Development Blog

Chromebug 1.5a4 has Chromebug 1.5a4. Chromebug is the Firebug code adapted for XUL applications. It is the debugger that Firebug developers use to develop Firebug.  Note: you must install Firebug 1.5 as well as the Chromebug XPI. .

If you have looked any previous released version of Chromebug you will see a lot of changes. Some of these are inherited from Firebug.  Others are improvements in Chromebug itself.

The key features that we use routinely and that work well:

  • Inspect over Firefox. Probably also works on Thunderbird.
  • Viewing XUL and HTML, CSS styles, Layout and the DOM properties all work well.
  • Javascript debugging.  Seems pretty good now, the only problem is when I breakpoint Firebug and then try to use the breakpoints in Firebug. Since they share the same core debug engine, the result is often that Chromebug fails to break.
  • Error tracking in the Trace panel.
  • The command line works for some commands at least (not something I use however)

It is also a fun tool for poking around under the covers:

  • Try setting the context: to noWindow://BackstagePass and looking at the DOM panel
  • The XUL Windows panel shows the output of the window mediator
  • Filter: menu attempts to organize the chrome namespace (but I don’t use it after all)
  • File: menu shows all the files Chromebug knows about (well just the JS files now).
  • Tools > Open Chromebug Trace Console, if you want to know how to debug a debugger for debuggers 😉

Problems areas:

  • CSS editing is disabled because of Bug 503007
  • No support for anonymous XBL nodes because of unimplemented functions.
  • We don’t use Console or Net panel, so we don’t know if the work or not.
  • Tools > Platform shows the components, but it is very slow then crashes Firefox.
  • Some features under Tools have rotted but have not been removed.
  • The source code looks like it was written by someone who did not understand XUL applications and did not have a lot of documentation for some of the APIs. (But its getting a lot better as the causes improve).

Finally Gerv helped set up a newsgroup, mozilla.addons.chromebug.   I welcome suggestions and comments there.


Followups to the newsgroup please.

Comments are closed.