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Persistent "is null or not an object" message in IE6 --- what's broken?  How to fix?

Posted on 2007-04-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-08
Why would we be CONSTANTLY getting the following message when visiting websites which had been displaying without problems and error message:
----- document.images.slideshow.style is null or not an object

This is happening on several different websites without a discernable pattern.  It's like something got unset or "kicked" in our Internet Explorer setup.

We're running IE6 vers  6.0.3790.0 on Windows Server 2003 in a Termnal Services session.

What got broken and how do we fix it?

Any clues?
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Question by:grant-ellsworth
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17 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Zvonko
ID: 18854962
To have upper statement working you need to have ONE image with the NAME attribute set to "slideshow"
f you have none such image or more then one with the same name, then you do not get the target image.

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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18855033
That doesn't help since I have NO control over the webpage content.
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Expert Comment

by:forrest321
ID: 18855117
Do you have any sort of plugins installed in IE?  Also, are these errors coming from all sites you browse to?
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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18855237
Yes, there are pluggins and pluggins ... I can't see a list of what's there.  Any utilities to recommend to decode this? Yes, we're getting these errors from several sites - the user says almost all of them. I'm seeing script errors on must sites, too.  No pattern.
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Expert Comment

by:forrest321
ID: 18855310
Sounds like a bum plugin.  
Hijack This is a great tool for debugging that:  http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/programs.php

This is going to show you a lot of plugins, not all of them are bad - it just lists them all so you can see.  So don't get worried and delete everything.  They have plenty of info on running it on their site.
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Expert Comment

by:forrest321
ID: 18855321
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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18855612
FYI - I ran ad-aware - most current definitions ,,, found next to nothing.  Computer is also guarded by Symantec AV Corp Ed 10.x.  I also tried Hijackthis 1.99 and the 2.00 beta ... I was looking at too much detail that had naught to do with IE.   There was a utility that would list just the IE plugins and add-ons ,,, i can't remember what it was.  Any clues?
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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18869920
Update on the persistent "is null or not an object" problem ...

1.  I updated the opsys to winserver 2003 sp1
2.  I used the "manage add-ons" to deactivate ALL of the add-ons

This changed the way the error message was displayed.  After deactovating all the add-ons, the msg box displayed a short essay about "An error has occurred on this page ... " with 2 buttons and a checkbox - the "Details" button showed the full error message I had been getting with the error pinpointed to a line number and the "document.image ...." text.

So, what do I look for now?
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Expert Comment

by:Zvonko
ID: 18876872
"That doesn't help since I have NO control over the webpage content."
What do you care for error messages where you CANNOT change anything!

An erroe is an error is an error. Full stop.
We can help you find and correct a syntax error in page script. But to correct the browser is the wrong understanding what is going on.

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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18877231
Hi Zwonko ,,, an error is not always an error ...
On several other computers, with same versions of IE, we connect to this specific website (as well as others where we experience the error message) and do not experience any errors.  In fact, on all the other computers we can get to --- about 15 --- we do not see this error.  So, we conclude that there is a problem with IE6 on this specific computer - something is broken or superceded with something that doesn't belong here.  It's a browser problem, not a script problem.
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Expert Comment

by:Zvonko
ID: 18877268
Not seeing an error does not mean there was NO error.

Show here the URL of such a page where you get error messages and I can explain it why you see the message in one browser and no error message in another browser.

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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18877363
Goto
http://www.thepalm.com/index.cfm?page_id=60

The other pages where we experience similar errors are login pages for secured webite pages.

If this is a real script error on that webpage, then how come this one site experiences it and others do not??
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Accepted Solution

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Zvonko earned 250 total points
ID: 18877591
The script error ocures for this reason:
1.) The body tag does call a script function runSlideShow():
<body background="/sysimages/pattern-color-wht.jpg" onLoad="runSlideShow()" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">

2.) That function tries to access an image with the name "SlideShow":
document.images.SlideShow

All images have NO names on the page with upper URL, so there is also no image with the name "SlideShow".

The solution for your problem would be to let the function check for the presence of such an image with the name "SlideShow".
Like this:

function runSlideShow(){
   if(!document.images.SlideShow) return false;
   if (document.all){
      document.images.SlideShow.style.filter="blendTrans(duration=2)"
      document.images.SlideShow.style.filter="blendTrans(duration=crossFadeDuration)"
      document.images.SlideShow.filters.blendTrans.Apply()      
   }
   document.images.SlideShow.src = preLoad[j].src
   if (document.all){
      document.images.SlideShow.filters.blendTrans.Play()
   }
   j = j + 1
   if (j > (p-1)) j=0
   t = setTimeout('runSlideShow()', slideShowSpeed)
}

But because you cannot change anything on the page nor on the script you have to live with the error message.




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Author Comment

by:grant-ellsworth
ID: 18877691
Did you experience the error?   Also, your analysis begs some questions:

1.  Why would one browser configuration detect and report this and several others not do so?
2.  Why would the left-hand corner "Palm" picture draw real fast on several other computers and be slow molasses on this one?
3.  You're clearly stating that the webpage implementer made a significant error (no names for the images) ... how'd they get away with that?
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Assisted Solution

by:Zvonko
Zvonko earned 250 total points
ID: 18878125
There is an error on the page with the upper URL. I have described the error. My browser does show the error.
Why another browser would not show the error can depend on two facts:
1.) The URL does show a DYNAMIC page content. The page is created on the fly by a ColdFusion web server. That can result into different web pages for different browsers.
2.) The browser without error can have disabled active scripting. Without execution of script you get no script errors.

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LVL 63

Assisted Solution

by:Zvonko
Zvonko earned 250 total points
ID: 18878177
your question #2: the palm animation is a Flash animation. Flash depends on actual browser installed Flash plug in.

your question #3: the error is that SlideShow script is started without SlideShow image and can be solved in different ways, depending why you start that script at all.

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