In an effort to see if I have a grasp of the JSON syntax, I included the Protoype.js file in the header of a simple HTML page and created a simple object. You'll note the use of "simple" in my description of the web page and the class that created. So I fired up trusty, ole IE to execute the page and nothing happened. Man was I irritated. How could I mess that up?
Now I Execute the page again. Nothing! Not even one of those helpful error dialogs that IE provides when there is a scripting problem. This story continues for about 6 hours of my Friday while I attempt to find the problem. Long story short, and a weekend's worth of rest I fixed the issue in 30 minutes of playing around this morning.
The problem: my "script" tags were self-terminating in the "head" of my XHTML (I forgot to mention that earlier). As far as I know, a self-terminating tag is legal XHTML, but apparently not where "script" tags are concerned. I could spend hours sifting through the XHTML schema, or searching online, but I am just going to document this here. "<script />" is not the same as "<script></script>. The latter works for script includes, the former breaks the HTML document in both IE and Firefox (FF). Now I am well on my way to JSON and AJAXian goodness.
Except that my boss just told me to stop spending so much time on research and "just get things done". Which is a whole other post.