We’re now right in the middle of the 6 week development cycle for Firefox 7, so I thought I’d do a quick rundown of the features we’re tracking for that Firefox, with two special bonus features at the end. Remember that we’re following a release train model here. The timing for Firefox 7 is fixed, but the features listed below are not. If we get everything ready in time, you’ll see the features listed below appear in Firefox Aurora builds sometime around July 5th and in a Firefox release around September 20th.
Highlighter lets you visually select a DOM element, see some basic information about the element and access further tools for working with the element. It’s a gateway to visual/design oriented tools. Rob Campbell and Mihai Sucan have been working on the main patch in bug 642471. Paul Rouget has been working on improvements to the initial element highlighting and adding the overlaid information in followup bugs.
Status: Main patch is ready-to-land
Next 3 weeks: polish the feature with the followups
Style Inspector takes the element selected by the Highlighter and gives you detailed information about the styling of the element. This feature was initially created for Firefox 4 last fall and recently revived by Mike Ratcliffe. bug 582596 covers the main work of landing the feature. Additional important bugs cover things like integration with the Highlighter.
Status: Reviewed by the devtools team, waiting on browser peer.
Next 3 weeks: land it and get the Highlighter integration in
Style Editor makes it possible to make changes to the CSS on your page and see those changes instantly take effect. Cedric Vivier has quite a few great ideas for this tool, and we’re hoping to get the first step out in Firefox 7. Cedric’s editor is available as an add-on right now. He will be attaching a patch version of this to bug 583041 within the next couple of days.
Status: Patch coming up for review by devtools team.
Next 3 weeks: Get the patch up, reviewed and landed. This will likely be followed by a UI polish round.
HTML Tree editing provides a simple interface for making some changes to the current DOM. Specifically, you’ll be able to manipulate attributes and text nodes. Kyle Simpson has picked up work on the HTML tree that was already in mozilla-central, experimented with the user interface and is now getting a patch together for the tree. You can track the progress in bug 659710.
Status: Patch coming soon for review by devtools team.
Next 3 weeks: Get the patch up, reviewed and landed.
We’re adding a Code Editor to Firefox to improve the editing experience for the Scratchpad and Style Editor features. Mihai Sucan is integrating the Eclipse Orion editor, which has very good accessibility and internationalization aspects. This work is tracked in bug 660784. A separate bug tracks the Scratchpad integration for the editor.
Status: Initial patch reviewed, more work required for testing the integration. Also getting accessibility feedback to see if the editor hits the “good enough” level.
Next 3 weeks: Finalize the patch and land it.
console object is being extended to have just about everything that’s in the de facto standard. Panagiotis Astithas is leading the charge on this, and there are several bugs involved in this work.
Status: Much has landed already
Next 3 weeks: land console.dir, console.group/groupEnd
And now, the two special bonus features. These aren’t going to make their impact in Firefox 7, but the progress during the 7 cycle has been great!
The Command Line is part of a rethink on how people get things done with developer tools. It’s going to take us a couple of releases to fully bake the Command Line+Scratchpad idea, and we’ll be talking more about this soon. Joe Walker worked heavily on the Bespin command line and has been working on this seriously spruced up new version of the idea. Our new intern, Nick Fitzgerald, will help out with this feature. It’s actually possible to use this sort of command line interface in your own webapps as well.
Status: Landing support for command registration soon
Next 3 weeks: working to land the command line UI, but turned off by default until we’ve fully fleshed it out
Status: SpiderMonkey can stop at debugger statements and provide stack traces over the remote protocol
Next 3 weeks: Continue on the strong progress made so far… this is not a Firefox 7 feature, but will be here before you know it!
We’re building a lot of new tools, and I think they’re fun and exciting projects that will help a great many web developers. There are many opportunities to get involved, and we’d love your help in building some of the best tools for the open web.
Update: Since our release train model is still quite new, I added some additional information to the first paragraph to describe when these features are likely to be available.
– Kevin Dangoor, on behalf of the Developer Tools team