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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast slp's Avatar
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    best javascript debugger?

    According to the Sitepoint FAQs, most serious programmers debug their scripts by hand, but when my javascripts don't work , I like to be told why, the more explicitly the better.

    I used to have NN4 and its debugging was fantastic (certainly more helpful than IE and Opera, although theirs aren't too bad). I was just wondering what other people think is the best browser/resource for debugging javascript. If it's Netscape, does this mean I have to download the whole browser, and does the debugging vary with version number? Which would be the best to get? (Note: I'm only interested in its debugging capabilities, not its quality as a web browser).

    Please share your opinions .
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Perl/Mason Guru Flawless_koder's Avatar
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    I tend to use the Microsoft Development Enviroment script debugger - since it opens automatically.

    It comes, i think, with one of the Visual SDK's - but i'm not sure.

    You may find it's already installed - if you're in ie and
    click view and then script debugger.

    If not - it's definately worth getting - once you get how
    to use it properly it really does give you a lot of info.

    But normally i use alerts - to be honest - since it takes
    about one second to drop one in - and it can tell you
    what ever you need to know about why you're variables and objects aren't working properly, what references you do and
    don't have right - etc.

    Flawless
    ---=| If you're going to buy a pet - get a Shetland Giraffe |=---

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy blufive's Avatar
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    > I used to have NN4 and its debugging was fantastic

    I only ever recall NN4 having the "javascript console" which gives you better error messages than the default IE install.

    Netscape 6 and Mozilla still have the javascript console.

    Mozilla has a full-blown debugger, with breakpoints, variable inspection, and profiling facilities. N.B. Netscape 6 does not have this debugger, though Netscape 7 probably will.

    Flawless: In my experience, IE's script debugging stuff comes as part of their visual studio range, which means it costs money and therefore isn't really accessible to those without a reasonable IT budget.

  4. #4
    Perl/Mason Guru Flawless_koder's Avatar
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    It seems to have come with Microsoft Visual Studio.

    I think that must have come free somewhere - cos i sure as hell wouldn't have paid for it.

    It supports the whole debugging environment.

    ( i'm not sure how many debugging environments DON'T support breakpoints, etc )

    Flawless
    ---=| If you're going to buy a pet - get a Shetland Giraffe |=---

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy blufive's Avatar
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    i'm not sure how many debugging environments DON'T support breakpoints
    I was mostly referring to the contrast with my memories of NN4, which only had the "console", i.e. better error messages. My experience of MS's offerings is approximately nil.

  6. #6
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    Venkman, the Mozilla JavaScript debugger, has been heavily updated in the latest release of the browser and is excellent:

    http://www.mozilla.org/projects/venkman/

  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast slp's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your suggestions . I'm downloading Mozilla 1.1a as we speak. And I might get Netscape later. I guess version 7 would be the one to get, if it has the same "javascript console" as version 4, which I found very useful when I had it.

    Yes, I practically always use alerts to figure out what's going wrong too. It's about the only time when they're a welcome interruption rather than a source of minor irritation!

    I looked under my View menu in IE and I don't have the Microsoft debugger (not surprisingly, I guess, since I don't have Visual Studio!). Looking at their webpage, it seems that Visual Studio does indeed cost money, which rules it out for me, since my "IT budget" is $0.00. I only do it for fun!

  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy blufive's Avatar
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    > and I might get Netscape later.

    If you've got mozilla, Netscape probably isn't worth the extra bother - it's pretty much the same code under the (very-similar-looking) hood.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Just in case anyone's interested (completely free too):
    Microsoft Script Debugger

  10. #10
    Perl/Mason Guru Flawless_koder's Avatar
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    Thank you Shane!!!
    I KNEW someone out there would know where to get it.

    I was going to post the SDK i traced it down to - but
    it seems to have a copyright - and i didn't want to infringe it.

    Flawless
    ---=| If you're going to buy a pet - get a Shetland Giraffe |=---

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast slp's Avatar
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    If you've got mozilla, Netscape probably isn't worth the extra bother - it's pretty much the same code under the (very-similar-looking) hood.
    Okay, thanks for the tip.


    And thanks for the link shane. So I've now got both Mozilla and the Microsoft Script Debugger. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to get them to work properly and I should be all set!

  12. #12
    The short answer is yes... Herbster's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Skunk
    Venkman, the Mozilla JavaScript debugger, has been heavily updated in the latest release of the browser and is excellent:

    http://www.mozilla.org/projects/venkman/
    I installed the version for NS 6.2 last night.
    It looks great. Lot's of features, but I can't find a help file and I'm not finding the interface all that intuitive.

    I haven't even figured out how to load a document.
    I thought I could just navigate to a URL, but that doesn't work.

    Anyone know of any tutorials for this thing?

    Edit:

    Never mind.

    I found the docs here:
    http://www.mozilla.org/projects/venk...lkthrough.html
    Last edited by Herbster; Aug 7, 2002 at 10:14.


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