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pages on multiple browsers/os's

Posted on 1998-07-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
my web page looks great on my mac OS8 with netscape communicator, but at two friends houses with windows and AOL it looks like total crap.. everything is dark and the images seem to be blacked out a lot.  Is it windows, AOL, or did i not use browser safe colors?  i'm pretty sure i used 255 colors or jpgs millions, i didnt think it would really matter...
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Question by:windark
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Quixote earned 30 total points
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Pretty startling, huh?  Just wait until you design a website for the sake of showing it during a web-design interview, then you pull it up after a very successful interview where you're practically hired, and they see a load of garbled mal-formed mess.  That's really fun, lemme tell ya.

You have a couple things going on.  Even if you stay to the 216-browser-safe colors, or JPEGs that color-coordinate with the computer they're on, you will still run into these problems:

1) Macintosh corrects the "gamma" or natural color bending that occurs in cathode-ray tubes.  Because the Mac was designed from scratch to be real-world capable, and the PC was designed to be television compatible, PCs don't correct for this while Macs do.  It is also this design constraint that makes PC fonts 20% bigger (96 pixels per screen inch) than Mac fonts (72 dots per print inch).  But back to Gamma correction.  What this does is make the midtones take on a smooth gradient from black to white, whereas uncorrected Gamma emphacizes the darker midtones.  This is why your graphics look dark: if they designed a website, their site would look white and washed out on your monitor.  Since there are more people browsing on PCs than on Macs, do what I do: give up that wonderful invention Apple gave us and turn off gamma correction in your Monitors Control Panel.  You can also bump your default browser font size to 14pt in order to simulate a PC-sized font.  Now, you have bastardized your beautiful Mac and made it as PC as possible.  You'll get over it -- we all do.

2) AOL has a proprietary graphic compression scheme called Johnson/Grace compression (it makes ".art" files on PCs).  This file compression will turn your JPEGs into dithered 256-color bitmaps, and swap colors out of non-browser-safe GIFs.  It's really ugly, and all you can do about it is tell your AOL friends to go to their browser preferences and turn graphic compression off if it is on, then purge their browser cache.

Hope that helps you out.
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