Why doesn’t MSN work with Opera tests the rendering of the MSN site in Opera. Apparently, MSN gives Opera a different style sheet, with some odd negative margin settings, including one for -30px. Opera renders these instuctions correctly, but that puts the lists out of their boxes, cutting them off. The sheet is only downloaded when the user agent string contains “Opera” and even when wget fetches the page while specifying the same user agent, it gets the same sheet. That demonstrates that Opera itself is not changing the content it is being sent. It is unclear why MSN would be delivering such a style sheet to Opera. It doesn’t help any version of Opera render the page better, and Opera is capable of rendering the page that is sent to IE 6 just fine. Perhaps it is an oversight by MSN’s web developers. I hope that this is so, because otherwise it’s a very sneaky approach.

Good thing I don’t visit MSN anyway. 😉

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