theme compliance with MSIE

Created by: dspt, Last modification: 13 Jul 2008 (12:52 UTC) by laetzer

MSIE version 6

All of the themes are supposed to work with Microsofts Internet Explorer (MSIE) just as well as in the other browsers. Bitweaver's styles consist of valid XHTML 1.0 Strict and valid CSS. If browser specific bugs occur, you have to check on them manually.


First of all, Bitweaver comes with a Javascript named "IE7". It's a script by Dean Edwards, that re-writes the CSS styles so MSIE understands them correctly by adding necessary hacks "on the fly" (after the browser downloaded the page). It is only loaded, when your visitor is using MSIE. Unfortunately, it significantly slows the redering of the page for the users of MSIE. It can also lead to unexpectable glitches. If a theme is not displayed correctly in MSIE, it might be an effect of the script, not the theme itself. Of course, it also makes troubleshooting much more difficult. You might want to find out if you really need this script in your particular theme:

Copy the file /themes/templates/header_inc.tpl to /themes/styles/yourstyle/templates/header_inc.tpl and uncommendet the lines that include the IE7 script. Browse your site in IE to see if the layout is broken. First inspect the top menu, as it is the most prone to be broken. Read more about it's underlying technique ("Suckerfish") at If it is hard to pin down what is cousing the problem, swap themes until you find the one that has it right. Compare the CSS styles in both, apply fixes. Find CSS help at sites like and Or, as always, in #bitweaver on If MSIE cannot display the page correctly without the IE7 script applied, remember it's modular, so you might turn on only the necessary parts.

PNG repeating backgrounds and IE7

Because of the how the PNG transparancy problem is handled in IE7, PNG's "fixed" by the script won't tile. Normally in IE7, this is handled by the fix being only applied to files ending with "-trans". In Bitweaver this is per default over ridden, so the fix is applied to all PNG's. So if you want to use repeating PNG backgrounds in combination with IE7, you'll have to find the following code in /themes/templates/header_inc.tpl and either change it or remove it:

<script type="text/javascript">
    IE7_PNG_SUFFIX = ".png";

MSIE version 7

No details yet available. We would appreciate you to submit any fixes you find, either directly to the bitweaver themes, to /forums or to this page. For discussion, visit the bitweaver developers in #bitweaver on



by B. Hodges, 01 Oct 2006 (03:33 UTC)
That IE7 fix was pretty helpful, but there's such a huge difference between CSS interpretation in IE compared to Mozilla, finding a happy medium will be tough. And re-doing my graphics a bit in something other than PNG format will be ever so much fun.

I don't blame you guys for this at all, I blame Internet Exploiter! Most of my customers use Firefox now anyway! MS needs to realize how much of a pain in our rears they are with their inability to admit to or take action to their incompatibility with everything. They just can't fathom the idea of widely used, useful open-source packages.

I'm sure you guys are considering this intently, but I'll say it anyway: maybe test the compatibility between browsers before including themes with a stable release? Either way, I look forward to your next release and contributing any of my development and findings to you guys.


B. Hodges, Vroom Wireless Inc:
(bitweaver site under construction: USE FIREFOX!)
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