in on my tablet, it doesn't switch to mobile view.


Tablets aren't supposed to get mobile view. They get the desktop view. However, if a tablet is detected properly (like an iPad), then you get a hybrid view.

Send me a message from your tablet on the Webmaster contact form for me to get the user agent string from it and I'll see if I can make the system recognize it as a tablet.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thanks Lazeez.

Actually, now that I have switched to Chrome on the tablet, the desktop view is fine. The problem must be with the 'stock' browser on the tablet.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I develop and test on a Mac, using Safari (I like its developer tools), so best client side functionality is on Safari for Mac. I do my best to test with firefox and chrome and make sure those work because they're both available for Mac.

I've avoided using Chrome on my Mac because of reports of it's horrendous resource hogging (cutting battery life substantially). I can see you testing it for compatibility, but until they rectify their MAC coding errors, I'd avoid it for widespread use. (Adobe used to do the same thing, reserving system resources and never releasing them, causing whichever system you were on to slowly grind to a halt. They finally fixed it, but I don't use it much anymore because of the bad memories.)

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I've avoided using Chrome on my Mac because of reports of it's horrendous resource hogging (cutting battery life substantially).


Or maybe they just stripped too much functionality out of the stock browser to save battery life.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Dominions Son

Or maybe they just stripped too much functionality out of the stock browser to save battery life.


Safari, the stock browser on the Mac is anything but stripped. I can't think of a single feature in Stock Chrome that is missing from Safari.

My own best feature of Safari is that it doesn't report every move I make on the internet to Google.

Also, pinned sites on Safari 9 is my favourite feature on any browser.

Since Safari is Apple's own browser, and it's developed only for Macs, (and iOS), then Apple doesn't have to use any cross-platform code libraries that may take too many resources just trying to know which platform it's running on.

Chrome and Firefox optimize for Windows because it's the most popular platform and simply recompile with cross-platform libraries for Mac. So they don't use any of the Mac's unique features or resources. For example, their forms don't use the Mac's text engine and don't come with what mac users take for granted in mac apps, like standard spell checking and auto word substitutions, standard system sharing panel etc...

Safari doesn't have to compromise for the sake of running on other platforms.

etc.... etc.... etc....

OK, done with the platform advocacy spiel. Back to your normally scheduled programming.

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