Thursday, 22 April 2010

IE - object does not support property or method

Have you ever experienced the error message I wrote in the title? Are you hitting the walls with your head wondering what the frak it means? This post might be useful to you!

I wrote a page that worked seemlessly inside every know browser but Internet Explorers. Well, nothing new under the sun, web developers' work consists mainly in making things run inside that shit.

Anyway, I was surprised by the nature of the error message: "object does not support property or method", raised during a getElementById call:

foo = document.getElementById("foo");

Element "foo" was a DIV placed in the middle of the page.

So I asked to myself: "what is IE trying to say?". If it really meant that a method wasn't supported, therefore it had to be the getElementById() function, because no other method was involved. But I'm pretty sure that document object HAS a getElementById method. 

The other possibility is the lack of support for the property... but which one? The foo variable?? Yay man! The correct answer is this: you cannot give a variable the name of an element's id. By renaming the variable everything works correctly.

baz = document.getElementById("foo");

Here we go. Do you think this is nonsense? Well, so do I. 

  • First, there's no reason why an HTML element should interfere with javascript variables. 
  • Second, the error raised is totally incomprehensible and misleading. 
  • Third, it's incredible that in 8 versions of IE Microsoft did not think of fixing this.

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