suggestion for ajax: call out cross-domain failure more clearly
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See the comments below the problem description.
Summary: I had my browser pointed to a file://C:/... URL, and jquery was considering my ajax call to http://localhost/... to be "cross domain", and it was failing pretty silently. My suggestion is for jquery to modify the error string (textStatus) in this case to complain about cross domain or cross protocol to give a clue as to what happened.