Proper Layout

Recently I opened a blog post about writing a build system. This was a very apt post as my team is working on porting our build system to use new versions of our tools. We are encountering some pain and developers are looking to improve the build system. I knew immediately after looking at the blog post that something was wrong. There were a bunch of links aligned down the left hand side of the page. This by itself is not a huge problem. However the link text appeared on top of the blog text. The effect was that I could not read the text of the blog post.

Now I am not sure why this was happening. I am running Internet Explorer version 6. Perhaps the blog author is using some complex HTML tricks that are not supported in IE6. Or maybe there are some bugs in IE6 preventing the correct display of his pages. I don’t know. But I do know that it was very difficult to view the blog text. I had to carefully copy just the blog text to the Windows clipboard, then paste it into something like Microsoft Word to read it. This author was lucky that I was so hungry for his blog topic to go this far.

I think my experience points to two very important lessons. 1. If you topic is hot, readers will go far to read your post. 2. For maximum exposure you will want to make sure that everybody can correctly view your blog.

Now I cannot say for sure, but I suspect that my blogs hosted on Blogger are easily viewed on most browsers. I will confess that I only tester my blogs using Internet Explorer version 6, and sometimes Netscape Navigator and Mozilla FireFox. But my instinct tells me my stock Blogger layouts are safe for the viewing public.