Best Extension Ever?

Published on December 9, 2006

I recently stumbled upon what might be the greatest Firefox extension of all time: Firebug. This extension is aimed squarely at web developers and includes a number of mind-blowing features. And I mean mind blowing. Before reading any further, take a look at this short screencast of Firebug in action. Just make sure that you hold on to your socks.

How did I survive this long without this tool? And why haven’t we had something like this all along? Firebug single-handedly obsoletes the DOM Inspector extension that ships with Firefox, and nearly obsoletes the mighty fine Web Developer extension that I have relied on for so long. I can now view exactly what my CSS is doing. I can peruse through my page’s DOM without opening up the DOM Inspector and switching between windows. I can even edit the CSS and HTML for a page in real time; no reloading necessary! Want to watch your AJAX code in action? Firebug makes it easy.

This tool feels so incredibly polished, and the user interface is so streamlined, that I barely even notice that I have it installed. And it weighs in at an extraordinarily small 288 KB (as of this writing). I cannot say enough good things about this extension; just download it and give it a try. You will not be disappointed.



That is pretty cool, I’ve seen that extension before but assumed from the name that it had something to do with Bugzilla so I never investigated more closely. Although I should add that the Web Developer extension also allows you to edit HTML and CSS in real time (i.e. without reloading the page).

I’ve never used the edit CSS and HTML stuff in Web Developer; the sidebar doesn’t lend itself too well to hacking, since it can’t grow very wide. But I guess that’s just a personal preference. I mainly like the fact that with Firebug, I don’t have to open up the DOM inspector to parse through the DOM.

But what really hooked me was the box-model highlighting. Now I can actually see where my margin is in relation to the content. Far out!

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