How to find errors in your Openbox config files
January 6, 2008
More experienced users will probably laugh at my ignorance, but I just discovered something very handy: an XML validator!
Occasionally, due to clumsiness, I mess up my rc.xml or menu.xml files. I want to add something to either of these, make some changes to the file, save it, reconfigure Openbox, and all of a sudden clicking on the desktop with any mousebutton has no effect, the window menu disappeared, I can’t switch desktops, or a part of my root menu just vanished. If I remember exactly what I added, this is easy to fix, but on several occasions it took me quite a while before I found the bad line of text. Normally the culprit is a tag that is not closed, but finding it is a pain, especially in a non-syntax-highlighting text editor like mousepad.
But I no longer need to undergo such hardships, for I have found online XML validators! Hurray! 🙂 If, like me, you had never heard of such a thing before, do a search for ‘xml validator’. They basically check for errors in the structure of xml documents. The one I currently use is this one (with the “Well-formedness only” checked).
Those that helped me fix errors in my xml files in the past, and found the bad code nearly instantly, suddenly seem less god-like. 😉