Development Blog

Firebug Feature? Tagged ‘firebugged’

For Firebug 1.4 we want to try yet again to improve the enabled-panels user experience. The 1.2/1.3 solution is too complex for users and too hard for us to maintain.

One idea is to turn on the resource-hungry features only for web pages that Firebug is open on.  If you are debugging, you have your site selected and you have Firebug on. If you wander off an read your email, you don’t have Firebug up. Firebug would be on when you are debugging and off when not. Makes a lot of sense (even if it is not as easy to implement as it sounds).

Part of implementing this is to remember what pages you had Firebug open on. And one way to implement this remembering thing is the Firefox Places tagging API. By tagging pages as “firebugged” when you open Firebug on them, we can check this tag when you open that URL later.  Maybe you don’t like us to mess with your tags, I don’t know.  As part of the trade off,  you can type ‘firebugged’ in to the location bar and get a list of all pages you use Firebug on:


That seems pretty cool to me.  (Note that the top link here is a page I opened Firebug, then closed it, seems like Firefox is confused).

Still investigating this idea, comments welcome.


9 Responses to “Firebug Feature? Tagged ‘firebugged’”

  1. FP Says:

    You could also try using content prefs:

  2. Jigar Shah Says:

    I have another suggestion. What if we enable only when FB panel / window is open ? So if you want to do some resource hungry operation open firebug panel. Here you don’t have to remember urls 🙂

  3. Glen Says:

    Doesn’t Firebug already remember which pages it’s open on, in order to show itself when a tab is selected (and list the active pages in the status bar tooltip)?

  4. John Silvestri Says:

    I use Firebug…but I don’t use bookmarks.

    I stopped using bookmarks many years ago, and strictly use the Awesomebar to get where I’m trying to go. (Before it’s existence, I used to just type URL fragments…now life is easier.)

    I’d second the recommendation of using content-specific prefs – that’s kind of what they were designed for, and are far less intrusive.

  5. John Silvestri Says:

    P.S. Make that ‘site-specific’ prefs.
    (e.g. browser.zoom.siteSpecific)

  6. jerone Says:

    I’m a very big fan of Firebug. Beside Firebug I’m also a big user of Foxmarks.
    And now comes the problem, every time I change a tag, Foxmarks registers this and what to synchronize. So every time I open Firebug you put a new tag there and Foxmarks gets busy.
    I see this as a big disadvantage, which leads to a lot off busy servers at Foxmarks.
    I vote for another solution.

  7. BrianL Says:

    I haven’t read the other comments, but I like the idea of being able to type “firebugged” in my address bar. Keep up the great work John!

  8. Glen Says:

    Wouldn’t SQLite be faster than a plain text file? At least with SQLite the URLs could be indexed.

  9. Albert Says:

    A little, perhaps offtopic, proposal for changing the user experience. Personally, I think the users problem is in the difference between a global enable/disable, and a per-site enable/disable. I do not know if there are two ‘camps’, one that always wants Firebug turned on or off, and another that wants the per-site settings. But you pointed out that performance is unacceptable when turning Firebug panels on permanently.

    So, my proposal is: remove the global enable/disable switch. This would clear up the dropdown in Firebugs tabs – you might get away with removing the dropdown fully, and replace it with a permanent ‘enabled for this site’ checkbox which is much more discoverable.

    This would also clean the site list: it would become a whitelist, no need to add disabled sites when there’s no global enable.

    I know this is a change that will remove behavior some people might rely on, but I believe its for the better. Love to hear comments!