JCE Editor Crashing on a Specific Joomla Article

We think very highly of JCE and we have huge respect for its developers. We recommend it to our clients and we always install it on the Joomla websites that we fully manage. With the exception of very few quirks, our experience (and that of our clients) is very smooth with JCE.

The very few quirks that JCE has, however, are very irritating, even more irritating than having mayonnaise in a burger, and you know we don’t like mayonnaise, don’t you? (yes – this line is inspired by Jimmy the Tulip.) On the bright side, however, all the quirks that we have experienced with JCE were addressed by modifying its settings (such as this one), which technically doesn’t make them quirks.

But, this morning, a very important client of ours emailed us and told us that they were not able to save a specific Joomla article. They said that the browser was hanging for that specific article and, as such, they weren’t able to make any modifications to the article.

We immediately checked the Joomla article, and we noticed that it had many images, and so we thought that the browser was crashing because of this. So, we went to phpMyAdmin, and we removed all references to the images from the article, and then we tried loading the article from the Joomla backend. Still, the same problem: the editor crashed.

We then thought, what if there are settings in JCE that are causing this crash? What if, for example, JCE was set to validate the HTML and the HTML validation is crashing? So, and while in the Joomla backend, we went to Components -> JCE Editor -> Global Configuration, and, to our joy and rejoice, we noticed that HTML validation was turned on! So we set the Validate HTML field under Cleanup & Output to No. We tried the page again but, unfortunately, it kept crashing. We then set the Compress Javascript, the Compress CSS, and the Compress with Gzip fields under Compression Options to “No”, but that didn’t help either.

At this point, we knew that the problem was with the JavaScript code of the JCE editor, and this made us somehow desperate. Why? Because only a few programmers on planet Earth would love to work on the JavaScript code of the JCE editor, and we’re not among those programmers.

But then we thought, why is the problem happening only on this page and not on other pages? Maybe there is something “special” on this page that is causing the JavaScript to crash. So we started the process of elimination, in other words, we removed, bit by bit, HTML code from the article in phpMyAdmin until the problem was no more, and we finally were able to find the root cause of the problem, it was this line:

<a href='http://www.[ourclientjoomlawebsite].com/page.html'>Click here to continue &nbsp; &gt;&gt; </a>

But what is “special” in the above line? Well, it was this &nbsp;&gt;&gt; bit, for some reason, JCE editor did not love this combination in the anchor tag. Removing the above did fix the problem.

We will report this issue to the JCE development team on Twitter. Meanwhile, if the JCE editor on the backend of your Joomla website is crashing for a specific article, then make sure you 1) update your JCE editor to the latest version, and 2) try our process of elimination above. If none of the above works, then please contact us. We are always happy and ready to help, we love having new clients, and we our fees are super affordable.

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