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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Flaming Cockroach

No, it's not some south of the border concoction having to do with Tequila. It does however have to do with debugging in Firefox. In fact, Firebug may be my most favorite Firefox plugin ever. It makes previously tedious web/bowser debugging a cinch. Instead of a massive number of echo() or var_dump() calls, the current contents of any web page element can be easily inspected, including any and all JavaScript and CSS elements. I have found this tool to be invaluable when debugging AJAX calls since it handily displays all AJAX request results.

In addition to the integrated inspector, Firebug also allows the live alteration and debugging of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There is also a graphical means of displaying the alignment of CSS elements to help show you how things are aligned, as well as the ability to profile page functionality and the time it takes various components of the page to function. One of Firebug's most helpful pieces of functionality for DHTML and JavaScript rich web applications, is the ability to inspect and edit the DOM, which can be difficult to debug manually.

If you do any significant amount of web development and its not already in your development arsenal, Firebug is really something you should not be without.

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