Developers are critical to the continued success of the Web. The content and apps they create compel us to come back to the Web every day, whether on a computer or mobile phone.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Firefox, we’re excited to unveil Firefox Developer Edition, the first browser created specifically for developers.
Ten years ago, we built Firefox for early adopters and developers to give them more choice and control. Firefox integrated WebAPIs and Add-ons to enable people to get the most out of the Web. Now we’re giving developers the whole browser as a hard-hat area, allowing us to bring front and center the features most relevant to them. Having a dedicated developer browser means we can tailor the browsing experience to what developers do every day.
Because Firefox is part of an open-source, independent community and not part of a proprietary ecosystem, we’re able to offer features other browsers can’t by applying our tools everywhere the Web goes, regardless of platform or device.
One of the biggest pain points for developers is having to use numerous siloed development environments in order to create engaging content or for targeting different app stores. For these reasons, developers often end up having to bounce between different platforms and browsers, which decreases productivity and causes frustration.
Firefox Developer Edition solves this problem by creating a focal point to streamline your development workflow. It’s a stable developer browser which is not only a powerful authoring tool but also robust enough for everyday browsing. It also adds new features that simplify the process of building for the entire Web, whether targeting mobile or desktop across many different platforms.
If you’re an experienced developer, you’ll already be familiar with the installed tools so you can focus on developing your content or app as soon as you open the browser. There’s no need to download additional plugins or applications to debug mobile devices. If you’re a new Web developer, the streamlined workflow and the fact that everything is already set up and ready to go makes it easier to get started building sophisticated applications.
So what’s under the hood?
The first thing you’ll notice is the distinctive dark design running through the browser. We applied the developer tools theme to the entire browser. It’s trim and sharp and focused on saving space for the content on your screen. It also fits in with the darker look common among creative app development tools.
We’ve also integrated two powerful new features, Valence and WebIDE that improve workflow and help you debug other browsers and apps directly from within Firefox Developer Edition.
Valence (previously called Firefox Tools Adapter) lets you develop and debug your app across multiple browsers and devices by connecting the Firefox dev tools to other major browser engines. Valence also extends the awesome tools we’ve built to debug Firefox OS and Firefox for Android to the other major mobile browsers including Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS. So far these tools include our Inspector, Debugger and Console and Style Editor.
WebIDE allows you to develop, deploy and debug Web apps directly in your browser, or on a Firefox OS device. It lets you create a new Firefox OS app (which is just a web app) from a template, or open up the code of an existing app. From there you can edit the app’s files. It’s one click to run the app in a simulator and one more to debug it with the developer tools.
Firefox Developer Edition also includes all the tools experienced Web developers are familiar with, including:
- Responsive Design Mode – see how your website or Web app will look on different screen sizes without changing the size of your browser window.
- Page Inspector– examine the HTML and CSS of any Web page and easily modify the structure and layout of a page.
- Network Monitor – see all the network requests your browser makes, how long each request takes and details of each request.
- Style Editor – view and edit CSS styles associated with a Web page, create new ones and apply existing CSS stylesheets to any page.
- Web Audio Editor – inspect and interact with Web Audio API in real time to ensure that all audio nodes are connected in the way you expect.
Give it a try and let us know what you think. We’re keen to hear your feedback.
About Dave Camp
Dave Camp is Director of Engineering for Firefox at Mozilla.