Opera Dragonfly a Worthy Addition Your Web Development Toolkit

Dragonfly's color picker utility in action

Opera Software has released the first official version of Dragonfly, the company’s web developer toolkit which ships with the Opera web browser. Previously a beta release, Dragonfly is now ready for prime time and offers several features you won’t find elsewhere.

If you’d like to give Dragonfly a try, just download a copy of Opera and then right-click on any element within a page and select “Inspect Element.” That will bring up a panel at the bottom of the page that looks very much like what you’ll find in Firebug or the developer tools in WebKit browsers.

While Dragonfly looks like similar tools it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, like a very nice zooming color picker and color palette feature, 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.

There’s also a new feature that allows remote debugging through Opera Mobile. If you want to debug your site on a mobile device running Opera, just turn on remote debugging in the Desktop app. Opera Dragonfly will then connect to Opera Mobile and allow you to debug directly on the device. The remote debugging features work with any device that can run Opera, including tablets, phones and TVs.

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. In that sense Dragonfly might not feel like anything new. But now that Dragonfly has reached 1.0 status, the color picker and remote debugging tools make Dragonfly well worth adding to your testing toolkit.

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