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Javascript debuggers overview

Trying to tell you all about javascript debuggers


JavaScript debugging has some specifics in comparison with stand-alone applications. JavaScript programs usually rely on interaction with the loaded page's Document Object Model (DOM) so errors may be caused by wrong DOM usage in a technically correct script. This makes JavaScript errors difficult to find. However nowadays there are al lot of reasonably good JavaScript debuggers. I tried to find all of them and create an overview.

If you think that something is missed - feel free to write me at editor@ajaxpath.com



Microsoft Script Debugger
Homepage | Tutorial | Download (654Kb.)
Homepage

Tutorial
Download (654Kb.)

It allows developers to more efficiently and effectively develop script applications.

You can:

  • View the source code of the script they are debugging.
  • Control the pace of script execution with break points and stepping.
  • View and change variable and property values with the Command Window.
  • View and control script flow with the Call Stack Window.


SplineTech JavaScript HTML Debugger
Homepage | Demo (flash) | Download (1.6Mb.)

SplineTech JavaScript HTML Debugger is a web development tool that enables you to easily edit and debug JavaScript and VBScript inside HTML pages. Client-Side JavaScript, JScript and VBScript debugging languages are fully supported for simple and complex HTML and DHTML debugging scenarios.



Venkman JavaScript Debugger
Homepage | Documentation | Tutorial | Download (208Kb.)

It provides a powerful JavaScript debugging environment for Mozilla based browsers, including Firefox 1.0.x, Firefox 1.5.x, the Netscape 7.x series of browsers and Mozilla Seamonkey 1.x.


Firebug

Homepage | Documentation | Video tutorial | Download (107Kb.)

FireBug lets you explore the far corners of the DOM by keyboard or mouse. All of the tools you need to poke, prod, and monitor your JavaScript, CSS, HTML and Ajax are brought together into one seamless experience, including a debugger, error console, command line, and a variety of fun inspectors.

Some features of this debugger:

  • Ability to log messages from JavaScript in your web page directly to the FireBug console.
  • Simple lightweight way to set breakpoints in your scripts and examine every step of execution.
  • Stroll through the DOM using the familiar hyperlink model of the web.
  • Loging all Ajax request traffic as it happens, and response inspection.
  • Live Editing. FireBug's inspectors let you edit some parts of the DOM.


The JavaScript Verifier (JSLint)
Homepage | Documentation | Widget | Source (80Kb.)

This tool, also known as jslint, coded (in JavaScript!) by Douglas Crockford, and works by identifying "dangerous" aspects of code, and ensuring you all in all, write nice code.

JSLint takes a JavaScript source and scans it. If it finds a problem, it returns a message describing the problem and an approximate location within the source. The problem is not necessarily an error, although it often is. JSLint looks at some style conventions as well as structural problems. It does not prove that your program is correct. It just provides another set of eyes to help spot problems.

JSLint defines a professional subset of JavaScript, a stricter language than that defined by Edition 3 of the ECMAScript Language Specification. The subset is related to recommendations found in Code Conventions for the JavaScript Programming Language.

It is available as a Konfabulator widget. You can check a file by dragging it and dropping it on the widget. You can recheck the file by double-clicking the widget.

It is also available in a WSH Command Line version.

It is also available in a Rhino Command Line version.


InspectThis
Homepage | Download (11Kb.)

Inspect the current element with the DOM Inspector. Adds an entry to the context menu to open the DOM Inspector on the selected element. Ideal for AJAX, DHTML and JavaScript work. Language support for English (en), German (de), French (fr) and 22 other languages.


Drosera
Homepage | Download (4.9Mb.)

Javascript debugger for Safari is a new addition to the WebKit open source tools. Drosera lets you attach and debug JavaScript for any WebKit application-not just Safari. One of the unique things about Drosera, like the Web Inspector, is that over 90% of it is written in HTML and JavaScript. This is a true testament of what you can do with web technologies today and the rapid development that WebKit allows. So update your tree or download the nightly and give Drosera a try. The nightly always has JavaScript debugging enabled, you just need to attach from Drosera.


Javascript debugging resources


How to debug JavaScript problems with Opera
http://www.hallvord.com/opera/jsdebug.htm


Javascript tutorial - Debugging javascript code
http://www.c-point.com/javascript_tutorial/common_mistakes.htm


Advanced JavaScript Tutorial - Debugging Techniques
http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/98/29/index4a.html


WebReview.com: Debugging JavaScript
http://terrencemiao.com/Webmail/msg00454.html


Debugging JavaScript in Your Applications
http://www.codestore.net/store.nsf/unid/DOMT-5UBUVW?OpenDocument


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