I had this situation where in Internet Explorer, in quirks mode, I would open a dropdown calendar (so showing an absolutely positioned element that was until then hidden) and the scrollHeight of the entire page would increase by a magical 19px.

This was caused by a fix for another problem, where the displayed calendar would not position itself under the text input element where it should have positioned, so I made it so that the displayed calendar would be the last child of the body element. This way it would always show in the correct position, but displaying this situation when elements were trying to fit in the height of the page.

I could not find the cause other than a problem in the Internet Explorer render engine, but I did find a fix. Instead of placing it at the end of the body element, place it at the beginning. With jQuery that simply translates into:
if (!elem.parent().is('body')) $('body').prepend(elem);
Notice my use of prepend instead of append.


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