Internet Explorer 8 will have Firebug

Yes the web is awash with news of Internet Explorer 8.  We’re like lemmings that way, it seems like every blog I read (116 says Google Reader) has some news of IE 8. Given the mad dash to the finish line for South by Southwest, I haven’t bothered to download or play yet, but I guess I’ll have to.

For me, the big news is that Internet Explorer 8 will have Firebug.  Well, not technically firebug, but pretty much an exact clone.  If you visit Microsoft Developer Tools and download their PDF, you’ll see that IE 8 will ship with a near exact clone of Firebug - which is great news if you’re trying to really push IE.  I’m also happy that its being produced by the IE team, and not by a third party developer.  The reason I’m happy is not because a third party dev couldn’t do an outstanding job (again, hat tip to Firebug), but because so much of the internals of IE is undocumented and secret, that I think the only people who could successfully implement this is the IE team.

Internet Explorer Developer Tools

If you look carefully, they actually got some really, really nice things in IE 8.  For example, window.location.hash.  This allows you to use javascript to redirect the user, but the page gets added to the cache and history.  This allows the back button to work normally with “Ajax-ed” paged.  Nice!  There’s also a series of DOM-compliance bugs in there, and while it’ll mean little to me as jQuery shields me from the day to day trivia of that, it’ll mean a huge deal to jQuery itself (and other javascript libraries) and I bet we can expect a nice bump in speed due to native support for things that normally needed to be reconstructed (I’m looking at you CSS selectors and getAttribute/setAttribute).

The good folks over at Digital Web Magazine have more news in IE8 Beta 1 released!, including links to Jonathan Snook‘s smoketests.  I’d like to extend my gratitude to the IE development team for its frank and open communication, particularly via the IE blog.  While I’ve not dealt with them directly, all accounts are that they’re listening to the geeks.

This entry was made on and filed into Browsers.


James Nicol wrote on

Derek, this is indeed awesome news. Although I would expect they didnt have much choice in the matter as without a tool like Firebug IE is at a huge disadvantage.

Now if I could only be bothered to install Parallels and then buy a copy of Vista…..

Lee wrote on

Well being that we now have three versions of IE in the wild can they arbitrarily drop IE 6 during the next windows update.

I will supply the beer at the “TGIFG” (Thank God its finally(not my first choice of f-words..) gone” party.