The Ultimate Front End Dev Environment
I feel I haven’t poked the subject of the front end development process to the point that it would scream from a “poking pain” feeling. And I’m looking at a recent Coding Horror post on the same subject as the reason why I’m putting my two cents in now. I’ve gone through great lengths on a defense of Dreamweaver, as bad as some people believe it to be, but I haven’t actually talked about the other side of the equation when it comes to developing on browser technologies, the browser development environment itself.
Then came Firefox, which begat the Webdevelopers Toolbar and Firebug. Ever since Firebug’s 2 release I have been gifted with the one thing I really feel all web browsers should come with:
console.debug(). As bad as trace commands can be in Actionscript (do remember that your final published should remove all trace calls), they are an invaluable tool in an actionscripters aresnal when it comes to debugging. And while developing in these two environments can be extremely different, it is at times very similar. Both languages are based on ECMA Script.
Needless to say, these two extensions, have made Firefox an excellent developing environment for web. That is not to say that it is a replacement for other applications that have been used in development. I still use Dreamweaver very heavily - not only am I accustomed to it’s UI, but it has the control and customizing I need with a pretty decent file/ftp/testing facility. I use Firefox more to make minor changes and run through debug activities. It allows me to be focused in those tasks. But when I’m ready to make my final changes, I’ll go back to Dreamweaver and put in my final changes.
In addition to Firebug and Web Developer, some other useful extensions are:
- Add n Edit Cookes
- Live Http Headers
- View Source Chart - was really handy before Firebug had a traversable DOM
- JS View - still has some use even though Firebug has a similar feature
April 11, 2007 10:52 PM Development