Summary: The world of web development tools is changing quickly and Firebug doesn’t want to stay behind. If you are Firebug fan or just curious what the future holds for Firebug and where the next Firebug generation is heading, read on…
In 2006, Firebug started a revolution of in-browser developer tools and it quickly became the most popular and powerful web development tool. Millions of people used Firebug to tweak their pages to perfection as well as understand and learn new web technologies. It was suddenly possible to inspect a web page from different angles and see how it’s created and how to improve it.
Firebug has inspired all main browser vendors to include similar tools in their products. Firebug itself has been developed as highly extensible application and it also inspired a lot of developers to create Firebug extensions.
Firebug has always been maintained as an independent open source project and it has received contributions from many people over time. Developers usually have many ideas about what would make them more effective in daily work and so, Firebug has naturally become great tool made for developers by developers.
It always been a handy tool. That’s one key of its success and that’s also why many users still prefer it even if there are other tools in the wild having more features. That said, Firebug helped web development to evolve by introducing simple user interface.
Firebug introduced new user experience designs as well as new web standards that have been widely adopted by other browsers and tools. For instance, Firebug stands behind the Console API standard, which represents the way to log debugging information. We introduced HTTP Archive specification for page load performance analyses and also Graphical Web Page Breakpoints to make debugging easier and more effective.
Firebug is still powerful web development tool used by millions of users around the world
who love especially its simplicity and great user experience, but it’s also facing new challenges. The biggest is the fact that it doesn’t make much sense for Firebug (as Firefox add-on) to duplicate functionality built-in to Firefox.
The product has always been an extension and the natural direction is to build the next Firebug generation on top of existing developer tools in Firefox – and extend it. So, the next step is tight integration with the existing Firefox platform. This way Firebug also gets significant performance, stability and security advantages. Firebug will complement Firefox Developer Tools by adding new functionality – not by competing with them.
The next Firebug generation starts with introducing a new Firebug theme, new features and bringing great Firebug user experience to the built in tools. Users don’t want two separate tools in Firefox – they want one great and powerful tool!
So, give it a try and install Firebug 3 alpha (you can also check out firebug.next source repository). We’d love to hear feedback from you!
Update: Firebug 3 alpha is compatible with Firefox 35.0a2+
Please post feedback in the newsgroup
Jan ‘Honza’ Odvarko