XHTML bug hunting for 4 hours 55 minutesΒΆ

Pfffffft. Just spent almost 5 hours hunting down a bug in my web software. I generate pages from (lots of little) xml files with cocoon and transform them to xhtml, being the good net citizen I am.

It al displayed fine in konqueror and mozilla, but internet explorer couldn't make sense of one specific page. The rest displayed OK, but the starting page (the simplest one) didn't work. I got a blank page.

Strange, as all the pages use the same template. Strange, as every page is transformed by the same formatting XSL stylesheet as a last step.

In the end, it turned out that the first page had an empty title element. So it rendered as <title /> . But IE's html rendering algorithm didn't understand the closing tag and considered the rest of the document to be part of the title...

This style of closing tag normally works. I mean, the rest of the pages are riddled with '<br />'-thingies and the likes of them. No problem. I don't get it why <title /> should be a problem then.

Ah well, five hours of work to squash one small bug. But it's working now... And such bug hunting isn't a thing you can escape anyway :-)

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About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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