Service Status Updates

Those of you following TodaysMeet on Twitter may have seen a few tweets today about a styling but in Internet Explorer 8. This seems like as good a time as any to bring a new tool to your attention: Today’s Meet Service Status.

This very simple site contains short status updates, and has an RSS feed, should you need it.

I’ll be using this to post updates on the Today’s Meet service when I’m either in a place where I can’t write a full blog post, or when I’d rather concentrate on fixing the issue and explain it later. It will be the first, best place to look during outages, both planned and unplanned. Both the status feed and this blog now run on a server separate from Today’s Meet itself,

Eventually, I may configure the status updates to cross post to Twitter, but for now you’ll just have to subscribe to the feed.

For those of you interested in the details of the bug, follow me below the break.

The problem is demonstrated in the image below. The top part of the picture is how things looked in Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Vista (and presumably on XP, as well) the bottom part is how it should look:

An example of the style bug in IE8.An example of the style bug in IE8.

I’ve recreated the bug here in Firefox with Firebug, so you’re not really looking at an IE8 screen shot, but it’s basically accurate.

The issue appears to be caused by a bug in either IE8 itself or in the Prototype JavaScript library (I’m running version 1.6.0.2 on the live server). The HTML elements that are added when new posts are received are either being created with no class attribute, having it stripped off, or it’s just not being read, so no styles are applied to them. Styles are important, obviously.

The workaround in place is a second style sheet, just for IE8, added with a conditional comment. Fortunately, IE8 adds support for the :first-child selector, which allows me to apply the same styles in a slightly less-than-ideal way.

At some point in the future, I plan on migrating to jQuery, which will hopefully remove the need for this little hack. I’ll try to post more details on that when I have a definite road map.