When working on a GUI extension, it is very easy to break the GUI, so that the normal contents of the dashboard don't show up on start up. Instead, you get a Grey box (the NavigationHeader div) displayed on an otherwise empty background.

In the console, I see that stringresources.js reports "Tridion is not defined" What should I check for to try to eliminate this problem?

Screen capture of broken Tridion GUI

3 Answers 3


It's usually a server-side error. So you could check the Application event log for any warnings from ASP.NET -- but the easiest is usually to just access the CME with these two URL parameters: ?mode=js and ?mode=css

You can check your JavaScript console or browser developer tools for the exact request that returned a 500 error -- or you can try the above two in turn.


When this happens to me, I usually go the developers console look at which requests fail and then (in Chrome) right click and choose open in new Tab,

This usually gives you the information you need to fix it


I've experienced this screen quite a bit in the course of learning extension development. In Chrome, right click, Inspect Element, and then go to Console. You'll find that the Tridion GUI logs some super basic events so that you can see how it's loading.

I'm sure there are other reasons, but as of right now I know two major reasons for why you'd get this screen: 1) an error in your JavaScript 2) an error in your configuration.

In order to tell which is which, you need to make a series of educated guesses. Tridion is just going down your config file, and loading and/or executing assets as it's being told to by that config. As you need to have added JavaScript for your GUI extension to work, go into your individual JavaScript files and start adding something like this after you declare your namespace, and in every function:

console.log("[whatever the name of the function is]");

When you refresh your gui, you'll find out which JS functions are executing and which aren't. If they aren't executing at all, then there's something wrong with your config. If they are executing, then you need to review the JS for errors.

And, just because the JavaScript is executing, that doesn't mean your config is fine. If one set of functions does get logged, but another doesn't, then look at where in your config you might be calling that particular JavaScript file, and this will tell you what extension in your config file has a dependency which seems to be failing.

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