Debugging Front End Code, New Tools

Front End debugging tools have come a long way. Below are some of the tools I am using on a daily basis to debug and fine-tune my front end code.

Firebug - Firefox Plugin

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Firebug is my workhorse for general debugging. It has the standard set of CSS inspectors and a robust net monitor. The net monitor is essential for debugging XHR requests. I could not develop Ajax applications without it.

Chrome - Developer Tools

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Google’s chrome browser comes with an amazing set of developer tools and is quickly replacing firebug in my toolkit. It has all the standard CSS inspectors and JS debuggers but goes a bit further than firebug. I was blown away when I discovered CPU profiling. This is a great way to sniff out memory leaks, really important if you are adding/removing DOM elements like a madman.

Also important to point out are the JS timeline tools, showing you a breakdown of loading, scripting, rendering while you are interacting with the web page. Another great tool for optimizing speed.

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Pixel Perfect - Firefox Plugin

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The ultimate tool for making sure you have translated a design to HTML with pixel perfect accuracy. Pixel Perfect allows you to overlay an image onto a web page and manipulate it’s opacity. This makes it incredibly simple to compare a design mockup and your HTML.