CSS Printing Trickery

For past few hours I’ve been fighting with CSS and especially its printed media type. It seems that I’ve found something that actually works better with Internet Explorer than it does with Firefox. Or maybe it’s just me or my printer.

Anyway, when setting absolute positions for elements and using centimetres as unit, there’s an anomaly with Firefox. I developed using Firefox, so after initial tests with Internet Explorer I thought it was behaving badly as well, but soon discovered that IE was working perfectly, and Firefox was not. The problem is that when printing squares with 1cm sides, Firefox actually prints out an approximately 0.6cm by 1cm sized rectangle. IE prints perfect 1cm squares.

For the record, my printer is Lexmark Forms Printer 2480, which also gives out the reason for absolute positioning. And no, PDF is not an option. Fortunately in this case there’s a choice of what browser to use in printing. Because of other reasons, it’ll be Firefox and I’ll be multiplying all horizontal positions by factor of 1.8, while all vertical positions remain unchanged. In any case, if someone wants to go through the trouble of posting this to Bugzilla, that’d be nice. I’m too lazy. 🙂

Commercial maintenance for Hubble etc?

Now that first private spaceship has crossed the border to space and NASA considers offering prizes for various other private space accomplishments, and remembering that NASA is unable to do maintenance to Hubble space telescope due to space shuttles being grounded, when are we going to see first commercial maintenance operation to Hubble and other satellites? My guess is as soon as next year. Rutan’s SpaceShipOne looks promising and if NASA is allowed to buy services from commercial provides, I see no reason why it wouldn’t happen. Government organized space missions begin to look like history, despite Mr. Bush’s plans to go to Mars. Personally I bet the first Mars mission will be privately organized, although it’ll probably have (mostly) public funding.