Thursday, April 20, 2006

The AJAX-ifier's toolkit

Here are my favorite tools for AJAX development and debugging.

Internet Explorer

  • Microsoft Script Editor – contains a full debugger for javascript, not to be underestimated – it even lets you set breakpoints (comes with MS Office, but you may need to rerun setup in order to get it installed; it will be at c:\program files\microsoft office\office11\MSE7.EXE if you already have it)
  • Fiddler Tool – sniffs your HTTP requests so you can really see what’s going on (download free at
  • IE Web Developer Toolbar – get it for your sanity


  • Firebug – shows you Javascript errors, XMLHttpRequests; lets you filter out CSS requests and other junk; also includes a DOM inspector with tag-search filter and a command console
  • Web Developer Extension – lets you toggle JS/CSS, change forms on the fly, clear cache, outline DOM elements, resize the window to emulate various resolutions, etc. (go to to get it)
  • Live HTTP Headers - don't trust your intuition: use this to sniff requests and responses so you can see what URLs are really getting hit, what the cache and auth settings really are, etc.


  • JSEclipse plugin – syntax highlighting, code completion, etc. (add it to your Eclipse Update list by following the instructions)

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