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So Many Sites with So Many Script Errors
Date 10/3/2008    Tags Web, Rant    (0)

I have unchecked "Disable script debugging (Internet Explorer)" in Internet Options so that I can debug JavaScript in Visual Studio. While this is nice for working on my applications, it's incredibly annoying when surfing the web (if you don't have it enabled, you'll just get a little icon notification in the button corner of the browser when an error occurrs, but the error still does occur). And this time it's not Microsoft's fault.

It simply amazes me how many websites have scripting errors. Ironically enough SlashDot, one of the largest sources of tech news on the web, has two scripting errors on the main page and another five each time you open a news item. That's seven times you must click "NO" when asked if you want to debug.

I might expect this from a small site, but a site as large, popular, and established as Slashdot? And they're certainly not the only site (they're simply the worst offender I've found for a major site). Mail.Yahoo.com has the occasional scripting errors and Milive.com/Lions (the best source for Detroit Lions info on the web) has one on each page. There are certainly many, many others, but these are just what comes to mind as I write this.

This just strikes me as lazy. None of these sites (well, maybe Yahoo) are overly reliant on client-side scripting so it should not be too difficult to clean up these errors yet they let them persist. In high school my friend had this car and the driver's side window wouldn't roll down and he never bothered to fix it. Sure the car still drove just fine, but anytime he hit a tollbooth or drive-thru window, he had to open the door and get out. That's what all these scripting errors remind me of, they don't break the core functionality of the page, but they're more than just a little annoying (especially if you happen to be debugging something when you get one of these errors, as it will load the page in Visual Studio and want you to walk through the errors).

So if you happen to run a website (or know someone who does or feel inclined to talk to a stranger who does), try enabling script debugging and check out your site. And if it blows up twenty ways to Tuesday (a lot), for the sake of Internet users everywhere, make the effort to fix the errors! 0" style="display:none">


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