Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Firebug 1.4.0 and Highlighter.js

The mysterious case of the disappearing code

Yesterday I posted an article relating to an issue with a code highligher script and Firebug 1.4.0. A rough overview is that:

a) I use the highlighter.js code from software maniacs to highlight code examples.
b) This works cross browser and has done for a number of months.
c) On loading Firefox 3.0.11 I was asked to upgrade Firebug from 1.3.3 to 1.4.0.
d) After doing so I noticed all my code examples were malformed with the majority of code disappearing from the DOM.
e) On disabling the Firebug add-on the code would re-appear.
f) This problem didn't occur on my other PC still using Firebug 1.4.0 and Firefox 3.0.11.

Other people have contacted me to say they had similar issues and others who were using Firefox 3.5 did not have this problem so it seemed to be a problem with Firefox 3.0.11 and Firebug 1.4.0.

So tonight I was planning to debug the highlight.js file to see what the crack was. The version of highlight,js I use on my site is compressed and minified. On uncompressing the file with my online unpacker tool. I thought I would just try some problematic pages on my site with this uncompressed version and lo and behold it worked. The code didn't disappear!

So I have re-compressed the JS file with my own compressor tool and changed the references throughout the site to use http://www.strictly-software.com/scripts/highlight/highlight.sspacked.js instead of the original file http://www.strictly-software.com/scripts/highlight/highlight.pack.js and it all seems to work (at least for me).

If anyone manages to get to the bottom of this problem then please let me know but it seems there must be some sort of conflict occurring between these 2 codebases and I think its very strange!

I have created a copy of yesterdays posting that still uses the original compressed file so that the problem can be viewed. You can view the problem code here.

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