Archive for the 'Lite' Category

Future of Firebug Lite

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Firebug Working Group (FWG) has always been maintaining two projects.

  • Firebug – The Firefox extension
  • Firebug Lite – Pure web application compatible with all major browsers

Firebug has always had a lot more features since it’s a Firefox extension and as such it has the ability to use Firefox API that are not accessible for web applications (e.g. debugging API, HTTP monitoring API, etc.).

Firebug Lite on the other side runs in all major browsers as a standard web application. It’s a great advantage for developers who want to debug their applications in more browsers and stick to the same UI/UX.


Firebug Lite can be also used as a bookmarklet (click the link to open Firebug Lite at the bottom of your browser).

Firebug Lite

Firebug Lite


Firebug Lite has always been a very interesting project for us and we think that it has great future and the ability to compete with all existing developer-tools offered by various browsers. It has a future because it’s different and here is what we think makes the project unique:

  • Firebug Lite supports more browsers, so developers don’t have to switch between different tools (and different UI/UX) when implementing an application for more browsers.

  • Firebug Lite uses extensible architecture and it’s possible to develop extensions or integrate existing tools (e.g. bookmarks) all running across various browsers.

  • As browsers expose more APIs to the content (web apps), Firebug Lite can heavily profit from it.

  • Firebug Lite could support various remote debugger protocols (V8, RDP, etc.) to access more browser features, support remote debugging and implement the same features for different browsers.


FWG is a relatively small group of enthusiastic developers and for pragmatic reasons we decided (some time ago) to focus on one project only: Firebug – the Firefox extension. Of course, this helps us to keep Firebug a great tool and deliver stability as well as new features, which is already a lot of work on our plates. This means there is currently no one working on or providing support for Firebug Lite.

However, this opens a great opportunity for any enthusiastic developers looking for an open source project to contribute to and/or become a leader of it.


Does it sound interesting to you?
If yes, just contact me (odvarko at gmail dot com).



You can also post feedback in the newsgroup.


Jan ‘Honza’ Odvarko


Firebug Lite 1.4

Friday, September 23rd, 2011 has Firebug Lite 1.4! This release has been also uploaded on the Chrome Web Store and on the Firebug Lite Beta for Google Chrome channel.

Firebug Lite 1.4 fixes 10 reported issues, a couple of internal issues, and comes with some internal refactoring that will soften our future merge with Firebug code base.

Two new features were included in this version. Firebug Lite now shows the line number of CSS rules in the Style Panel, thanks to Sergeche’s Simple CSS Parser. Also, the way Firebug Lite stores its preferences were improved, thanks to the Marcuswestin’s Store library. This means that now Firebug Lite will remember its position/size, last selected Panel, last commands executed in the Command Line, and a couple of other internal states.

Please note that the CSS rule’s line number feature requires fetching all stylesheet sources, which will add a little overhead to the application. For this reason a new option “Disable Resource Fetching” was added for those who don’t want that extra overhead and/or additional HTTP requests. Also please note that this feature won’t work in all scenarios yet, so if you spot a bug please report it in our issue tracker providing a test case to reproduce the problem.

Last but not least, Firebug Lite is finally using automated unit tests so hopefully old bugs won’t reappear when new features are introduced. Note that the Issue 2977 will fail in this test runner because does not allow the php file required for that test. We’ll probably move the test runner to in the future, but we need to adjust some bits of the runner’s code for that to work properly. Also note that Issue 3262 and Issue 3326 are known to fail in IE versions older than 9 because they use some HTML5 elements in the test case, and IE doesn’t like it. We could incorporate the HTML5 Shiv code in the test runner in the future, so that doesn’t happen.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup, thanks!

Pedro Simonetti Garcia.

Firebug Lite 1.4b1

Thursday, August 18th, 2011 has Firebug Lite 1.4b1! This release has been also uploaded on the Chrome Web Store and on the Firebug Lite Beta for Google Chrome channel.

Firebug Lite 1.4.0b1 fixes 3 reported issues, a couple of internal issues, and comes with some internal refactoring that will soften our future merge with Firebug code base.

I know we haven’t seen many Firebug Lite releases recently, but there’s a good reason for that. Behind the scenes we’re making deep changes in Firebug to make it work remotely and in different browsers. With the adoption of the RequireJS/AMD pattern, we’re also making Firebug easier to extend and at the same time less prone to conflicts between the hosting environment, Firebug, and Firebug extensions. This means that in the future Firebug Lite will share most of its code base with Firebug, which in turn means Firebug Lite will be a lot more stable and easier to maintain.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup, thanks!

Pedro Simonetti Garcia.

Firebug Lite 1.3.2

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Firebug Lite 1.3.2 is finally out and it comes with important fixes and enhancements!

Check the Firebug Lite page for installation details of the the cross-browser version. Or, if you are a Google Chrome user, check the Firebug Lite for Google Chrome page.

This release fixes 6 issues: 4 bugs and 2 enhancements. There’s also the addition of the cool infoTips module.

Bugs fixed:

  • Issue 3422: Firebug Lite breaks Google Instant Search
  • Issue 3504: Firebug lite: jQuery.ajax call fails in IE
  • Issue 3524: Firebug Lite Style Panel doesn’t work if the native Element is extended
  • Issue 3554: Firebug Lite should use local images when loaded locally


  • Issue 3166: Listen to F12 key in for Google Chrome when inactive
  • Issue 3579: Use context menu to Inspect Element in Firebug Lite Chrome Extension


  • infoTips for CSS properties such as colorand image

A bug in the XHR watcher was affecting XHR calls in IE (Issue 3504) and in some applications like Google Instant Search (Issue 3422). The XHR Listener relies on replacing the XMLHttpRequest object with a proxy one in order to be able to track XHR calls. This is an intrusive approach and can potentially affect other applications. On the other hand, there is no other automatic way to track XHR calls using only JavaScript, and the benefits of having such feature in Firebug Lite are considerable (able to see GET and POST variables, response headers, view data as JSON, HTML or XML). Now all known problems are fixed but to avoid future problems with Firebug Lite affecting other applications a new option “Disable XHR Listener” was created. You can set this option using the Firebug menu, or using the other options described here.

New "Disable XHR Listener" option

Another important fix is Issue 3524 which was making the Style/CSS Panels to fail in sites like Joomla (or any other site that extends the native Element object for that matter). So enjoy, now you can tweak the CSS of Joomla sites! Also, regarding the Style/CSS panels, the infoTips module has been ported from Firebug so now you can see that little popup showing colors and images of the CSS file.

The hard work is actually happening behind the scenes, refactoring Firebug Lite’s core in order to support sharing modules with Firebug. The Chrome extension code was also refactored and the communication between the “isolated worlds” (Firebug Lite / Content Script / Background Page) was improved, which allowed the context-menu integration to be implemented (Issue 3579). Now if you right click on Chrome you’ll se a “Inspect with Firebug Lite” option. Thanks to Jake Goldsborough for motivating me working on this. I also refactored the Chrome extension’s activation. Now it is possible to activate Firebug Lite extension using the F12/ctrl+F12 key (Issue 3166).

Context-menu integration in Google Chrome

I wish I had released this version a long time ago but a lot of stuff is going on and I had some problems along the way. I just want to express my sincere apologies for the long period without updates.

Please post feedback in the newsgroup.

Pedro Simonetti.

Firebug Lite 1.3.1b1

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 has a new beta release of Firebug Lite 1.3.1b1. Lite is the Firebug for IE, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. Look for the Firebug icon in the lower corner of the web page, it’s minimized to start.

Some of the key changes by Pedro Simonetti Garcia:

  • Many improvements to the ‘inline’ editor used for CSS and HTML, esp. for autocompletion and performance.
  • Context menu support for Style and CSS panels
  • A new Developer’s channel that loads Lite directly from SVN.

Since Firebug Lite loads right in the Web page, installation is different from the extension based Firebug. Pedro has a great summary of the four channels and three installation mechanism in the new install instructions.

Please this beta release and report any problems to our bug list or the newsgroup.