If you’re a web developer, odds are high that you know Firebug well. But do you much about its history? If not, then I suggest you read Mozilla developer Mike Ratcliffe’s recent write-up for the back-story on this important tool.
Firebug was created by Joe Hewitt, one of the original developers of the Firefox browser, in 2006. Ratcliffe points out that the following extensions and tools helped to inspire, sometimes quite directly, the different components that make up Firebug.
View Source Chart - Firebug’s HTML panel was based on this Firefox add-on for displaying underlying HTML in a hierarchical way, grouping tags nested at similar levels.
Console² - Console Squared, as it’s also known, was the inspiration for Firebug’s Console Panel. It shows errors filtered by type, language and context, including line numbers where errors occurred and linking directly to the offending line in the source code.
Aardvark - This Firefox extension led to one of the best features of Firebug: allowing developers to see underlying source code, and perform various actions (e.g., change CSS), by hovering over the elements of an HTML page.
Ratcliffe also provides a nice history of the Firebug extension over time. It’s a good read for any developer who depends on this tool to get through the coding day. Give it a look-see.
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