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Firebug 1.4.3b1

getfirebug.com has Firebug 1.4.3b1, a test release of what will likely be the end of the 1.4 line (the tracing version, 1.4X.3b1 should be out tomorrow).

This release fixes one major bug in activation: sometimes Firebug will fail to  remember a site should be open or it will fail to remember a site should be closed.  This bug plagued 1.4 from the time we introduced “Activate Same Origin URLs” as the default activation option.  The cause was simply a documentation bug: we did not realize that the page annotation service deletes annotations for URIs that are not visited.  If you opened Firebug 1.4.2 on http://blog.getfirebug.com, Firebug would mark the URI http://getfirebug.com; if you never visited that URI, the mark would not stick.  Since the results depended on the user’s browsing history or behavior, the bug was not reproducible.  In addition, the buggy behavior got mixed up with UI changes and other bugs so it took us a long time to sort it out.

The fix is not small for a mature and stable version that 1.4 is by now. Honza implemented a new annotation service (it’s a file of JSON strings stored in your profile in the directory named ‘firebug’) and he carried along a number of fixes to the annotation system which we uncovered after 1.4.2. For that reason, we held off releasing this fix. The new service and the fixes have been used on the 1.5 branch for some time. As far as we know, all reports about activation problems in 1.4 have been resolved by 1.5 fixes.  That’s not to say 1.4.3b1 will not have bugs, but the basic code has been tested.

As a side effect, two options changed in the Firebug status bar icon context menu:

  • Removed – Off For All web Pages.
  • Added – Clear Activation List

We plan to release this fix to the very large number of users of the addons.mozilla.org release stream. Since I guess most readers of this blog have more experience with Firebug, we’d appreciate it if you have the beta a spin.

We hope this is the end of the 1.4 activation problems.

Update: Actually “Clear Activation List” is in the Firestarter extension, not in 1.4.3b1.

jjb

Followups to the newsgroup please.

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