Weekly developer tools update, Jan 26


Here are some high level points from the weekly meeting:

  • Firebug 1.10 alpha 2 is coming tomorrow, and it’s restartless! And, almost all of the new Firebug is lazily initialized.
  • Firebug 1.9.1 with a crash fix is planned for next week
  • Many Tilt improvements have landed, including the ability to remove a node visually using the “x” key (the node is not removed from the DOM, just from the 3D view). The 3D view also now has a cool animation when you leave 3D mode.
  • GCLI (Command Line) has been turned off again in Nightly. The plan is for it to reappear in the developer toolbar. Thanks for the feedback!
  • The Page Inspector element highlighter now follows the element around if it moves on the page. This improvement will land in Firefox 11
  • New mockups of the Web Console UI
  • Style Editor’s filtering by stylesheet name has been removed. The plan is to put the search box back in Firefox 13 as a search in the stylesheet bug.
  • Firefox 10 is coming out on Tuesday and will raise the profile of the developer tools
  • I am working on a blog post about recent input we’ve gotten, and I summarized some of it during the meeting.

That’s it for this week. See you next week!

Weekly developer tools update, Jan 19



Here are the highlights from this week’s meeting:

  • If you’re running Firefox Nightly, you should get Firebug 1.10a1
  • the GCLI command line  is being turned back off in the Web Console, but it will come back in the Developer Toolbar feature that is coming later
  • Web Console is undergoing restyling
  • Sonny has picked up the e10s patch for the Web Console, which we’re hoping will ultimately help the Web Console become remotable
  • Style Editor transitions have landed
  • Script Debugger is partway through superreview, and Panos has posted a document about the architecture

Those are the highlights for this week. Check out the full outline on the wiki, and join us next Thursday and say hi!

Weekly Developer Tools Update, Jan 12


Here are the highlights from the latest weekly meeting:

  • Firebug 1.9 has been released!
  • Read about Honza’s plans for Firebug 1.10 (note also that if you’re running Firefox Nightly, you should use Firebug 1.10)
  • The Command Line has been turned on in Nightly! Try it out, and let us know what you think (and what kinds of commands you want!)
  • This quarter (code named Pegasus):
    • Respond to input on the tools shipping in Firefox 10 and 11
    • Get debugger ready to be turned on in 14
    • pseudo-class lock
    • Specification for the timeline view
  • Paul, Rob and Stephen met in Toronto this week to discuss how the tools will glue together and scale to handle more tools. Feedback can go on an etherpad.


Weekly Developer Tools Update, Dec 15



The developer tools weekly meeting notes are in the usual place on the wiki. Here are some highlights:

Note that there will a meeting next week, but there will be no meeting on December 29th.

Weekly Developer Tools update, Dec 8


This week’s meeting was well-attended and interesting. We actually ran over our hour-long slot, which is unusual, but the meeting didn’t seem that long! A few notes from the meeting:

  • Firebug 1.9 beta 4 next week. Honza has been working tirelessly to track down some memory leaks.
  • Cedric has created a new prototype HTML panel
  • I’ve posted a draft 2012 roadmap and will post more about that here once it’s a bit less drafty.
  • We’ve had more new contributors and more developer tools people that now have level 3 commit access. Congrats to everyone landing new patches!

Join us at 10am Pacific on Thursdays each week to talk about developer tools.

Weekly Developer Tools Update, Dec 1


There was no update last week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. There was a meeting, but I wasn’t there… I was there for today’s meeting though, and the full minutes are up.

  • I didn’t see it in the last update, so I’ll mention it here. The Style Editor has landed in Nightly! Great work that Cedric Vivier has been doing over the past few months.
  • Robert Nyman wrote up a giant collection of Firefox tools for web developers.
  • I posted a screencast of the new tools in Firefox Aurora.
  • Firebug 1.9 beta 3 is coming tomorrow. Firebug 1.9 final is looking good for a year-end release.
  • We’ve fixed some issues in the Firefox Aurora tools, so keep an eye on your updates there.
  • Cedric Vivier will be working on adding features to the HTML panel. File bugs if you have requests for the HTML panel!
  • Heather Arthur is going to begin working on pseudo-class locking (making “:hover” stick to look at its styles, for example). Speak up if you’ve got opinions on how this should work.

Weekly Developer Tools Update, Nov 17



Both by popular demand, and by the fact that we now have a lot more to talk about, the weekly updates are back on this blog. As before, the full meeting notes are available on the wiki.

The highlights from this week:

We have a nice pipeline of features being worked on, and work is progressing on all of those fronts. Stay tuned!

Do you write right-to-left? Help us test the code editor!



In the current Firefox Aurora, we have a better text editor for writing code (JavaScript and CSS are two good examples). We have adapted the Eclipse Orion editor for use in Firefox. Unfortunately, in the process of bringing Orion in, we discovered what appears to be some deficiencies in how it handles non-English text.

There are always tradeoffs when it comes to software, right? This new code editor is much more pleasant to use for writing JavaScript in the Scratchpad. It also performs much better on files with many lines. Add to these the fact that code is not the same as natural languages and Scratchpad is specifically for editing code and that leaves us with a choice:

  • Do we turn on the editor now to get the benefits for writing JavaScript and just put up with the internationalization problems for the time being? Or,
  • Do we wait until we fix the editor before we turn it on for everyone by default?

Internationalization and accessibility are two things that are actually quite difficult to get right. A great deal of effort has already gone into the editors in the major browsers to get the behavior correct. Unfortunately, the features you want from a rich text editor are not the same as the ones you want from a code editor. The ideal case, and the one we’re ultimately shooting for, is better APIs from the browser that will help JavaScript programmers make whatever custom editor behavior they wish while still maintaining support for people using any of the world’s natural languages and people with accessibility needs.

How you can help

We’re looking for input specifically from people who use non-English words in their JavaScript or CSS files. The testing we’re doing right now is with the Scratchpad feature, which focuses on JavaScript.

If you have Firefox Nightly, just open up the Scratchpad from the “Web Developer” menu and you’ll see the new editor.

If you have Firefox Aurora, you’ll need to change a setting before you’ll see the new editor. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to about:config in the location bar (you may get a warning about this… it’s okay, we’re professionals ;)
  2. Filter on devtools.editor
  3. Right-click on devtools.editor.component and select “Modify” from the menu
  4. Set the value to orion
  5. Restart your browser

Now, open the Scratchpad from the “Web Developer” menu. You’ll know that you’ve got the new editor when you see line numbers in the gutter on the left side of the window.

Here are some hints to help us test:

  1. Type in JavaScript code as you normally would (comments and all)
  2. Use the normal cursor navigation controls that you generally do
  3. Try selecting blocks of text
  4. Copy and paste code into or out of the editor

If you haven’t tried Scratchpad before, you might want to check out the Introducing Scratchpad blog post to learn more about the feature.

Let us know what you think!

After you’ve given Scratchpad a try using the instructions above, please fill out a really quick, painless survey to let us know how it went.

Your answers to that survey will help us gauge the real world impact of this new feature.

How to reset your editor

If you found that the new editor was problematic for you, you can change the editor back to a textarea, even on Nightly. Here’s how:

  1. Go to about:config in the location bar (you may get a warning about this… it’s okay, we’re professionals ;)
  2. Filter on devtools.editor
  3. Right-click on devtools.editor.component and select “Modify” from the menu
  4. Set the value to textarea
  5. Restart your browser


Early testing and feedback from people like you makes Firefox better for everyone.