Software comes and goes and rarely is there a piece of 'must have' software. Firebug, an extension for Firefox, deserves to be to be heralded as an outstanding piece of software and something no web developer should be without.
Making web development easier
Every once an a while a thing of beauty comes along that makes your life easier. The switch from Windows to Mac is one example. [Firebug 1.0 beta] has given me the same warm glow. Quite simply it is a brilliant piece of software that will help developers to examine, test and debug web pages.
Firebug 1.0 ups the ante
The box model laid bare
Not sure why an element is out of line? No problem. Click on HTML and then in the right hand box choose Layout. Then click inspect and finally on any element on the page. You will see the offset, margin, border and padding for that element. Not only that but you can edit the numbers and see the changes live on the page!
![The Box Model in Firebug]
Need to find out which elements of your page are causing a slow load time? Click on Inspect and then Net and you will a list of files with the load time next to them, as well as the load order of the page. As if that's not enough you can double click to see the headers.
![Viewing page load time]
Live Edit HTML and CSS
Why go to the trouble of opening up a text editor when you can live edit the page? Click on HTML and you will see two panes. The HTML is on the left and the CSS is on the right. Dive in and edit the code and see the changes rendered on the page.
![HTML and CSS live editing]
Doing the DOM
As if that isn't enough there is a comprehensive DOM inspector. You can look at a document any way you like. It is a great help in constructing scripts and debugging in general.
![Quality control with Firebug]
Enjoy it and then give some love back
Two things you should do after reading this
- [Download Firebug 1.0 beta]
Donate to the genius that is Joe Hewitt.
: http://www.getfirebug.com/ : http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ : http://shapeshed.com/images/articles/box_model.png : http://shapeshed.com/images/articles/pageload.jpg : http://shapeshed.com/images/articles/html_css_editor.jpg : http://chrispederick.com/work/webdeveloper/ : http://shapeshed.com/images/articles/toolbar_errors.jpg