John Resig (creator of JQuery) posted an absolutely great piece on how JavaScript/DOM debugger/profiler extension Firebug is truly powering a web revolution.

He examines in good detail some of the things Firebug has enabled developers to do: Things like real-time analysis of applied styles to elements of the DOM and how exactly your stylesheets cascade, let alone the ability to manipulate them in-browser. Things like the ability to profile JavaScript and network performance with a level of granularity and accuracy you could only dream of before—let alone the ability to monitor AJAX calls and debug them. And a bunch more.

He also posits what’s next for Firebug, with some good suggestions for things like visual performance profiling, AJAX-request manual triggering and a few others.

What’s most fascinating to me, though, is the sheer volume of downloads of the Firebug extension. We’re talking 6.2 million downloads since its release. Consider that number for a second. Even if 70% of those are duplicate downloads and only 30% of those downloads are unique users, that’s still 1.8 million developers. Now, Firebug isn’t an add-on for regular users. It’s strictly a power-user/developer tool. Hell, even the Firebug plugin YSlow has over 380,000 downloads.

I think it speaks volumes about the state of the industry and the real web revolution we have on our hands here: Creating applications, making useful tools and delivering quality results are elements within reach of so many more individuals, with such lower barriers to entry, considerably lower costs and a greatly smoothed learning curve.

Powering A Web Revolution [John Resig] | Firebug Extension

Posted in: Cool Stuff, Development