Does a missing inline closing tag really break my jQuery in IE8?

Yes, it would appear so.

So there I am, happily testing my latest jQuery (The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library!) tab additions to the the site when STOP! The new tabs don’t work in IE8 on the Danish version of the site.

However they do work on all or other domains, so we can derive that the issue is content based. And here’s the culprit, </span>.

You could argue that the omission of a </span> tag amounts to sloppy coding which is fair enough, but really it’s not the end of the world is it? In the order of things we’re not going to lose our Google rankings, burn the server centre down or face a firing squad are we?

What surprises me most about his debacle is that a misplaced or absent in-line element can disrupt a JavaScript function that only uses block level elements as control hooks. Or does it surprise me? This is Internet Explorer we discussing here, probably the worst piece of software Microsoft have ever released, and they know it to.

As always Firefox came to the rescue, easily pointing out the issue by highlighting the closing </p> parent tag in code view.