Malformed site (partly OT).

Vincent Sanders vince at
Sun Feb 22 12:01:44 GMT 2015

On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 11:47:48PM +0000, Peter Young wrote:
> On 21 Feb 2015  Peter Slegg <p.slegg at> wrote:
> >> Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:49:38 GMT
> >> From: Peter Young <pnyoung at>
> >> Subject: Re: Malformed site (partly OT).
> >>
> >> That's interesting, and indeed the site is misbehaving today. Loading
> >> those three files and then refreshing the site corrects it, so it does
> >> indeed seem that NetSurf is tripping over itself and failing to get
> >> the CSS files.
> >>
> >> Is this worth a bug report?
> >>
> >> Best wishes,
> >>
> >> Peter.
> >>
> > I have also seen pages rendered without the css but I sometimes see this
> > on Firefox with my much faster office PC.
> So far the site has always worked for me with Windows Chrome. A bug 
> report has been sent, and the feedback so far is "Timed out fetching 
> the CSS file."

Sorry if this seems a bit short but its really a note for the
developers to remind ourselves what is going on. 

The "missing" CSS files in your case are failing to download. The curl
library we use to actually do all the http/https network access is
reporting an error code that tells us the fetch of the CSS file timed

This points to a network issue, now that may be an issue with the RISC
OS network stack interacting with the remote server or simply a
transient error where the connection could not be established.

Debugging networking issues like this is very challenging, especially
on unmaintained niche networking stacks like RISC OS. TCP/IP is an
evolving protocol and sometimes implementations are not completely
backward compatible.

To properly debug this it would be necessary to put a network protocol
analyser on your local network (like wireshark) and perform a full
session analysis which might take a great deal of time to decode.

As NetSurf developers cannot practically do this at best all we can do
is ensure our usage of libcurl is correct and deal with the missing

The browser itself is correctly handling the missing resource and
showing the page without styling so technically there is no bug within
NetSurf. I am leaving the issue open for now as I think Michael wants
to use it as an excuse to improve our internal error reporting.

> Best wishes,
> Peter.
> -- 
> Peter Young (zfc Re) and family
> Prestbury, Cheltenham, Glos. GL52, England
> pnyoung at

Regards Vincent

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