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After 12 Years, Mozilla Kills 'Firebug' Dev Tool (infoworld.com) 148

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: The Firebug web development tool, an open source add-on to the Firefox browser, is being discontinued after 12 years, replaced by Firefox Developer Tools. Firebug will be dropped with next month's release of Firefox Quantum (version 57). The Firebug tool lets developers inspect, edit, and debug code in the Firefox browser as well as monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript in webpages. It still has more than a million people using it, said Jan Honza Odvarko, who has been the leader of the Firebug project. Many extensions were built for Firebug, which is itself is an extension to Firefox... The goal is to make debugging native to Firefox. "Sometimes, it's better to start from scratch, which is especially true for software development," Odvarko said.
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After 12 Years, Mozilla Kills 'Firebug' Dev Tool

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    And this is typical of open source software. The developers often make decisions against the best interests and needs of their users, removing necessary features and useful functionality while making the software more complicated. As if the WebExtensions debacle wasn't bad enough, Firefox 57 is shaping up to be the downfall of Firefox. Sure, Firefox 56 might be faster than its predecessors, but market share will continue to evaporate in favor of browsers like Chrome. Face it, Firefox is basically dead, and

    • by theweatherelectric ( 2007596 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @04:11PM (#55450669)

      Perhaps if open source developers learned from these mistakes

      What mistakes? Firebug has been merged [getfirebug.com] into Firefox Developer Tools. This happened a long time ago.

      • by TheSunborn ( 68004 ) <tiller AT daimi DOT au DOT dk> on Saturday October 28, 2017 @05:07PM (#55450827)

        Some features have been merged in. But firebug is still far better then what is build in to firefox. So no more firefox upgrades for me -(

        • I agree. I have the new firefox and I REALLY miss firebug.

      • by theendlessnow ( 516149 ) * on Saturday October 28, 2017 @07:46PM (#55451187)
        Firebug is better than Firefox Developer Tools. Those that have tried to use both will tell you. Now, if Firefox Developer Tools is set to improve.. I'm fine with that.
    • I pretty much completely forgot about FireFox until I started seeing talk about it on slashdot recently or when I work on my grandma's computer where I installed it ten years ago. I never a had an explicit reason to stop using it but it was a default install along with chrome about five years ago whenever I installed an OS on a new machine. I guess it did get slow and maybe I just didn't want to think in two or three browsers any more. I just install chrome and use it exclusively now as does just about e

  • Firefox marks most of the add-ons I use as "Legacy".

    It seems to me that software and hardware organizations are pushing for more and more control.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimprdx ( 5063315 )

      A much better option is to go with Firefox ESR [mozilla.org], currently at version 52.4.1. I've installed it everywhere on all my Windows and Linux machines - it's guaranteed to be stable and supported until June 2018, which hopefully will be enough time for the new Firefox to stabilize (or worst-case scenario, give me enough time to find an alternative).

      One warning though - it may be difficult to move your Firefox profile from 56 to 52, as from 54 onward Mozilla messed up some backwards compatibility in preparation for

    • Most of the major Extensions have a version compatible with FF 57, there are a few holdouts still, but everything should settle down shortly. The biggest surprise for me is that Session Manager appears to of done nothing towards the WebApi compatibility due to a handful of missing/incomplete API's that would impact a small portion of it's features. "Tab Session Manager," is a bit buggy atm and pretty barebones but functional enough for now.

      • by Ark42 ( 522144 )

        1 out of 6 of my extensions are OK to go for FF57. Some of them that aren't have issued statements saying that it's impossible to work with WebExtensions so they have no possibility to go forward. I basically have no choice but to stay with FF56 until they see the light and add back support for real extensions.

        • Which extensions are those?

          • by Ark42 ( 522144 )

            Adblock Plus and FireFTP I've read statements from saying reduced functionality maybe and completely impossible. I also have CookieCuller, Cookie Manager, and Saved Password Editor which are all still saying Legacy. These 3 seem simple enough but maybe there won't be anything in FF57. I'm not going to waste my time upgrading and searching for replacements though just because FF wants to break backwards compatibility. Nuke Anything is the only extension that seems like it will work if I upgrade to FF57, and

            • You really should be using uBlock Origin instead of Adblock Plus. It's faster and doesn't allow ads to slip through if the ad company pays off the devs, like with ABP's "acceptable ads".

              Regarding FireFTP, it simply seems like the developer is butthurt for no reason, which seems to be ridiculously common among geeks, probably somewhere on the spectrum, usually considering themselves "omnologists". Yes, some functionality is no longer available, because it could be used as an attack vector by malicious XUL ex

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Most of the major Extensions have a version compatible with FF 57, there are a few holdouts still

        Some of the WebExtension replacements for legacy extensions that I use are waiting for Mozilla to make equivalent functionality available. For example, I use Keybinder to disable the Ctrl+Q shortcut that I sometimes press by accident when aiming for Ctrl+W or Ctrl+Tab. The developers of equivalent WebExtensions are waiting on a fix for bug 1325692 [mozilla.org], which a Mozilla engineer has marked as wontfix for Firefox 57.

        Loss of Ctrl+Q blocking causes data loss.

        • The shortcut is now ctrl+shift+Q in FF57, probably for exactly that reason.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            That's still close to the "switch to previous tab" shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+Tab) on a non-French keyboard.

            • You can continue to argue that all key combinations are close to other key combinations ad infinitum.

              At some point you just have to slow down a teeny tiny bit, and not simply slam your clumsy meat mittens on the keyboard and hoping for a positive result.

              Alternatively, you could enable "browser.showQuitWarning" in about:config. It'll pop up a warning if you accidentally press ctrl+shift+Q.

    • Which extensions would that be?

      • Add-ons marked as Legacy: All but CanvasBlocker, Ghostery, Nuke Anything, and uBlock Origin in the list below. Wow! NoScript is marked as legacy!

        Add-ons Links
        Firefox, WaterFox, and Pale Moon Browsers

        For security: Get add-ons only from Mozilla.org web pages.
        Pale moon add-ons [palemoon.org]

        1. Adblock Latitude [palemoon.org] For Pale Moon browser only. Blocks display of ads. "Adblock Latitude is a direct fork of Adblock Plus made specifically for the Pale Moon browser."
        2. BetterPrivacy [mozilla.org] Deletes Local Shared Objects, LSOs. LS
        • A hell of a lot of those extensions are completely redundant. Ublock Origin and Privacy Badger takes care of just about everything ad/privacy-related, perhaps with Decentraleyes on top to avoid tracking by JS hosting sites (including Google), and possibly speed up browsing.

          That takes care of Adblock Latitude, Betterprivacy, Canvasblocker, Ghostery, Facebook Blocker, Stop Fingerprinting, Twitter Disconnect and Disconnect (Disconnect's filters can be added in uBlock Origin).

          Classic Theme Restorer is more or l

          • Wow! You are more knowledgeable than I about add-ons. I will do some research and modify my list.
            • I was a diehard Phoenix user way back since 0.1 in 2002, I defected to Chrome around Firefox 30-something around mid/late-2014, and I've been back on Firefox for a couple of months now since I was impressed at how good Firefox Quantum is looking (and I was getting fed up with Google's spying). I've probably installed, tried out and uninstalled more addons than most people ;-)

  • "Sometimes, it's better to start from scratch, which is especially true for software development," Odvarko said.

    https://www.joelonsoftware.com... [joelonsoftware.com]

    • Whats better than making the same mistake once? Making it twice of course.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Meh, I've read that piece before and it's right except whenever it's wrong. I've ripped out smaller and bigger pieces of software and completely rewritten it from scratch, the problem is that you got people jumping the gun just like those who want to switch to fad language or framework or technology of the day. The people who clearly don't understand the complexity of the software but conclude that because I can't untangle this tangled mess it should be rewritten are dangerous as fuck. Then you have the peo

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        In this case, Joel on software is right. I've used firebug for a long time and it's much better than the browser tools in Chrome or IE. Firefox will not improve the developer experience by reinventing firebug, they will just make it different and repeat mistakes.

    • Firefox is an excellent example of why that view lacks nuance. The Netscape code base had become bloated and unmanageable, so we got Firefox. Continuous re-factoring is essential to progress.

      • Continuous re-factoring is essential to progress

        Yes... but throwing out a code base and rewriting is the exact opposite of continuous refactoring.

        (Yeah, I'm aware some people have started to pretend "refactoring" is a synonym for "rewriting" - those people need to be kicked in the sensitive parts.)

    • Except that Joel thinks that he knows better the Fred Brooks [c2.com]

      The management question, therefore, is not whether to build a pilot system and throw it away. You will do that. [...] Hence plan to throw one away; you will, anyhow.

      It is interesting to note that Brooks recants this in the latest version of MythicalManMonth, where he says "This I now perceived to be wrong, not because it is too radical, but because it is too simplistic. The biggest mistake in the 'Build one to throw away' concept is that it implic

  • Firebug isn't alive. The proper title is "After 12 years, Mozilla discontinues 'Firebug' dev tool".

  • I stuck with FF through all the terrible updates for one reason and one reason only: Firebug

    It was the most powerful development tool a web developer had. Easy to navigate, great debugger, smooth css editing, told you exactly what the problem was. The day it stopped worked I dumped FF and never looked back.

    Chrome dev tools are acceptable but just hard to navigate and find things. Have made strides in capturing events.
  • I tried migrating to dev tools but as I said somewhere above it was horribly slow and substantially impacted productivity. More importantly I was impacted by no migration solution for the loss of Firepath, a Firebug add-on. Sure there is an Xpath console in dev tools but it is broken for me and even if it worked the extra keystrokes to work in console rather than simply using the Firepath search box would slow me down - hamper productivity.

    For anyone that has used both it is obvious how superior Firebug i

  • Does anybody care what Firefox does anymore? They have taken themselves from being a serious contender for top browser to an irrelevant Chrome clone so comprehensively over the past three or four years that in a fair world, the top 100 people drawing a salary would be fired for cause.

    • Those who care about software freedom (which certainly should be people on technical discussion sites) care and don't cave into handing Google control over their data or their computer. Therefore running the spy agency's preferred browser (Google Chrome) is out both because it's nonfree software (which also eliminates other browsers from consideration) and because its owned by a known spy agency.

    • Firefox 57 is what finally made me return to it after using Chrome and Opera for many years. Firefox 57 is super responsive! Less sluggish than even Opera.
    • FF57 is one hell of a browser, way better than Chrome if you ask me (and with none of the tracking and spyware).

  • Shame this has pretty much killed web automation on Firefox. XPath support through Firebug and Firepath was unrivalled but at a stroke this moves to Chrome. Firefox dev tools have some serious XPath bugs, combined with less features.
    • Was just trying "Xpath Helper" extension in Chrome. Not integrated into the Chrome Dev Tools but make a pretty good replacement for Firepath. The dev tools in Firefox and Chrome are so similar but I just can't used to the selection behavior in Chrome and the usability of both. Chrome also runs slower for me compared to Palemoon and all versions of Firefox.

      I would still prefer Firefox Dev Tools if it had the functionality. So my solution is either I could stick with Palemoon which has both Firebug/Firepa

"And remember: Evil will always prevail, because Good is dumb." -- Spaceballs