Firefox Developers

Developer Tools for the Open Web

Weekly developer tools update, Jan 26

January 27th, 2012

Here are some high level points from the weekly meeting:

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


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Firefox 11 (Aurora) Developer Tools screencast

January 23rd, 2012

I’ve created a screencast to show off the Style Editor and Page Inspector 3D view (Tilt). These features are in Aurora today and will be going into beta next week. I wrote a post for Mozilla Hacks about these tools last month.

Be sure to opt-in to HTML5 video on YouTube!


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Weekly developer tools update, Jan 19

January 19th, 2012

Here are the highlights from this week’s meeting:

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


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Weekly Developer Tools Update, Jan 12

January 12th, 2012

Here are the highlights from the latest weekly meeting:

 


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Weekly Developer Tools Update, Dec 15

December 15th, 2011

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.


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Developer Tools 2012 Roadmap

December 15th, 2011

I have posted a draft roadmap for Mozilla’s developer tools in 2012. It’s a draft, and your comments are appreciated (the best place to comment is on dev-apps-firefox).

Please take a look and let us know what you think!

– Kevin Dangoor, on behalf of the developer tools team


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Weekly Developer Tools update, Dec 8

December 8th, 2011

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:

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


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Weekly Developer Tools Update, Dec 1

December 1st, 2011

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.


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Weekly Developer Tools Update, Nov 17

November 17th, 2011

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!


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

September 6th, 2011

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:

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

Thanks!

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


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