Tuesday, October 2, 2007

JavaScript debugging in IE 6/7

Thank you Brendon Crawford for this excellent summary:

After thoroughly testing and trying about 9 or 10 different products, I have come up with the definitive must have list for debugging and developing in IE. These are all free BTW:

1) CSS/HTML inspecting - Microsoft Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar (Free)
2) AJAX/HTTP Inspecting - Fiddler (Free)
3) Javascript debugging - Microsoft Office XP Script Editor (Free if you have Office)

And here are the tools to avoid (too costly, difficult to use, lacking features, lacking stability, or unnecesarily complicated)

1) Microsoft Ajax View
2) Firebug Lite
3) CSSVista
4) DebugBar
5) DebugBar/CompanionJS
6) Microsoft Script Debugger
7) IE Watch
8) DocMon
9) IE WebDeveloper V2


jfrabaute said...


I am the man who is developing DebugBar and Companion.JS.

I would be grateful to get feedback on those 2 tools to improve them.

You said "too costly, difficult to use, lacking features, lacking stability, or unnecesarily complicated".
Does it all apply to DebugBar/Companion.JS ?

By the way, I am working on adding the console.log "firebug-like" feature to Companion.JS (which is free...).



Brendon said...

I made the original statement. CompanionJS is actually quite promising. I believe it is just at this point not mature enough. A console.log would be an excellent step forward.

If somebody wanted to make a truly successful product, simply mimic what FireBug is doing to the T - including the interface. Some of these other apps like IE Watch have attempted to do so, but just haven't quite nailed it.

jfrabaute said...

Thank you Brendon for your answer.

CompanionJS is still 0.1 and will become 0.2 with the console.log feature...
You are right it is still far from mature.

I also partly agree with the "firebug interface" tip. But only partly because, for instance, I prefer the way the debugbar is showing http requests (grouped by page, with icons). A filter (html/css/js/ajax) is still missing...
Anyway, I will try to mimic the firebug interface on future versions.
But I also would like to add new useful features and not only clone Firebug.
For instance, the Debugbar is showing all the Javascript functions, I like this feature (present since version 1, before firebug was born ;-) ).

And a CSS debugger is also on my todo (like the firebug one)...

You can contact me directly, I would be very happy to get feedbacks !

And for the price... I would love to have the DebugBar free but do not have a business model to get money yet :-O !


Brendon said...

I have tried the latest Companion.js. It definately looks like a major improvement. The console.log is a life saver. jfrabaute, good work :)

zhuk said...

Thanks, but don't there any newer versions or other debuggers for IE7?

James said...

Your best bet for IE 7 is Companion.js