Syntax error when using Online MSDN RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have a problem with the Visual Studio 2005 help.  Every page that loads i get a "line 1 syntax error" message box.  It is DRIVING ME INSANE!

    I have tried to repair of the Document Explorer tool.  I have looked for updates or KB articles and i can't find anything.

    I have tried turning off IE debugging but just the shape of the message box changes (and it doesn't ask me to debug), and the syntax error moves to line 2.

    A sample source for the page starts with XML so i thought that might be the cause but I am running the latest updates.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Thanks in advance for any tips,


    Saturday, November 18, 2006 9:25 AM

All replies

  • Hello Nathan - are you able to see the URL that it is trying to load? If you can, could you please post that back to the forum? Thanks!
    Tuesday, November 21, 2006 1:05 AM
  • The problem seems to occur when using Online MSDN.

    1. Search for listbox.

    2. Results for Local help work file, as do Codezone.

    3. MSDN online links (eg. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.windows.forms.listbox.aspx) all have the syntax error.

    Line 2, Char 1, Error : Syntax Error.

    Source code on that line is as follows:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

    I also get this error on my work computer (which has no relationship to my home laptop).  Both have rall windows update patches so i was thinking that might be related.

    I can't have the only two computers on the planet affected!  :P



    Tuesday, November 21, 2006 1:31 AM
  • Hmm. I'm unable to repro that problem using that link. Can you tell me a little more about the operating system you are running and what language version?
    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:49 AM
  • I also have this problem, precisely as you describe it. Windows XP using IE7 for me, and it's using online help for visual c# express.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:32 AM
  • Hi All,

    Some thoughts on this problem:

    Using IE 6:
    Nathan is correct in that the online MSDN page(s) has a XML declaration / prolog as the first line of markup, preceeding the DOCTYPE of the XHTML page. Code snippet of the specified online MSDN web page is shown below:


    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <!-- 0609 -->
    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">


    This throws IE 6 and below into Quirks Mode, which then gives the syntax error while viewing via IE 6. Removing this XML prolog will sort the problem out and move IE 6 back into Standards Mode, but that is a massive consideration for the MSDN Team.

    Using IE 7:
    The IE 7 Team have solved this problem with the XML Declaration preceeding the (X)HTML DOCTYPE. It does not throw IE 7 into Quirks Mode. However, the inclusion of a comment (see code snippet above) between the XML Declaration and the (X)HTML DOCTYPE will throw IE 7 into Quirks Mode, thus the result that lyc is getting while viewing via IE 7. Removing the comment from between the XML prolog and the XHTML DOCTYPE (if possible to another location within the source code structure) will solve the problem for IE 7 and return it to Standards Mode. Once again, a consideration for the MSDN Team.


    If both of you view this online MSDN page(s) directly using IE 6 and IE 7, i.e. not via Visual Studio, do you still get this syntax error, or is it just when you are calling the online page from inside Visual Studio??



    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 12:29 PM
  • Frank,

    If I set the "display notification about every script error" flag in IE options then it throws up an error in IE7 when used standalone (i.e. not viewed in the visual studio document explorer). Given what you've said surely lots of people should be experiencing this shouldn't they? Or is there some setting change I can make?



    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 1:44 PM
  • Hi lyc,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, with the way the markup for these particular pages is written, more IE users should be experiencing the problem. Maybe we're just not hearing about it. The XML prolog issue has been know for quite a while, and most web designers do not add it to their XHTML markup specifically to avoid this issue with IE 6 and below. Now that IE 7 has overcome this, it's interesting that the code comment, being positioned where it is in the markup sequence, affects IE 7's ability to render the pages without a warning. Quirks Mode is a strange item. Sometimes it has little if no effect. Other times it will produce the errors you've reported and/or prevent a whole page or portions of it from rendering correctly.

    Also, It 's safe to say that all MSDN pages are not marked up this way, and this problem can be localized.

    My apologies, but I don't know where in IE 6 or 7 to disable this error warning and have the browsers accept the markup as it is written, if it exists at all. Ultimately, I think that standardizing the markup will sort out the issue. However, I do welcome any suggestions that another way may exist to correct this.


    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 2:17 PM
  • I'm having this same problem using IE 7 standalone and trying to view pages on msdn2. I'm using XP Home SP2 with all the latest hotfixes and IE 7.0.5730.11. It is *very* annoying!
    Thursday, November 23, 2006 7:03 PM
  • Hi!

    I am having exactly the same problems.
    Just want to let you know that these problems are typical.
    Hope you will find a solution.

    Windows XP pro sp2 Russian edition.

    Best regrads,
    Friday, November 24, 2006 12:06 AM
  • Hi!


    >If both of you view this online MSDN page(s) directly using IE 6 and IE 7, i.e. not via Visual >Studio, do you still get this syntax error, or is it just when you are calling the online page from >inside Visual Studio??

    In both cases when using
    IE 6 and IE 7.

    Windows XP sp2 pro Russian edition.


    Friday, November 24, 2006 12:18 AM
  • Again, I must report the same problem.

    Have recently installed VS2005, and every time I try to access virtually any page from online MSDN help (with few exceptions), I get this bizarre error,
    "A Runtime Error has occurred.  Do you wish to Debug?  Line: 1  Error: Syntax error"
    [Yes] [No]

    Frankly, I don't care what is causing this (XML snippet, comment, or whatever) but there is no way to remove this dialog; you can only change it back to the default non-debug dialog (An error has occured on the script on this page [...] Do you want to continue running scripts on this page?), and only make it appear once; but you can't get rid of the damn thing.

    I'm rather astounded that the MSDN team hasn't realised this problem, and done something about it.  They've put huge work into VS2005, yet can't make their online help pages work smoothly in their _own_ web browser, IE6 (which, of course, is required by VS2005's built-in 'Document Explorer' and cannot be changed to another browser)?  Ironically, these MSDN pages load without a problem on Firefox 2.0.

    This bug is being widely experienced by VS developers, and it makes the whole online help look pretty amateurish.  I think it's high time MSDN fixed it.  If any MSDN devs or whoever are reading this thread, please fix this problem pronto!

    Is there some way to officially submit this as a bug to Microsoft??
    Saturday, November 25, 2006 1:00 PM
  • Update:

    You can actually prevent the main IE6 application from popping up an error when visiting these pages by going into Internet Options | Advanced | Browsing, checking the 'Disable Script Debugging' boxes and UNchecking the 'Display a notification about every script error' box.

    However, IE6 still thinks there is a script error (there's a warning triangle in the status bar), and MORE importantly, this setting still doesn't stop VS2005's built-in 'Microsoft Document Explorer' from popping up the scripting error!  In short, there is *NO* way to prevent an irritating scripting error popup from occurring for each and every MSDN online help page you go to, within the Microsoft Document Explorer.  The only way this is gonna be fixed is if the MSDN team fix their code to work with IE6 (and stop it complaining).  PLEASE fix this!
    Saturday, November 25, 2006 1:22 PM
  • Hi All,

    For your guide and info, I submitted a Bug Report through Microsoft Connect detailing the errors, and respectfully suggested a solution.

    Kind regards,


    Saturday, November 25, 2006 2:45 PM
  • Hi. I have encountered the problem as well while accessing MSDN Online items from Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition help facility (Microsoft Document Explorer Version 8.0.50727.42RTM) running on Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (Version 5.1).

    I first encounted the script errors in MSDN Online items about a week ago which may explain why you have not heard more about the problem. I suspect that some change (perhaps in the MSDN Web site?) about 7 days ago set this off.

    I agree with others that ON SCRIPT_ERROR {Frustration ++; Perception_Of_Quality --}.



    Saturday, November 25, 2006 6:56 PM
  • I am experiencing the problem too. I take it the bugreport is the following:


    I am not sure how connect.microsoft.com works, but i assume the bug will get a higher priority if the people experiencing it verify it/vote for it on the connect site?

    Anyway thank you for posting it to ms



    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 2:44 PM
  • You're most welcome, Thorbjorn.

    Yes, you're absolutely correct in that voting on the Report page will escalate the priority of this problem and speed its resolution. Thank you for posting the address so that all concerned may cast their votes.

    Kind regards,


    Tuesday, November 28, 2006 3:18 PM
  • I will make sure the MSDN folks are aware of this issue. Hopefully it's been fixed already but if people are still getting this error please let us know.

    Michael Blome

    Thursday, November 30, 2006 6:14 PM
  • Michael:

    Unfortunately, I am still getting this error.  If I F1 on any common keyword like 'Form' in MS Visual Studio 2005, it opens up the Document Explorer for that help page and I get the scripting error.
    Thursday, November 30, 2006 9:02 PM
  • Same issue here.

    I took a look at the bugreport on the microsoft connect site, and found it to be 'Solved' on december 4th. However, I'm still getting the error.

    I guess that's one way to lower the number of open bugs in your bugtracking system


    Wednesday, December 6, 2006 9:24 AM
  • This is ridiculous.  I can confirm that the connect bug report is 'closed', yet the error still exists.  I know MS like to bury their heads in the sand with bugfixes and security updates; are they doing the same here?  Could someone with some weight in MS actually get this looked at?  It's bloody annoying, and makes using online help within VS2005 very slow and laborious.
    Wednesday, December 6, 2006 9:43 AM
  • Update:

    Hi All,

    Today I received an email from a Visual Studio and .Net Team Program Manager stating that this problem has been routed to the MSDN team. This is the reason that the item has been posted as "resolved" on the Connect website. According to him, the MSDN Bug Reporting prcess has not yet been integrated into Connect. The problem has not been closed and is currently with the MSDN division.

    I kindly ask all of you for patience in this matter. Microsoft, among other software development companies, has procedural scales in place to measure the severity of problems being experienced by their users, and the corresponding allocation of resources to provide fixes. While this is an inconvenient nuisance and annoyance, it's certainly not on the scale of a train-smash. Let's let the MSDN Team handle the situation as deemed appropriate by them, which is in all our interest.

    Kind regards,


    Wednesday, December 6, 2006 2:14 PM
  • I agree that this "bug" is not as serious as a train-smash. But what I can't get my head around is why such a simple-to-fix problem should take ages to fix in the first place. It's not like MS has to send out thousands of floppydisks () to all customers to correct the problem.
    Wednesday, December 6, 2006 3:23 PM
  • Hi RobIII,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yes, not knowing what's on the other side of the solution "equation" is always frustrating. We know what actions are needed to fix the problem from where we view it, but we don't know what variables makeup the process. I think the key is not to assume anything and just let the MSDN Team get on with the job.


    Thursday, December 7, 2006 8:04 AM
  • FYI,

    I don't get the error anymore with IE7 installed. Don't know about IE6.


    Friday, December 8, 2006 10:12 AM
  • I'm not getting the errors anymore in the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition help facility (Microsoft Document Explorer Version 8.0.50727.42RTM). YES!
    Friday, December 8, 2006 6:22 PM
  • Hello. Since using IE7, I get this error message allot. Last one was when trying to view Netfix. http://www.netflix.com/Default. You are not the only one having this problem.
    Thursday, December 14, 2006 10:20 AM
  • I'm surprised that nobody have presented idea like mine:

    IMHO this is originally on bug in MSDN or VS or DocumentExplorer but this is bug in IE and IE team should solve it. It's because IE is really terrible browser not implementing standards etc. I'm speaking about IE7!

    Is there any posiibility to make DocumentExplorer using Gecko? :-)))

    Friday, January 12, 2007 10:45 AM
  • Hi Donny,

    Opening the page directly in Firefox v. (Mozilla/Gecko) will also produce warnings, just as IE6 and 7 do. Look at the lower right corner of the Firefox window for the yellow triangle. Each of these browsers  will recognize the markup problems within these web pages, so I don't think flaming the IE Team is the answer. Once the markup code is put right, each browser will render the pages accordingly.

    Kind regards,


    Friday, January 12, 2007 2:55 PM
  • I just tested online MSDN and i am no longer getting the errors when loading pages. 

    I had been using the offline MSDN at home and work since i first noticed this problem.  It's great that i can use the tool now without lots of popups!

    Friday, January 12, 2007 3:06 PM
  • Hi,


     I have a problem viewing netflix.com since upgraded to IE7 also. I asked Netflix and they sent me to microsoft. I've E-mailed them and was giving 3 different avenues to try. I can't figure out how to fix it. Apparently nobody has any ideas about it. This  is the only site that I have problems viewing.

     Any help would be greatly appreciated. If it can be done in simple terms that would be even better.




    Thursday, February 8, 2007 2:16 PM
  • Once again, MSDN in my Visual Studio 2005 has started generating a scripting error on every page I go to.  Example: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/a0h36syw.aspx

    Generates: Error: 'childNodes.0' is null or not an object...

    Obviously, this needs fixing.  Are MS's staff purposely putting these errors in to irritate us?
    Friday, February 23, 2007 5:53 PM
  • Do you have DHTML Parser and all patches installed?
    Saturday, April 21, 2007 1:38 AM
  •  Jez9999 wrote:
    Once again, MSDN in my Visual Studio 2005 has started generating a scripting error on every page I go to.  Example: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/a0h36syw.aspx

    Generates: Error: 'childNodes.0' is null or not an object...

    Obviously, this needs fixing.  Are MS's staff purposely putting these errors in to irritate us?


    I also get numerous script errors with document explorer and the help system withing VS 2005 Std.


    VS SP1 installed.

    W2K SP4 swedish national settings

    IE 6 SP1


    When going to MSDN with IE directly the setting withing IE works, and it simply says Errors in page and nothing works. A lot of links like doing feedback and stuff simply just emits a Errors on page and link does nothing.


    All scripting stuff is turned off like debugging and stuff.


    From document explorer it always produces from 5-12 script error popups instead. It seems DE does not use settings made for IE and has a very high warning level on scripting.


    Productivity working with VS 2005 is virtually zero because of this error.


    Amazing it's still not fixed!!!



    === Edited by LoNip @ 04 Jul 2007 7:44 PM UTC===
    I found a workaround for the popup errors using document explorer.

    Setting security settings to high and error popups disappeared.

    But I cannot participate in this forum with this setting. No quote text or previous text when editing is filled into the textboxes.

    Setting security to medium and forum works again.

    But more than anything I am happy to be able to use msdn online with DE.


    Tuesday, July 3, 2007 11:02 AM
  • I have followed all posts from this forum. I am not getting this error. Please post the working environment and error details when someone gets this scripting error.

    Friday, August 3, 2007 4:11 PM