Firebug and 3.5 compatibility
Awhile back I stated that Firebug 1.4 was compatible with Firefox 3.1b2 (soon to be rebadged as 3.5). At the time, this was a true statement, though the version we had available, a12, wasn’t really ready for prime-time. I said we’d be ready for February back in January thinking we would have a version ready to go by then. Certainly in time for the release of Firefox 3.1b3.
Time passed. Firefox 3.1b3 shipped. Firebug was not ready.
I’m not making excuses for this when I say that we were ripping the guts out of Firebug’s activation interface. John Barton’s been working hard with backup from Jan Odvarko to get all the bits and pieces of Firebug’s confusing 3-checkbox-activation code excised from the system. He writes about some of the pain he’s had getting Firebug working with Firefox 3.5 over the last couple of months in a separate blog post on the getfirebug.com/blog.
Last week, we released Firebug 1.4a13. While it works pretty well on Firefox 3.0, there are some issues with 3.1b3. Since then, John’s found a work-around for a problem in the script panel which should make debugging work properly again. There is still an outstanding issue with the Net panel caused by bug 483672. I’m hoping we can get a resolution to that very soon.
When these issues are resolved, I feel confident that Firebug 1.4 will be considered “compatible” with Firefox 3.5. Then we’ll be able to release a beta version to a wider audience and buckle down on any remaining polish bugs and UI issues we have left-over before Firefox makes final release.
How can you help? We could use help testing the latest published alpha version or the svn tip of branch1.4 on Firefox 3.1b3 and Shiretoko nightlies and filing bugs on our issue tracker. Anything directly-related to 3.5 compatibility should have the “3.5compatible” label affixed to the bug. If you’re feeling really gutsy, helping to write or convert existing unittests to our current test tool FBTest would be a great boon to us going forward. We have a small but powerful set of tests currently that will get better. Expect a follow-up post soon documenting how to get an environment setup and running on your system to write unittests. In the meantime, you can find us on irc://irc.mozilla.org/#firebug and either myself someone else can help you through the setup.
My own mission in all this is to finally get our unittest system running under automation. It’s been through a few different incarnations, but it’s finally in a state I think we can use to move forward. Thanks to John Resig, Jan Odvarko and John Barton for all their effort to get that working. This has been on my goals list for a long time now (too long) and should make our lives much better when we have a visible set of unittests running regularly.