2008 HP Pavilion w/Vista SP2 - Facebook via Safari 5.1.7 All EFFED UP!!

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by thekmanrocks, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    2008 HP Pavilion w/Vista SP2 - Facebook via Safari 5.1.7 All EFFED UP!!

    First of all - when I go to the login in screen, the headers describing the sections of FB look like "@$##@$#%$%$ - Share Photos with Your Friends". Gobledy gook.

    Second off - I cannot upload pictures from my PC to the newsfeed or my own wall in Safari.

    MS Internet Explorer is fine on both counts.
    thekmanrocks, Oct 2, 2013
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  2. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    No one??

    Come on Paul, you're the one here who can pilot a phone booth to Mars and back. :) Surely theres a reason for what I described.
    thekmanrocks, Oct 14, 2013
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  3. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    What are the odds of me being able to reproduce that here ?
    Pretty small.

    Take a picture of Safari when it fouls up and post
    it somewhere. Like on imageshack.us or Picasa or some
    similar kind of image hosting site.

    It could be a language preference that is screwed up

    Note that, when web sites respond, they can geolocate.
    So when a user in the UK sees a web site screw up on
    them, I'm in Canada and the web site sends me entirely
    different files. And that makes it pretty hard to
    reproduce the problem. The odds are very poor that
    I will see every detail the same.

    Some problems are coded wrong, no matter where in the
    world you are, or what browser you use, and that's about
    the only kind of problem I could help with. Because
    then I tend to be able to see it.

    Paul, Oct 14, 2013
  4. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    Problem is reproducible.
    This is a good first step.

    I'm going out now, so will look at this later.


    Paul, Oct 14, 2013
  5. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest


    Yes!! That is exactly what I see via Safari for Windows. Does not happen in MSIE.
    thekmanrocks, Oct 14, 2013
  6. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    I'm not making much progress.

    It's obviously a font problem (well, duh).

    The CSS file (cascading style sheet) has no mention
    of any outrageous fonts. Helvetica Neue is the font
    that Facebook seeks to use, and that isn't available
    on Vista (at least the Vista I've got here). The CSS
    file gives a list of fonts used as fallbacks, including
    vanilla Helvetica and Arial. None of those look goofy.
    And the fallbacks are widely available and should have

    I don't really have any good debug tools for this,
    so I have to be content with observing side effects.

    So I tried to record what fonts are actually being used.
    I decided to use the Safari "print" function, to get some
    information about the fonts. That didn't work out well at
    all. After a couple hours of experiments, it turns out
    that Safari just loves to dump bitmap prints with absolutely
    no font info. ("Good" fonts use mathematical kinds of
    glyphs, which scale well. Bitmap prints, when you blow
    them up, have "jaggies" along the edge. That was my first
    hint that the Safari printing was poor.)

    Then I tried another tack. I decided to test other browser/OS
    combinations (i.e. the ones that "work"). I logged the
    fonts in those. And I found a reference to "Mangal" font,
    which is a font that people in India might use when
    browsing. There is no reason for that font to be
    in the output.

    And that's in a print and web view that are perfectly
    normal looking. With a normal looking result, the printer
    output says "Mangal font was used". Yet, I don't see any
    Indian characters. In the broken case, the characters used
    might indeed be Mangal (a font that Microsoft provides
    apparently). Since they are punctuation in Mangal, it's hard
    to find samples (font box style) which I can compare to
    the bad Safari result.

    So I haven't made much progress on the problem. I see
    something goofy is going on, yet when I make a .webarchive
    from the facebook.com main page, there is no mention of
    "Mangal" at all in the ~700K text file that represents
    the contents of the web page.

    Whatever is happening, isn't a function of the style sheet.
    A font substitution is being made somewhere. And the other
    weird thing, is there might be some hidden Mangal letters
    on the working web page, which are underneath somewhere and
    not visible.

    There probably will not be another release of Safari for
    Windows, so if this is a problem with 5.1.7, you're stuck
    with it.

    Paul, Oct 15, 2013
  7. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    So I tried another experiment tonight.

    I used Sysinternals Process Monitor (procmon) to trace all activity
    for nine seconds it took for the facebook page to load and render.
    In nine seconds it collected 93,000 events, which I sift through by
    hand. A fair number of them, I can just hit the scroll bar and ignore.

    What I was looking for, was font calls. This is the summary

    tahomabd.ttf \
    verdana.ttf \___ Plain Jane Microsoft fonts
    arial.ttf /
    clbcatq.dll (com+ catalog?)
    mlang.dll (possibly in preparation for the next font)
    mangal.ttf (Indian ?)
    msgothic.ttc (Japanese ?)
    simsun.ttc (Chinese)
    atmfd.dll (OpenType Compact Font Format (CFF) driver, Adobe provided?)
    micross.ttf (Microsoft Sans Serif) <--- source of garbage
    autofill.js (from Safari resources folder)

    Using the info, I found a Microsoft page with font samples of Sans Serif,
    and the gibberish is Sans Serif. I suspect the atmfd.dll (possibly
    written by Adobe), extracts what is necessary from micross.ttf.

    If you look at the fonts with a font tool, there are many mappings
    inside. The gibberish, if you wipe over the text in Safari, then
    copy and paste into Notepad, the "real" letters show up. That tells
    me the letters themselves are not screwy. When the font table gets
    accessed, it's going to a page it shouldn't, like perhaps a bug
    in the font handling.

    Now, you might ask, why that set of fonts ?

    Well, at the bottom of the Facebook page, it has links to click
    in foreign languages. And the letters down there are printed
    so foreigners will understand. That's why there is Japanese,
    Chinese, and Indian text at the bottom. That's where the mangal
    was coming from - it was for the Indian text at the bottom. So
    that's no longer a mystery.

    But that doesn't excuse the Sans Serif.

    In the .webarchive file (which is how Safari saves a web page if
    you ask it to), I collected these lines. I think these are from
    a .css file (cascading style sheet). I don't know how to read one
    of those, but on one site, I learned these are "font stacks".

    font-family:'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande',
    font-family:'Freight Sans Bold', 'lucida grande',tahoma,verdana,
    font-family:'lucida grande',tahoma,verdana,arial,sans-serif;
    font-family:Helvetica, Arial, 'lucida grande',tahoma,verdana,

    What happens is, that's code for the web browser to use, and it
    says "if you can't find the first font, try the next one". The
    left-most font gives the nicest looking web page. It gets
    uglier as you move to the right. And at the end of each font
    stack, "sans-serif" is selected as the "I give up, just print
    something" font. So that's where the Sans-Serif could be coming

    What I *suspect* is happening, is first Safari is asked to
    open all those Indian/Japanese/Chinese fonts, and some of
    those fonts contain huge tables. It causes something in the
    Safari font handling code to barf. Safari attempts to
    analyse its next font stack, perhaps looking for Helvetica Neue.
    It fails to find any fonts (even though it loaded some of them
    early in the trace). It resorts to Sans-Serif, as instructed.
    It accesses a portion of table without a regular alphabet in it,
    and prints that on the screen.

    Now, if we compare Safari to Firefox, when opening wikipedia.org,
    that site has similar decorations at the bottom of the page. And
    uses a lot more fonts than Facebook does. And yet Safari manages
    to do a good job on that page. It has about as many defects as
    Firefox does, with some fonts missing because perhaps an
    English version of Vista just doesn't have anything close.

    I can't make any more progress, because I don't know how to
    read a .css file.

    Paul, Oct 16, 2013
  8. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest


    Face it Paul: the devil in the details is Facebook itself.

    I truly believe there were few other events that might have changed world history for better than

    1. Kennedy survived assassination/or was thwarted.

    2. Facebook was never invented.



    Just an update Paul on my other issue: Every day windows is attempting to run drivers install for my HP DeskJet printer.

    I'm currently up to "HP 4100 Series Printer(Copy 4)"!!!

    Oh well, at least I can print after each install. smdh..
    thekmanrocks, Oct 16, 2013
  9. thekmanrocks

    Paul Guest

    You lurch along, getting whatever you can from the
    computer before it tries its next mean trick :)

    I think that is the reason to have multiple computers,
    so they can't all pull the same mean trick at the
    same time.

    I think the Safari problem is a Safari bug. Web developers
    have a large number of "quirks" they include in their
    server code, to account for bugs like that. And while
    it's a Safari bug, we know with the level of
    support for Safari in Windows, only Facebook can fix it
    now (by sending different web code).

    Paul, Oct 17, 2013
  10. thekmanrocks

    thekmanrocks Guest

    Well, the printer issue has persisted since after replacing the CD/DVD rom/burner in my Pavilion.


    I checked my Device Manager, unfortunately printers do not appear there. Still, no black/yellow exclamation points(conflicts).
    thekmanrocks, Oct 17, 2013
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