Mozilla Firefox 0.9 and CSS problems

Published on 16 August 2004 in , , , , , ,

If you’re using Mozilla Firefox 0.9.x – and if you are, you’ll probably know it – you might be looking at a very plain webpage without any proper colours or styles on it.

If you are, try reloading the page and hopefully it will all work.

If it’s all happy now and you don’t care why this has been happening, go away now. If you do care, read on.

The Technical Problems Explained

For some reason I’ve been having some problems with the CSS for this site and indeed Planet Bods and some others.

CSS holds the design elements of the site and makes it all look pretty. If you don’t get the CSS, it looks functional, but a tad dull.

The problem has been that, for some reason I can’t fathom, some of the CSS files have been sent out with the MIME type of text/plain instead of text/css.

I can’t work out why as the server is set to be text/plain as Apache is supposed to be sending out text/css for css files. Indeed I even replicated the relevant code in my htaccess file.

Unfortunately when in Standards Compliant Mode (which most of my websites will be in), Firefox won’t process CSS files which don’t have the (correct) text/css mime type – hence the bland looking pages.

To make the puzzlement worse, this only seems to be happening in some circumstances. So at home, my copy of Firefox 0.9.1 works fine – everything is happy as Larry. But at work, everything seems to be coming through wrong.

Quite what the problem is I don’t know. Apparently the issue will is fixed in the latest versions of Firefox as they’ve changed the code so that the CSS doesn’t have to have the correct Mime type. Haven’t seen it yet, so who knows.

But if you are having problems, do get in touch and let me know and I’ll see if I can find any logical reason for all this. And indeed get in touch if you’re having the same problem with another web browser.

UPDATE: there is a fix for this, and it’s really simple. See the update from August 2005 for more details.