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The Web Developer Toolbar Comes to Chrome

By Craig Buckler

Chris Pederick’s Web Developer toolbar was one of the first extensions developed for Firefox. Personally, I think it was one of the primary reasons many developers switched to and evangelized Mozilla’s browser.

I remember trying the WDT for the first time and reveling in its immense power. If you’ve started web developing during the past five years, you’d have been appalled by the poor quality client-side coding tools available initially — features such as element outlining, dynamic CSS editing, and cookie inspection were difficult, if not impossible.

Chrome Web Developer toolbarAlthough Firebug and similar developer consoles have taken the world by storm, they were influenced by many of the features and concepts Chris devised.

The WDT remains one of my essential Firefox add-ins and the great news is that it’s been ported to Google Chrome.

Web Developer on Chrome

You should note this is version 0.1 code, and Chris states that it’s an early release to gather feedback. Several features are missing, don’t work, or are less polished than Firefox’s implementation. Chrome’s extensions are essentially small web pages; its version of the WDT is never likely to match the deep level of browser control offered by Mozilla’s browser. For example, features such as disabling JavaScript are not possible within the current Chrome API.

That said, WDT on Chrome is a fantastic addition to the browser. If you’ve recently switched from Firefox and miss some of its better tools, do yourself a favor and install the Web Developer toolbar today.

Do you use the Web Developer extension on Chrome or Firefox? What do you like? How would you improve it?

Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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