My name is Rob Cherny and I'm a professional Web Developer with 16 years of experience creating Web sites and Web-based applications. This site is where I write about my work, and random other things...

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Coming Soon: Firebug 1.0

So I found a posting today over at Joe Hewitt’s blog about the forthcoming 1.0 release of Firebug. It’s no secret I’m a fan, and since I’ve been doing a fair amount of JavaScript development in the last week or two, I’m loving it more and more. And that was the old version.

You ain’t seen nothing yet. Check out the new features:

So the new feature set exposes all the properties of the DOM, CSS, both code and WYSIWYG, as live editable things you can work with. It tracks Ajax/XMLHTTPrequests/XHR requests and also tracks download time of all page objects, in order, visually down to the millisecond. It additionally now allows Firebug to launch in it’s own window, which is great because the small pane at the bottom of the screen stinks.

Something he’s added that just about every DOM explorer tool I’ve ever used sorely lacked was also some persistence — when you locate an object and select it, possibly even making changes, then refresh the page, you don’t have to go hunting for the object again — it finds it for you. That’s always bothered me. It also highlights changes in it’s view-source window as scripts change them.

Geeze, I haven’t even used the thing yet and I can’t wait to.

Would you pay for Firebug?

The catch is, Joe wants to do so much with Firebug it’s something that really deserves full time attention, and he’d like to have it paid for by being able to hire someone to work on it.

My first reaction, based on just reading his blurb on the blog about it’s new features was, “oh, I dunno about this” ... then, looking over at the new site and really reading about all the things it has to offer, I didn’t hesitate.

Firebug as a development environment

Thing is, the new feature set brings it up to a whole new level. No longer is it a logger and a DOM explorer, but you can now do all these new live edits with overlays of box models and rulers which appear and react to your edits. It features command line completion and everything, just like my favorite code editors do.

It’s almost like Dreamweaver built into Firefox. Ugh, I can’t believe I even just said that.

At any rate, there’s comments over on his blog as he solicits interest in a for-pay Firebug. What about commercial vs. personal or private use? What about open source? I even mentioned, dare I say it, what about corporate sponsorship?

Firebug is my #2 must-have Firefox Web development extension, well on the way to being #1, which helps me build things. Would I pay for it? Probably. Would my company? Probably.

Would you?

Go check it out, I think it’s looking pretty cool, especially as UI’s get more and more complex and some are closer to full on applications.

Nov 16, 12:57 AM in Web Development (filed under Browsers, Reviews)

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