I found a Firebug Bug!

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Revision as of 16:33, 21 November 2013 by Sebastianz (Talk | contribs) (Added category)

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Every Firebug release goes through regression testing and community testing by alpha and beta users. In addition we use Firebug code to develop Firebug.

Obvious and glaring "bugs" in Firebug are very often not things that Firebug can fix; rather, they are problems caused by other extensions, by unusual settings, or by bugs in Firefox. This page attempts to help you determine if your problem really is a Firebug bug, if it is something else you can fix by your own, or something that somebody else needs to fix.

Please note: Firebug is not responsible for Firefox crashes. If Firefox crashes, it's a Firefox bug. However, unless you are running a nightly build of Firefox, creating a new Firefox profile and installing Firebug will probably fix it. If you want the crash fixed, please report it to Mozilla.

Before you start make sure your Firefox extensions are all updated.

If you have a problem with Firebug, first decide:

  • Do you want the quickest way to stop having the problem? or
  • Do you want to understand the problem so it can be fixed?

The quickest way to stop having the problem

  1. Does Firebug Install? No: Contact Firefox support.
  2. Does Firebug Open? No: Create a new Firefox profile.
  3. Is the Firebug user interface partly blank, or not responding? Yes: Fix other extensions.
  4. Is Firebug doing things you don't want? Yes: Reset the options.

Install problems: Contact Firefox Support

For all issues with installation contact Firefox support.

Cannot open or mysterious problems: Create a new Firefox profile

Creating a new Firefox profile is a highly reliable way to solve problems. Note: uninstalling and reinstalling of Firebug or Firefox very rarely helps, because preferences won't get deleted. A new Firefox profile is a clean configuration with:

  • no addons,
  • no bookmarks, and
  • no options from your current configuration.

If you need help, please read how to create a clean profile

Partial user interface failures: Disable other extensions

Firebug touches a lot of the Firefox platform and the action of other extensions while Firebug operates can interfere with Firebug's work.

  1. Firefox > Tools > Addons or URL about:addons
  2. For every extension select "disable"
  3. Restart Firefox

If Firebug works, then one of the disabled extensions interferes with Firebug. You can try to enable them a few at a time to work out which one interferes.

Firebug not acting like you remember: Reset all Firebug options

Firebug Icon Menu (upper left corner) > Options > Reset All Firebug Options

To understand the problem so it can be fixed

  1. Reproduce the problem
  2. Isolate the problem
  3. Report the problem

Reproducing the problem

  • To understand a problem you need to be able to reproduce it.
  • To get the problem fixed you need to communicate the procedure to reproduce the problem.
  • So the first and most critical step in fixing a problem is to reproduce it:
    • Find a sequence of steps that you can perform to show the problem when you first open Firefox.
    • Write the steps down so you can remember them and repeat them.

See also the information about how to create a test case.

Isolating the problem

Now that you can reproduce the problem, figure out who to blame:

  1. Open the Firefox Error Console (Ctrl/+Shift+J). Any errors related to Firebug? Copy them and remember to include them in your report.
  2. Create a new profile, install Firebug, reproduce the problem. Still a bug? Report the problem, else
  3. Return to your previous profile, open the Add-ons Manager via Firefox menu bar > Tools > Add-ons, Firefox button > Add-ons or about:addons to disable all extensions except Firebug. Solved? Enable the other extensions again one by one until you find the buggy one and report it, else
  4. Open the Troubleshooting Information via Firebug Button > Help > Troubleshooting Information, click Open Containing Folder, open prefs.js in a text editor, copy all lines containing extensions.firebug into a separate text file, reset all options (via Firebug Icon Menu (upper left corner) > Options > Reset All Firebug Options), reproduce the problem. Solved? Report the problem attaching the created file, else
  5. In the profile folder go to firebug/, move the file breakpoints.json (if it doesn't exist, go to step 4) out of that folder, reproduce the problem. Solved? Report the problem attaching your breakpoints.json (Attention: breakpoints.json contains the URLs of all breakpoints you set, so make sure there's nothing, that shouldn't be public), else
  6. In the profile folder under firebug/ move the file annotations.json (if it doesn't exist, go to step 5) out of that folder, reproduce the problem. Solved? Report the problem attaching your annotations.json (Attention: annotations.json contains the URLs of all pages you enabled Firebug for, so make sure there's nothing, that shouldn't be public)

Reporting the problem

Now that you know, that it is a Firebug problem:

  • Make sure your problem isn't listed in the known issues and isn't already reported. If there is already an issue,
    • but it is closed already, go to the next step, else
    • if you have additional info, add a comment to it and attach your test case, if there isn't one yet, else

If you can't give a public test case, please ask in the Firebug discussion group or in the Firebug IRC channel.

Also please do not post whole blocks of code into the issues. That just makes it hard to read them. Instead put it into a file and attach that file to the report.

See also