The dreaded Operation Aborted error
At one point or another, it seems like most web developers have run into the dreaded “Operation Aborted” in Internet Explorer. Microsoft has acknowledge that it’s a bug and provided a detailed writeup of the situation. As usual, their writeup is wordy and hard to understand. I’ve been investigating this problem more thoroughly and wanted to provide a sane writeup of the problem and its solutions.
The problem occurs when a
script node is contained within an element and the script is trying to modify that element’s parent or ancestor. For example, the following example page causes an operation aborted error:
The problem in this case is that the
script element is contained within a
div, and the script is attempting to modify
document.body, which is the
div‘s parent. You can replace the
div with any other element and the result will be the same (I’ve seen examples that use
table elements, but it really doesn’t matter). You can fix the problem in several ways:
- Move the
scriptelement so that it’s a direct child of
insertBefore()to insert the
divat the beginning of
bodyinstead of the end.
- Wait until the page is loaded before attempting to manipulate
Of course, the best solution will depend entirely on what you’re trying to do.
HTML Parsing Error: Unable to modify the parent container element before the child element is closed (KB927917).
This is also a difficult-to-understand error message, but it more accurately described the problem and is much better than operation aborted.
Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.
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