I was playing with IETester, which lets you open Internet Explorer tabs using rendering engines from IE 5.5 up to IE 8 beta 1 for testing compatibility, and noticed for the first time that my blog was throwing a Javascript error only in IE.

Being the pain in the ass IE is, of course the line number it gives isn’t really valid. I looked and looked and couldn’t find the problem. As a last ditch effort, using the IE Developer Toolbar, I hit the menu option to validate the page. Thanks to the W3C Validator, I found that there were some duplicate ID attributes on elements.

After checking out the lines the validator referenced, I found that the Google Analytics plugin for WordPress was improperly tearing apart href attributes for links created by the Footnotes plugin I use, causing it to include long strings of HTML in the onclick attribute for tracking outgoing links1.

Thankfully, the Analytics plugin has an option to turn off outbound link tracking. I’ll miss those stats, but it’s not like I pay all that much attention to them (or care) anyway.

In the end, I don’t really have anything to test with IETester, it was just a fun toy for a few minutes. It also helped me notice a problem I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise, so in the end it was time well spent.

  1. Rather than just the link the user was headed for, as it should - and does for regular links. 
Originally published and updated .