web-page rendering, and a very
naughty web-browser
This is what you do whenever you want to use the internet, right?
1) Search your computer screen for this  
2) Double click on it!
And if that’s all you have to do to “get on the internet”, why take the trouble to find out other means? Well because, unfortunately, the method you’re using may well be hurting you, and is certainly hurting many a web-page designer’s sanity.
Getting onto the internet requires the use of a computer program usually called a web-browser, any web-browser will do. Computers available in shops (or in your office, internet cafe, school, or whatever) generally come with a preinstalled and thoroughly inferior Microsoft web-browser called Internet Explorer. Yep, that’s Internet Explorer, the little blue “e” pictured above. I won’t even start here with Internet Explorer’s infamous security problems; they assuredly do exist, and much ranting and flaming on the subject has been committed to the web. But to my mind, Internet Explorer has other evil characteristics that suck even worse than the security woes.
When I write a web-page, I write it such that it conforms to the world wide web consortium’s openly available standards. In consequence, all my web-pages pass the validation test and show up perfectly well in the following web-browsers:
  Firefox,
  Epiphany,
  Konqueror,
  Opera,
  Safari,
  Google Chrome,
  Yes, even the old Netscape too
… and I dare say any other web-browser you might care to put onto your computer. All of them that is, except one. I wonder if you can guess which?
  That’s right, Internet Explorer—what a surprise!
Microsoft has its representatives on the body that draws up the rules as to how web-page code gets to work at your computer screen. Unfortunately Microsoft routinely sees fit, having been seated to the table at which the rules were drawn up, to walk away and break as many of those same rules as they please when they code their rubbish Internet Explorer web-browser. *Only* Microsoft does this. *Only* Microsoft’s garbage web-browser messes things up. This is a source of endless problems for web-page coders; these poor souls generally feel the need to write both the correct code, to satisfy all the standards compliant web-browsers out there (quite proper), and the Internet Explorer code, to get things to show up as they would wish in IE.
I’m opting out of that. I code as the rules tell me to, and if Internet Explorer won’t play, well then my pages might look ugly on your computer screen, I’m sorry! I’m not going out of my way to cave in to bullies and goons at Microsoft, even if it does mean that some people might be turned off reading my pages. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not a ‘big business is evil’ thing; I believe in capitalism (even if I don’t live it!), and am perfectly happy for Microsoft to be as rich as it wants to be. I just don’t think the price of caving in on the point at issue—Internet Explorer’s not observing rules that everybody else works to—is worth paying.
Meantime, if you want a much better behaved web-browser, the free, open source Firefox is a good, solid alternative. If you visit that web-page, you will find it very, very easy to get Firefox onto your computer, fully working and all. I recommend it without any hesitation.