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Firebug: Alive and Well

25 July 2011

Last week, John J. Barton announced that he has left IBM and the Firebug project and joined Google. John has been leading Firebug for quite some time and he has made a huge contribution there. It’s hard to overstate how important Firebug has been and still is in the world of web development, and John has been a large part of that history.

The departure of Firebug’s leader has raised questions in some people’s minds about the future of the project. Back in May, I explained the relationship between Firebug and Mozilla’s developer tools group. What I wrote there is still relevant today: Firebug remains an important and vibrant independent project. Mozilla directly supports Firebug both through work on the platform that Firebug depends on as well as work on Firebug itself.

Jan (Honza) Odvarko works in the Mozilla Developer Tools group and is the new leader of Firebug. Honza has been working on Firebug for a long time and has been the release manager for the past few releases. The Firebug project is continuing to move forward without a break with the release of 1.8b6 last week and this week’s planned 1.8 final release. Honza has plans for interesting new features in Firebug 1.9 so stay tuned or, even better, get involved!

Firebug has many awesome features built up over a period of years and is a favorite tool for more than 2.5 million web developers. If you’ve never tried Firebug before, you’re in for a treat: it’s a powerful and comprehensive tool for web developers. If you’re already a Firebug user, keep an eye out because the Firebug project has more good things to come.

Best of luck to John in his future endeavors and to the Honza and the rest of the Firebug team for their continuing adventure!

Kevin Dangoor, Developer Tools Product Manager

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    9 Responses to “Firebug: Alive and Well”

  1. Mozilla Ensures Future of Firebug Says:

    […] a break with the release of 1.8b6 last week and this week’s planned 1.8 final release.”, says Mozilla. Share This Article: Related Articles:Is Rapid Release Process Not Good For The Mozilla […]

  2. pd Says:

    “Firebug has many awesome features built up over a period of years and is a favorite tool for more than 2.5 million web developers.”

    So why are you re-inventing the wheel with the Mozilla Developer Tools? At best you are creating confusion not seen since the days when DOM Inspector was still bundled with Firefox. At worst your taking resources away from Firebug and / or duplicating efforts that should be focused on improving one product, not creating two.

    Please *convince me* I’m wrong.

  3. kdangoor Says:

    Just to provide context here: I responded to essentially the same content over in the “Relationship between…” blog post:

  4. Giraldi Says:

    Despite the reasoning, I’m having the suspicion that this route was the thing that pushes John to Google. Firebug, despite of its awesomeness, is a memory hog. Wouldn’t it be better in helping Firebug fix this issue… ‘focus on improving one product’, just like @pd suggests?

  5. kdangoor Says:

    I’ve certainly spoken with John along the way, but it’s not my place to comment on why he has joined Google.

    Memory performance of both Firebug and Firefox are improving.

    “Wouldn’t it be better…” The answer, for me, is no. That’s what I said in the other blog post.

  6. Giraldi Says:

    FireBug is my number one reason for using Firefox. By John joining Google, Google might come up with a competitive version of its own.

  7. kdangoor Says:

    Firebug’s not going anywhere! And, it’s going to be joined by new features in the browser *and* new capabilities that Firebug itself can take advantage of.

  8. Luki Says:

    This may be a naive question, but – have you ever considered integrating Firebug in Firefox as its Dev tools? A lot has been done on it and many people use it. I now find myself in between the two tools without knowing which one offers me more “juice” – the knowledge I have of Firebug comes from using it for years and building the same on the dev tools would require me a lot of time – and give up on Firebug itself.

    Not easy as time is never enough!

  9. kdangoor Says:

    Hi Luki,

    We have indeed considered integrating Firebug, but for technical reasons and a desire to try some new UI, we don’t think that’s the best path.

    The good news is that you don’t have to choose or relearn anything. I think there are certain tasks for which the UIs we’re creating will help you get the job done much quicker and easier than with other tools that are out there, but it’s still your choice whether to learn new tools or not.

    I hear you about never having enough time, though! Enjoy using Firebug, because it’s a great project.