FirePHP

Saturday 19 July 2008

FirePHP is an intriguing Firebug plug-in: it uses a server-side library to send debugging information in response headers, which are extracted and nicely displayed in the browser.

One of the complexities of developing web applications is that your server is busy with lots of stuff at once. Load a single page, and there could be dozens of requests, once all the scripts, styles, images, and Ajax calls are through. If you have some debugging traces in the main page, they'll get buried in all the other noise created by the subsequent requests.

FirePHP look like it gives a nice compartmentalization: the log messages from the main request stay tidy in Firebug. I haven't used it yet, because I need to whipe up some Python server-side code (the name FirePHP doesn't limit it to PHP debugging).

Comments

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Ian Bicking 7:12 PM on 19 Jul 2008

Paste and some other WSGI tools do this in middleware without the need for an extension, e.g., paste.debug.profile puts profiling information at the bottom of a page. paste.debug.prints just captures all (per-request) print statements and puts them in the page.

[gravatar]
Edward Z. Yang 10:58 PM on 19 Jul 2008

Still, Ian, if you're debugging code that is generating things like XML files, you really don't have any choice (I mean, I guess you could hack around it with comments or something, but that sucks). Still, it lets you be nicely output format agnostic.

Disclaimer, I don't actually use FirePHP. I've just heard about it and think its cool. :-)

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Christoph 6:46 PM on 21 Jul 2008

I would love to list your python library on the FirePHP site should you go ahead with writing one.

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