This past week I attended Mashup Camp here in Boston – and was frequently asked what tools I used in development. I was quick to mention Firebug (I mean, I was giving a presentation on it, after all) – but I then thought about the other tools that I use in development and decided to expand on my list.
Firebug – I know that this has been said a thousand times, but let this be number 1001 – Firebug is a fantastic web development tool. In addition to all the features that everyone knows about, I’ve been using it extensively for a number of tasks:
- Finding the source of slow page loads using the Net tool.
- Hunting down weird CSS results by looking at the resulting styles in the CSS tab.
I plan on writing about each of those much more. The end result is a Firefox extension that’s worth its virtual weight in gold.
Selenium IDE – This is the newest weapon in my arsenal. It’s a Firefox Extension version of the popular Selenium test suite. It is glorious. You hit the record button, click around your web site, hit stop – then play back the results. Save the script and use it again later to do some automated testing. I’ve used this on a couple sites now – it’s great for testing dynamic web applications. (Just add in some sort of a “reset the database” callback to your code, and you can run all the tests on your server, remotely.)
I plan on writing and demoing all of these tools some more within the upcoming weeks – they’re immensely useful, and I couldn’t live without them.