Opera’s Dragonfly Developer Console Takes Off

    Craig Buckler

    DragonflyDragonfly is Opera’s answer to Firebug. I’m sure browser vendors are sick of the comparisons, but Firebug was the first high-usage developer console and, in my opinion, it’s still the best.

    That said, Dragonfly is very good. It offers a familiar set of features such as:

    • step-by-step JavaScript debugging
    • DOM inspection, editing and change monitoring
    • CSS and layout inspectors
    • file download analysis showing all HTTP requests and responses

    In addition, it works on some versions of Opera Mobile which could be useful for phone developers. Finally, the widget is instantly updated whenever a new version is released; you won’t need to agree to a download, update or restart the browser.

    If you’re viewing this page using Opera, you can try Dragonfly by choosing Tools > Advanced > Developer Tools. You can also install a debug menu for a little more convenience.

    Opera Dragonfly screenshot

    Opera has now released Dragonfly as their first open source project. The code is based on JavaScript, CSS and a little XML; most knowledgeable web developers should be able to dive straight in.

    The source is hosted as a Mercurial repository on BitBucket, but you can also browse the code online or read the Wiki documentation.

    Dragonfly is a great tool and is likely to improve now more people are eying the code.

    Do you use Dragonfly? What are your favorite features? Do you prefer it to Firebug, webkit’s inspector, or IE’s developer tools?

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