Empty span output problem with PHP + Joomla

I am working on a custom template for Joomla but am having a problem with menu items. When a separator is created it has an invalid empty 'span' element
<span />

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. How can I force the output of this to
<span></span>

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?

This is causing the entire page to break in all versions of IE.

All I am doing is calling the following function:
modMainMenuHelper::render($params);

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LVL 13
numberkruncherAsked:
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Ray PaseurConnect With a Mentor Commented:
That span element is perfectly valid XHTML.  Are you using doctype STRICT?

See this note - It is a problem with IE, not with the XHTML:
http://www.thismuchiknow.co.uk/?p=184

So thanks again, Microsoft.

If you find the render method, you might be able to add this line of code.  Adjust the variable name from $html to whatever is used to render the output string.

HTH, ~Ray
$html = str_replace('<span />', '<span></span>', $html);

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numberkruncherAuthor Commented:
> Are you using doctype STRICT?

I am using the XHTML1 transitional doctype, but I did try strict to see if it made any differences...unfortunately it didn't.

> So thanks again, Microsoft.

Tell me about it!

> If you find the render method, you might be able to add this line of code...

Yes, looks like that will have to be the solution. Unfortunately the render method also inserts
  • . I was hoping that I had missed a switch or something in PHP which would revert to IE-safe code.

    The thing that I do not understand is, when I switch to the HTML4-strict doctype, the PHP script still outputs self-closing span tags... This isn't right is it?
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    numberkruncherAuthor Commented:
    Yes, looks like that will have to be the solution. Unfortunately the render method also inserts <li />. I was hoping that I had missed a switch or something in PHP which would revert to IE-safe code.
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    Ray PaseurCommented:
    I'm not aware of any such switch, but leave the question open and maybe a Joomla expert will have a magic wand for this situation.

    You can, of course, do the same kind of str_replace() with the LI tag and any others that are mishandled by the Microsoft browsers.
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    David S.Commented:
    Could you avoid having the empty list-items (<li>)? They're not really semantically correct anyway.

    Sometimes I can just add styles (e.g. a background image) to the list itself. Other times I end up adding an additional wrapper <div> around a list in order to be able to move empty <li>s.
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    numberkruncherAuthor Commented:
    The menu item is defined using the Joomla UI. The XHTML is generated by "modMainMenuHelper::render".

    Everything except the templates are entirely Joomla.
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    numberkruncherAuthor Commented:
    Thanks, sorry for the late response.
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