File Under: Browsers, Programming

Opera Updates ‘Dragonfly,’ a Debugging Tool for Web Developers

Opera Dragonfly's debugging tools

When it comes to testing your websites there’s no such thing as too many developer tools. For example, we routinely test sites in both Firebug and WebKit’s developer tools. True, they’re very similar, but there are enough differences to warrant using both.

Now there’s another tool to throw in your testing toolkit. Opera Software has launched the first beta of Opera Dragonfly, the company’s web debugging toolkit that ships with the Opera Desktop web browser. Opera Dragonfly has been around for years, but this is the first beta release and it offers quite a few new tools, including support for some new web APIs, like the Web Storage API.

To try out the new Dragonfly beta you’ll need a copy of Opera and then you’ll need to tweak Dragonfly’s settings. Paste this line into a new Opera tab: opera:config#DeveloperTools|DeveloperToolsURL. Then change the “DeveloperToolsURL” to https://dragonfly.opera.com/app/cutting-edge/ and click save. To activate Dragonfly head to Tools >> Advanced >> Dragonfly.

Once you’ve got the latest version of Dragonfly up and running you’ll be greeted by a new panel that looks nearly identical to Firebug or the developer tools found in WebKit browsers like Chrome and Safari.

However, while Dragonfly looks like similar tools it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, like a color picker, a network inspector that allows you to write custom requests and a revamped JavaScript debugger that can monitor specific expressions or variables in your code.

If you’re already using Firebug or the developer tools in your favorite browser, Dragonfly might not feel like anything new. But now that Dragonfly has reached beta status, and is much more stable than previous incarnations, it’s well worth adding to your testing toolkit.

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