How to test a proxy autoconfiguration file

Due to the existence of Greal Firewall, I have a terribly long proxy.pac file. Apparently, how to maintain that becomes a problem. Regularly, I use git to keep a “stable” version and make updates on it.

Recently I just found the script stop working for no good reason, because the proxy server I’m using is working, and I tried manually choose a proxy server (by entering its address and port into my browser directly) it also worked, so apparently there is something wrong with the script.

However, it has been a while since I last commit my changes to this script back to git. So there are some changes I wish to keep and I don’t want to do a binary search to find out the problem (Yep, I’m a lazy guy).

A few googling got me a tool called pactester, which turned out to be very useful. Basically it’s a Perl wrap of SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine. Since the proxy autoconfiguration script is just a subset of plain JavaScript, it can safely executes that with SpiderMonkey and find out where is the problem.

So I installed it and did one test:

$ pactester -p ~/Documents/Miscs/proxy.pac -u ''
Use of uninitialized value in numeric ne (!=) at pactester line 137.
Error: SyntaxError: missing ) after condition at line 98:
     if (dnsDomainIs(host, "") return "SOCKS";

So that’s the problem. Fixed it, everything is back to normal again!

That’s a small tip on debugging a complex pac script, hope it helps.

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