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jquery autocomplete function

I am trying to get jquery autocomplete working but I'm having a hard time. I have created what I think to be a very simple example using a server side datasource (Sql Server). After two days of doing this, it seems to me the problem is that the web page will not display the data returned from  my server side script (perl). I am using Firebug on FF to debug this and see no errors.
Here is my code:

    HTML  (I got this from the jquery site under autocomplete examples)
<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<meta charset="utf-8" />
<title>jQuery UI Autocomplete - Default functionality</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="" />
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>

$(function() {

    $( "#tags" ).autocomplete({
    source: "",
    minLength: 2,
    dataType: "JSON"
<div class="ui-widget">
<label for="tags">Tags: </label>
<input id="tags" />

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JSON example returned by the server

[ { "label": "Gleason" }, { "label": "Glenn" }, { "label": "Glenn" }, ]


Server side perl script:

use DBI;
use CGI;
use JSON;

my($query)= new CGI;

$term = $query->param('term');

print "Content-type: application/json; \n\n";

my $dbh = DBI->connect('DBI:ODBC:DB', 'user','PW', {PrintError=>0, RaiseError=>0} ) or warn   "Can't connect: $DBI::errstr!";

my $employeename = $dbh->prepare("SELECT szLastName AS value from Associates where szLastname LIKE '$term%'" );
while (my $aref = $employeename->fetchrow_hashref())
				push @agentnames,$aref;

print JSON::to_json(\@agentnames);

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Firebug gives me a status 200 with the server side script each time I type in a char into the input box. So I know it's firing off. IF I type in the URL to the server side script and give it a term, it returns JSON text (that's how I got the example of JSON text above.
But I can't get the data to appear using the autocomplete function on the input text box.


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2 Solutions
Chris StanyonCommented:
Couple of things.

The JSON you've posted is invalid - it has an extra trailing comma. It won't work if that's your JSON.

Secondly, you are putting a full domain URL into source - are you trying to access the data across different servers? If so, you need to use JSONP data, not just JSON.
I use a file instead your script, line 14 :
source: "autocomplete_perl.json",

don't work :
[ { "label": "Gleason" }, { "label": "Glenn" }, { "label": "Glenn" }, ]
work :
[ { "label": "Gleason" }, { "label": "Glenn" }, { "label": "Glenn" } ]
work :
[{ "label":"Gleason"},{"label":"Glenn"},{"label":"Glenn"}]

So be sure to remove the comma at the end.
The spaces between objects are totally useless too
nachtmskAuthor Commented:
The script I am accessing is on the same machine I have the example HTML on. Someone told me I was supposed to use a full URL.
The extra comma was a mistake I have since fixed. It still isn't working.
This is really driving me nuts.
I can try a path to the script that is no absolute, but I know the script is being fired off, so I don't know what purpose it would serve to access the script a different way. Would it make a difference?
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Chris StanyonCommented:
The script may be firing off, but if it's not producing valid JSON, then it won't put the values into your AutoComplete box.

As you're using Firebug, expand the Get request in the Console and check the Response tab to make sure you are getting back the data in the correct format. (Post it here if you need it checking)

The Perl script you've posted doesn't seem to match the JSON you've attached
To let your code clear, use a relative path. It will make a difference for other developers.

Could you provide a link to a simple test page?
nachtmskAuthor Commented:
I'm seeing now that the perlscript I posted actually didn't create the JSON I attached. The JSON was created by an earlier version of the same script. My bad.
I don't see anything in the response tab on Firebug, I guess that's a big red flag huh?

Here is some JSON that I got from running the script in the browser by calling it directly just now.

I can't post a link to the script without making some changes. But I will do that if I can't figure this out with your help this way.
Thanks very much for your quick responses!
Chris StanyonCommented:
Right. If you see nothing in the response tab, then yeah - big red flag - your script isn't receiving a response from your server. Looks like your script is producing proper JSON so that's a good thing.

Make the changes and then post a link and I'll have a look at it (you may solve the problem just by making some changes)
Did this Perl script set correctly the header like the previous one? I mean you receive JSON content and not a string.
Are you on the same domain?

Be carefull with useless whitespace you will not be able to see coming after the json data or any carriage return

[{"value":"Zadeh"},{"value":"Zagari"},{"value":"Zaid"},{"value":"Zameryka"},{"value":"Zameryka"},{"value":"Zaret"},{"value":"Zarko"},{"value":"Zhu-Glaser"},{"value":"Zummo"},{"value":"Zundel"}]<<space>><<space>><<space>><<tab>><<carriage return>>
The code itself is fine, content too.
nachtmskAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help  everyone. The problem is solved.
Chris' comment about not putting the entire URL into the source was the issue. Once I put in a local path, everything worked perfectly. I never would have thought of that, at least not for another few days probably.
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