WHy do web pages sometimes appear with formatting missing

Our internet connection at work is sometimes a bit flaky. I think it reaches maximum bandwidth or something, as I sometimes get error messages saying “Maximum transactions exceeded”.

Anyway, when it is in a crapping-out mood like this, I sometimes get a web page coming up on the screen with all the text and images there, but the formatting screwed up. The layout on the screen is more or less correct, but the font reverts to the default (Times New Roman) and background colours etc do not display, so I get a plain white background.

For instance, in another window right now I have an SDMB window like this. It is all in Times New Roman, with a white background, except that the blue lines between posts have stretched to form a huge blue swath down the middle.

Any idea why this happens? Images (which presumably need more bandwidth) get through, but font formatting doesn’t. Is it some kind of style sheet weirdness?

Probably. I’ve seen that happen occasionally on our servers at work, and we’re still not quite sure what causes it, aside from some sort of communication problem between the broswer and the server in regards to a seperate style sheet (.css) file. Somehow the broswer gets convinced that the style sheet does not exist and is invalid (this can happen even when the style sheet file is present in cache) and proceeds to do formatting without it. :slight_smile: