Code Web Design

Why Aren’t You Using FireBug?

I’ve been using the Firefox browser addon called FireBug for a while now and am amazed at how helpful it is. If you’re a web developer, and especially if you use JavaScript and AJAX methods, you should be using it.

For example, while developing I like to add in timers to PHP based pages to show how long things are taking. This way if a SQL statement needs some fine-tuning or a change slows things down I can see it happen. FireBug extends this to the entire page and the HTTP traffic. Here’s what happens when I load a page that has a few JavaScript calls, small images and a single CSS link in it,

Straight away it’s obvious what’s taking up the bulk of the time – those two library calls. Once I take those out of the equation the load time drops to under a second. And through all this the PHP timer function only shows me how long the server-side work is taking.

With FireBug I know who (in a geeky code way) is doing what and with who and I can act on it. Now that’s helpful.

Sys Admin

IE7 in the Wild

The latest version of Internet Explorer is out and about now and reaction seems to be mixed.

Most feedback on forums and in newsletters so far are of problems with the last Release Candidate (RC). The IE7 installs I’ve experienced have ranged from a single reboot for the last RC to two reboots when I installed the production version. Mozilla’s competitor browser Firefox has never needed a reboot. IE7 does work as advertised though and once people move to the new browser there should be fewer problems and less security holes.

Overall IE7 is a huge step forward from Microsoft, combining security fixes, tabbed browsing, a new UI, speed increases and a host of rendering improvements. But is it good enough to combat the hordes or techy folk who have embraced Mozilla’s Firefox browser? The latest 2.0 version of Firefox makes it’s own improvements and in my experience remains faster and most importantly handles standards based code better.

Nice work Microsoft, but you’re not quite there yet.