Archive for November, 2010

Firebug 1.6.0

Monday, November 29th, 2010

The Firebug Working Group proudly announces the availability of Firebug 1.6.0!

We have implemented a lot of new features that are summarized on our wiki in section Firebug 1.6 release notes. Please go over the summary and let us know if you need any additional information.

We have been working hard, but a lot of things wouldn’t be possible without contributions from developers, translators and also designers. See our wiki that lists all our active contributors.

Stability of Firebug has been improved, some memory leaks caught and so, we can declare Firebug 1.6 as the best release ever.

We are focusing on quality and continuously extending our list of automated tests. We run these tests to verify every release and publishing all test results online. Any Firebug users can also run the automated test suite on local machines and upload the results so, we can collect information about stability from various environments.

Firebug 1.6.0 has been uploaded on and your Firefox should ask you for update soon. According to our past experience some issues can sneak through all the alpha and beta releases so, we expect some minor updates in the next few weeks.

Firebug 1.6.0 is for Firefox 3.6 and we are currently working on Firebug 1.7 and focusing on compatibility with Firefox 4.0. It should be available early next year. See known issues with Firefox 4.0.

Beta testers using releases from will be also automatically asked to update.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup.


Firebug 1.7a7

Friday, November 19th, 2010 has Firebug 1.7a7 + Chromebug 1.7a7 combo. This release fixes 8 issues. All 150 tests pass on Firefox 3.6. Unfortunately, running tests on Firefox 4.0 causes crash.

Some news:

  • Fixed UI problems with Firefox themes (issue 791)
  • Net panel displays correct response in case of HTTP authentication (issue 1927 and issue 3526)
  • Better UX for panel options management (issue 3655)
  • A workaround for inspecting XUL caused problems for the HTML panel; we moved the workaround so it only applies to inspection.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup.

Firebug 1.6b4

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 has Firebug 1.6b4. Patches for 31 issues have been ported from Firebug 1.7 and all tests pass. The plan is to wait for your feedback and if no blocking bug is reported we’ll release Firebug 1.6 final on AMO.

We are also planning to release next betas on AMO (using the beta channel) in order to reach more beta testers.

For a list of new features read previous posts here and here.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup.


Firebug 1.7a6

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Firebug 1.7a6 + Chromebug1.7a6 have been released. This release fixes 12 issues and is dedicated to yet improved auto-completion feature. Note that this feature will be ported into Firebug 1.6 only in case of positive feedback. So, please let us know how it works for you!

All 148 tests passed with Firefox 3.6 and there are known 9 failures with Firefox 4.0. The biggest limitation on Firefox 4.0 is currently bug 609663 that breaks single-stepping and break-on-next. See known issues page for more.

Some other highlights in this release:

  • The exception variable (passed into a catch block) is now listed in the Watch side panel automatically when you debugging an exception. issue 3122
  • Chromebug can be used to inspect anonymous XBL again. issue 3492
  • window.localStorage and window.sessionStorage members are now properly displayed in the DOM panel and showing the current content. issue 3611
  • Layout for URLs displayed in the Net panel improved so, available horizontal space is fully utilized. issue 3633

As usual, the API docs has been also updated.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup.

Make link files in Firefox 4.0 read-only, use -purgecaches

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

This post is for folks who work on Firefox 4.0 extensions.

In trying to track down some Firefox 4.0 issues today I discovered that my Firebug copy had been overwritten by Firefox. Ouch.

To develop Firebug we use a ‘file-link’ , ‘file-proxy’  or  ‘symlink’ feature of the Mozilla platform.  We create a file in our profiles’s extensions/ folder called and in that file we put the file system path to our development directory. Firefox reads this like it was an installed extension.  Then when we change Firebug source, we just kill and restart Firefox to test and debug.

In Firefox 4.0 these file-proxies can be silently overwritten. Three ways I know that can be avoided:

  1. Insure that your dev version always has a newer version,
  2. Change your install.rdf to add <em:unpack>true</em:unpack>,
  3. Make your file-proxy file read-only.
  4. update: Set the pref extensions.update.autoUpdateDefault to false

The first option means you can’t go back and check any older version’s behavior. The second one means that you have to have a different install.rdf for dev and release. So I guess it’s #3. Update: Thanks to hints by Blair McBride and Colby Russell, option #4 is the winner. I set this in Chromebug’s defaults files so it will always be on.

And just in case you missed it: you also have to add the command line option -purgecaches to get any extension changes to be picked up.


Firebug 1.7a5

Friday, November 5th, 2010 has Firebug 1.7a5 (see fixed issues). This release has two major features.

  • Auto-completion for Firebug’s command line is improved and its internal architecture is redesigned.
  • Awesome Robert Sayre fixed an important Firefox 4.0 bug and Firebug’s debugger can be activated on nightly builds again. Even if the stepping (in the debugger) is not yet fully working, this is a great progress.

There is couple of failing tests on Firefox 3.6, both are known and will be solved in the next alpha. There is eighteen failures on Firefox 4.0, which is good progress (it was ~50 in Firebug 1.7a4).

Related updates:

Followup in the newsgroup please.