Monday, June 13, 2005

Document Contains No Data error message

I do what most users probably do when they see an Error Message appear in browser window.

I ignore it, and try again.

For example, I sometimes get an "Operation Timed Out" message.

This generally means there is too much traffic passing through the server. I get this when attempting to publish or re-publish a blog post via Blogger. So I just click-select "Republish Entire Blog" again, and it usually goes through.

A bit more disturbing is the "Document Contains No Data" error message. I get this when viewing a blog post I'm editing, right in the middle of editing it. I also see it when attempting to visit certain web sites or blogs.

Weird. "No Data"? Sounds serious, does it not?

Here's how to find out what error messages and other mysterious messages mean, if you don't have an internet or web design manual, like WEB DESIGN: The Complete Reference (by Thomas Powell).

Just do a search engine search on the phrase, enclosing it within double quotes ("document contains no data").

You'll typcially see search results listed that include comments people have made on various blogs, discussion forums, and such. You may also discover specific posts or online articles discussing what you searched for.

As a Mozilla/Firefox browser user, I click-selected the link to their "Knowledge Base" explanation of the error message "document contains no data".


mozillaZINE "Document Contains No Data"


Document contains no data

From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

This article applies to Firefox and Mozilla Suite.

Your browser displays "The document contains no data" error message? This article contains possible solutions to this problem.

* Make sure your firewall or antivirus software aren't blocking Firefox from accessing the web.

* This may be because of your proxy server, try disabling it if you can.

* This could be due to a problem with the cache. Clear your cache:

# Firefox: "Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> Cache".
# Mozilla Suite: "Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Cache".

* Software known to cause problems:

# Peer Guardian, try switching it off or use an alternative product.
# Older versions of Panda Antivirus may be causing this. This is how to fix it (

* If you are still experiencing problems, check that you can access the website in other browsers. If you can't, it's probably a server problem.


I hope this example not only answers your questions about this particular Error Message, but also provides you with a way to find out what other messages and phenomena mean.

Put those search engines to work, but also learn how to identify good results from irrelevant, nonsense, and dubious results links. That's another lesson for future post.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

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