Michael Burke

Firebug is Pretty Rad

I don’t know why I resisted adopting it for so long, but Firebug is pretty spectacular for a free web development tool. I remember trying it a couple times in the past and being unimpressed with the interface. I remember it as ugly, unintuitive, and fragile. My latest impression is almost entirely positive, though.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some quirks. For example, try refreshing a page when the Javascript debugger is in the middle of stepping through code. On my Mac using Firefox 3.0.7, it’ll make the window stop running Javascript entirely. Breakpoints are quirky and frequently don’t work right. I also regularly get it into a state where it doesn’t completely load my Javascript files into the code preview pane.

Those flaws are more easily overlooked now. Sure, I’m wasting some time working around the bugs. That’s being made up for in spades though by not having to constantly resort to alert-based debugging. Anyone that’s done a hardcore, asynchronous, event-based Javascript app will understand what a blessing that is. I know I’m thankful for it. Given the attention Firefox is getting these days, I can only assume Firebug will improve as it gets more exposure. I’ll be looking forward to better releases.

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 9:25 pm


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Michael Burke