Firebug – a web developer’s swiss army knife

On of the most frustrating things for me as a web developer has been the browser. Not only did every type of web browser have their own way of interpreting everything – debugging client side code, be it java-script, CSS or HTML was a repetitive and primitive method of trial and error, trying to narrow down the problem code.
So imagine my delight when I first encountered Mozilla Firefox and the web-developer extension made by Chris Pedrick. HTML and CSS was so much easier with this tool that there was no comparison.
The Firebug firefox extension started off where the web-developer extension left off and took client side coding – IMHO, to the next level. Not only can you do highlight the HTML structure of you page, you can do real-time debugging of java-script (complete with breakpoints and watches).
One of the cool things about this tool is the fact that you can actually use a lite version in browsers other than Mozilla Firefox like Opera and IE by including it as a library in your HTML page as shown here.
Firebug hit version 1.0 a few days back and its creator Joe Hewitt demoed it to the Yahoo User Interface team (video). I would advise you to download the video and view it when you have about an hour to spend – there is so much to see !! For those who would prefer to read about it an overview is available on Dr Dobbs Journal which can be viewed on-line here.


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