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In the midst of a discussion of marginalia in the newsgroup, /attic/broken-links.html , yet another Netscape bug was revealed. It's one of those which I call 'combo bugs'; it is only triggered in certain combinations of selectors, with certain values. That it is the most difficult bug to identify is slightly ameliorated by the fact that it is easy to overcome (once identified).

The style declarations:

 P { margin-left: 7em; margin-right: 7em;} span.marginalia { width: 7em; float: left; margin-left: -7em;}

when used with the HTML:

 <p><span class=marginalia><span style="display: none;"> [MARGIN:</span>THE HOUR OF DEATH <span style="display: none;">]</span></span> Paragraph text here, extended to emphasize the egregious nature of this bug.<p>

should produce marginalia like 'THE HOUR OF DEATH' in this example:

THE HOUR OF DEATH Paragraph text here , extended to emphasize the egregious nature of this bug.

Unfortunately, Netscape hides the entire marginalia when the rules are applied.

[MARGIN: THE HOUR OF DEATH ] Paragraph text here, extended to emphasize the egregious nature of this bug.

The easiest way to overcome the bug is to add a class like:

 span.brackets {display: none;}

to your rules, and then call it out with:

 <p><span class=marginalia><span class="brackets"> [MARGIN:</span>THE HOUR OF DEATH <span class="brackets">]</span></span> Paragraph text here, extended to emphasize the egregious nature of this bug.<p>

[MARGIN: THE HOUR OF DEATH ] Paragraph text here, extended to emphasize the egregious nature of this bug.

Thanks to greg for pointing out the bug, which served as the impetus for a most interesting discussion with Paul Clark in ciwah.

Sue Sims