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I have often seen that web pages, also sometimes the application that I am currently working on display some garbage texts in some specific areas of the page only. Also this problem is sporadic and doesn't happen always. An example of what I mean by garbage is shown in the screenshot below from yahoo mail :

enter image description here

What is the reason for such a behavior? obviously it can't be an encoding issue because the content of rest of the page looks okay.

The issue occurred in Firefox and went away after a full page refresh.

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What Browser? Does it happen with another browser? I know Chrome does this to me with certain themes. – AthomSfere Jun 24 '13 at 13:02
@AthomSfere please see the edit. – Geek Jun 24 '13 at 13:05
There are many reasons for this. In some cases it may be a weakness of the browser, in others a problem with the page. And in some cases it may even be an incompatibility between the browser and the graphics adapter. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 27 '13 at 2:55
In some cases the cause is the webpage which should specify its language settings. If that is not specified then some browsers take a guess based on the number of letters. (quite a nice trick if it works). When the text is then changed for whatever reason it can suddenly guess differently. E.g. to one of the languages with a different charset. (which is really fun to debug - NOT ) – Hennes Jan 14 at 12:16

It could be anything from CSS on the web site (using for example position: absolute; or float: left; in inappropriate ways), via the browser interpreting this differently from the CSS standard, to your video driver not updating the pixels correctly (happens on my Ubuntu with AMD Radeon open source drivers when scrolling sometimes), to anywhere in between.

There's not much to go on from the question, but you can for example try using both the mouse and the keyboard to scroll up and down. If you see different results (I usually do between tries), it's probably your graphics driver. If you reload the page a few times and it only appears once every few reloads it could be for example a proxy or CDN server with old CSS. If you want to debug this case you can save the entire page in both cases and use diff or meld to see the difference.

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If a refresh fixed it, then it's possible a CSS or even JS file wasn't partially or fully retrieved from the server for some reason, leading to element positioning errors like the one in your screenshot.

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