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IE 10 Install Torches JavaScript Debugging in Visual Studio 2012 Through Auto Update (Probably)

OK the title of this post is a little verbose. I've just wasted a morning of my life trying to discover what happened to my ability to debug JavaScript in Visual Studio 2012. If you don't want to experience the same pain then read on...

The Symptoms#

  1. I'm not hitting my JavaScript breakpoints when I hit F5 in Visual Studio.
  2. Script Documents is missing from the Solution Explorer when I'm debugging in Visual Studio.

The Cure#

In the end, after a great deal of frustration, I happened upon this answer on Stack Overflow. It set me in the right direction.

In my "Browse With..." drop down in Visual Studio I was *not* seeing this:

I was seeing exactly the same as this list but with TWO instances of Internet Explorer in the list instead of one. Odd, I know.

I fixed this up by selecting Google Chrome as my target instead of IE, running it and then setting it back to IE. And interestingly, when I went to set it back to IE there was only one instance of Internet Explorer in the list again.

The Probable Cause#

My machine was auto updated from IE 9 to IE 10 just the other day. I *think* my JavaScript debugging issue appeared at the same time. This would explain to me why I had two instances of "Internet Explorer" in my list. Not certain but I'd say the evidence is fairly compelling.

Painful Microsoft. Painful

Making IE 10's clear field (X) button and jQuery UI autocomplete play nice

This morning when I logged on I was surprised to discover IE 10 had been installed onto my machine. I hadn't taken any action to trigger this myself and so I’m assuming that this was part of the general Windows Update mechanism. I know Microsoft had planned to push IE 10 out through this mechanism.

I was a little surprised that my work desktop had been upgraded without any notice. And I was initially rather concerned given that most of my users have IE 9 and now I didn't have a test harness on my development machine any more. (I've generally found that having the majority users browser on your own machine is a good idea.) However, I wasn't too concerned as I didn’t think it would makes much of a difference to my development experience. I say that because IE10, as far as I understand, is basically IE 9 + more advanced CSS 3 and extra HTML 5 features. The rendering of my existing content developed for the IE 9 target should look pixel for pixel identical in IE 10. That’s the theory anyway.

However, I have found one exception to this rule already. IE 10 provides clear field buttons in text boxes that look like this:

Unhappily I found these were clashing with our jQuery UI auto complete loading gif – looking like this:

I know; ugly isn't it? Happily I was able to resolve this with a CSS hack

fix which looks like this:

And now the jQuery UI autocomplete looks like we expect during the loading phase:

But happily when the autocomplete is not in the loading phase we still have access to the IE 10 clear field button. This works because the CSS selector above only applies to the ui-autocomplete-loading class (which is only applied to the textbox when the loading is taking place). So we still get to use this:

Which is nice.