The truth about my life

Wed, 01 Feb 2006

I spent last 50 hours debugging well organized ECMAScript (not Javascript) code which is smooth in Firefox and Mozilla, but Internet Explorer spits out fireworks of parsing and scripting errors while the page is being loaded; let alone clicking here and there.

Good, I said. Hopefully I'll find some useful tool to help me debugging these annoying errors like:

Line: 0
Char: 0
Code: 0
Error: Syntax error.
URL: http://example.com/

with the hope that Microsoft wouldn't leave their customers helpless. But... Hey, what's going on? Huh? Line 0? Are you drunk or something?

Apparently our poor old friend is not able to display the real source of scripting errors, if the <SCRIPT> tag is used in conjunction with SRC attribute. So, how on earth am I supposed to understand this error? What's the point of displaying it, in the first place?

Patiently I downloaded and installed Microsoft Script Debugger, which is free as in beer. Boy, is it really ugly. I don't want to insult the developer of this bitch, I'm not going to post a screenshot. This explains why they distribute it for free. You can't sell it, it's worthless. It doesn't even work!

The debugger toy claims that it can provide some willy-nilly real debugger features like, well, breakpoints, stepping over function calls, a stack trace and local variables. I can't get them to work. Actually I can't stop the debugger, and if I try that, both the debugger and Internet Explorer will lock up completely. I'll have to kill them both using the Task Manager provided by the shiny Windows XP, which, in the end, doesn't work well.

Okay, I'm the developer. I'm in the desperate need of a debugger for Internet Explorer's wicked Javascript implementation, and I have to get my code working and compatible with Internet Explorer -- that is, unfortunately, the most widespread browser on earth you know why. It turns out that I'm a registered customer, I even paid for the license. This is a plea for help. Mr. Ballmer, please, please ask your developers, developers and developers to see what they really think about you.

Or am I begging at the wrong place? Am I supposed to go to nearest mosque and pray god for courage, pray for strength which I'll need to wipe out the evil from earth?

Guess what I'm doing now? I've forked off the code and begun merging all external scripts into the main HTML document, just to understand what's going on, then I can get more useful errors with line numbers at least. If this is not frustrating, I'd be more than happy to know what is.

You know what I have got out of this experience? I am a true believer, and I believe that fellow developers working at Microsoft don't use Microsoft tools at home. That little Mozilla project is lightyears ahead, in comparison with reasonable documentation for web developers. See Mozilla Javascript Resources and The DOM in Mozilla. Then what Microsoft provides? Essentially nothing. They provide a huge database of bugs in MSDN, really. Search the web for Internet Explorer Javascript debugging, and go to the nearest mosque/church.

Thanks for reading.

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About me

I'm Enver ALTIN. I'm from the other side of the river.

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