Firefox 15's Pre-Release Version Features a Flexible Debugger

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 11, 2012

True to its relatively new rapid release cycle for the Firefox browser, Mozilla has moved swiftly to deliver Firefox 15 to the early pre-release Aurora channel, where testers can begin tinkering with it now. Among many improvements, Firefox 15 includes an overhauled, built-in debugger for tracking down problems in JavaScript code. Mozilla claims that the debugger presents no performance drag. Firefox also has a responsive design view that lets you change the sizing and perspective of your screen interface according to what kind of design work you might be up to.

Firefox's Aurora channel is here, and is currently where you can get Firefox 15. Just keep in mind that the Aurora channel is where early, pre-beta versions of the browser go, so expect bugs that will be ironed out before official release, and don't expect to be able to use all your extensions.

Mozilla has posted a visual tour of most of the important additions to Firefox version 15 here, which provides this information about the debugger:

"When you open the Debugger, all of the page’s scripts are listed in a menu. Using the search box, you can quickly jump to a file by typing part of its filename....

"This new Debugger is not just a new user interface over the functionality that Firefox’s JavaScript engine (SpiderMonkey) has been providing to tools like Firebug for years. The entire debugging interface in SpiderMonkey has been completely redesigned. There are two big things that web developers get because of the new debugger backend":

  1. It’s fast! JavaScript applications running with the Debugger open will run nearly as fast as they do without the Debugger.
  2. It’s remotable! You can connect the debugger user interface to a debugger backend running somewhere else.

"The second point above is exciting, because it means that you’ll be able to debug JavaScript that is running in Firefox for Android or Firefox OS, all from the comfort of Firefox on your desktop or laptop computer."

Meanwhile, you can watch a short video on the new Layout and Responsive Design View features in Firefox 15 here. The official release won't arrive for a few weeks, but should be one to look forward to as Firefox remains in a battle for market share with Google Chrome. According to the latest numbers from Net Marketshare, Chrome has 19 percent of the browser market, while Firefox has 20 percent.