Permission denied to set property xulelement.selectedIndex FireFox Error

by demtron on Thursday, December 04, 2008 04:38 PM

When using the JavaScript focus() method to set focus to an input element in FireFox, the following error may be produced:

Permission denied to set property xulelement.selectedIndex

This is a known bug in FireFox which, based on my research, was supposed to be fixed several versions ago.  To avoid this error, autocomplete needs to be turned off for the element in question.  This can be accomplished:

Via JavaScript, using element.setAttribute('autocomplete','off');


Via HTML using autocomplete=”off”.

I have read that this error is also produced with the JavaScript select() method but have been unable to reproduce it.

5 Things Every Web Site Owner Must Know

by demtron on Friday, November 21, 2008 03:06 PM

Your web designer has just completed your site and it’s live and available to see on the Web.  You’ve thanked your designer for a job well done and you’re excited about the prospects of new customers and increased awareness of your business.  What do you know about the setup, configuration and ongoing charges for your site?

When I work with new clients, I always give them the “run over by the truck” story.  If I’m run over by a truck and can’t help them with their Web sites, have I given them enough information to give another designer so he can quickly get up-to-speed and continue maintaining their sites?  When I take over site maintenance, I always ask for this information, and I am amazed and little data my clients sometimes have about their sites.  If a designer leaves, falls ill, or is otherwise unable to continue work on a site, a site owner may be left with now knowledge to transfer for a new designer.

Before you pay your designer, make sure you have this key information about your site.

Is your domain name registered under your name?  You NEED to make sure of this.  If your designer or someone else registered your domain, you may not own your domain name.  This can be DISASTROUS if you lose contact with that person and need to renew the registration or make change to your Web site.  If there is one thing I stress to all clients, it’s to take control of domain name registration.

Do you know all the passwords for your site?  Be sure to ask for passwords for the hosting control panel, FTP site, database, e-mail accounts, and any information pertaining to the security of your site.  If your designer does not pass these along to you, you may not be able to update your site content, e-mail accounts, or other site aspects in the future.

How is your site configured?  Some sites require special configuration because of features that you’ve requested.  Examples of configuration details include whether it uses an SSL certificate, a database, and payment processing.  Depending on the complexity of your site, your designer may have needed to alter the default site settings.  Make sure you get documentation from your designer detailing any special considerations from the site that may not be readily accessible or understandable by a new designer.

Who is responsible for what aspects of your site?  Hosting, email, domain registration, SSL certificate registration and payment processing may each be handled by a separate entity.  Be sure to get the company name, phone number and Web site address for the billing and technical support contacts from these services.

How has billing been arranged?  Hosting plans, SSL certificates, and other parts of your site or domain registration may be billed to you monthly, quarterly, yearly or in some other interval.  Are these set up to automatically bill your credit card?  If not, how will you be notified of a payment and how do you arrange payment?

Your Web site can be a vital part of your business, and it’s imperative that you have control of all its major aspects.  For some of my clients, previous designers did not pass along this vital information, which left them vulnerable to a variety of maintenance, security, and other problems.  Ask your designer to take an hour or so to document these Web site aspects for you.  You’ll be glad you did!

Broken Link Checking for Your Web Site

by demtron on Friday, November 14, 2008 04:54 PM
Broken links are one of the most frustrating experiences for a web site visitor.  A broken link is one that leads to a non-existent page, either on the site or an external site.  Unless special code or custom error pages have been added to a site, the visitor is presented with a bland "404 Page not found" error or an equivalent that gives the user no indication of what to do next.  This is a surefire way to encourage a visitor to go away and maybe not visit again.

For a designer, finding broken links on a site can be a vexing problem.  There’s no visual indication of a problem on the site, and neither design tools nor markup editors will expose these problems while they’re being designed.  Finding broken links can be a tedious and time-consuming task without automated tools.

Some of the best tools for this purpose are available on the web for free.  One of my favorites is available at  The World Wide Web consortium develops the specifications and guidelines for Web design standards, so you can be sure that this tool works!

Upon opening the page, all that's needed to start is to type in the URL to examine and click the Check button.  This process will take between 20 seconds and several minutes depending on the number of links it needs to examine and the responsiveness of the pages represented by those links.  During this time, it examines the page markup for the existence of anchors and links then makes a call for each page to determine its status.  It also checks for redundant links and can provide warnings for indicating when destination pages have been moved and redirected.

Both a detail and summary output is provided.  The list of links examined is shown for each copy and pasting into a spreadsheet or other tracking document.  Following the detail section is summary of all problems shown in both tabular format and list format.  They identify the problem, the HTTP error code, the count of occurrences, what corrective actions to take, and even the line number of HTML code that caused the problem.

All site designers and webmasters should consider using this tool to find errors on their sites.  An error-free site improves visitor retention and maintains the professional image of your organization.

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