JavaScript Errors in SharePoint Application Pages

Today was a day packed with investigation and troubleshooting weird JavaScript errors on a customer premise. I put this information on my blog so to help anyone who might have found in a similar journey.

SYMPTOMS

Problem 1: Views

You have a custom SharePoint 2010 master page. You assign that master page as the master page for a site, both for content and system pages. You face the following errors when dealing with list or library views:

  • You can’t change the current view in the Ribbon view selector. The combo box doesn’t drop down. Additionally, you do not have the view selector on the page title.
  • You edit the current view (or any other view). A JavaScript error is displayed in Internet Explorer and you can’t save the changes. However, in Firefox you can modify the view without any problems.
Problem 2: File Upload page

You have a custom SharePoint 2010 application page. The page inherits from the default SharePoint file upload page. You want to replace the file upload control with a custom control. However, you have to maintain the original control because the inherited code relies on the presence of those controls. You hide the controls but you still face JavaScript errors due to the hidden control validation scripts.

CAUSES

Problem 1: the culprits are the new SharePoint 2010 master page placeholders and delegate controls.

In order to have view selector working, you have to add the following DelegateControl to the master page (as found on this thread):

<SharePoint:DelegateControl runat="server" ControlId="TreeViewAndDataSource">
</SharePoint:DelegateControl>

The weird JavaScript errors on the Edit View page were caused by a PlaceHolderUtilityContent that was misplaced. This content placeholder should be placed outside the <form> tag on the master page, as this MSDN article outlines.

</form>
<asp:ContentPlaceHolder id="PlaceHolderUtilityContent" runat="server"/>

It seems that the Internet Explorer breaks when a JavaScript error is found, and skips the execution of the remaining script block while Firefox just skips the current line and executes the remaining lines if they are correct. The errors were about the objects being null, as the IE skipped the object initialization commands due to the errors generated by a misplaced placeholder tag.

Problem 2: the culprit was the JavaScript emitted by the default validation controls for the file upload selector. The solution was to embed the default control inside an ASP.NET Panel control set to Visible="false". In this way the controls are present on the server but nothing is rendered back to the page, preventing JavaScript errors.

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