Firebug Lite

Not too long ago I found myself forced into troubleshooting a front end issue in Internet Explorer and the first thing I did was poke around IE's ham-handed developer tools. It didn't take long for me realize that the tools were worthless and get frustrated. Luckily I decided not to break the computer I was sitting at and instead ended up Googling my way to a nifty solution.

What I found was Firebug Lite. This essentially Firebug built in JavaScript. On the Firebug Lite site there is a list benefits but in my opinion the big win here is that it's cross-browser compatible, dating back even to IE 6. Another plus is that although it has a bookmarket that you can "install," there is no installation necessary so no drama over administrative privileges, etc. Just fire it up and you've got the core functionality of Firebug on any browser.

There are pieces of Firebug functionality that Firebug Lite does not replicate, but in my quick usage the only things I noticed missing were the "Layout" tab that lets you see positioning and size rules for elements and the "Net" tab that allows you to monitor HTTP requests made throughout the page render. Other than that, Firebug Lite seems entirely functional and it can provide you with the context you need.

Someday this will save you.