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Are Chrome Developer Tools an adequate substitute for Firebug?

I'm learning how to develop simple web apps using Django. The book I have recommends installing Firefox/Firebug. I'm used to Chrome and wanted to know if I need to switch or if Chrome Developer Tools contain all the essential functionality of Firebug.

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Substitute? No. Supplement? Absolutely. –  Joel Etherton Apr 21 '11 at 13:14
    
It is adequate, but still not as good. –  Petah Jan 31 '13 at 3:21
    
Similar question on SO –  Ryan Gates Dec 9 '13 at 17:55
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6 Answers 6

up vote 21 down vote accepted

I'm a full time web-developer, and I use Chrome's Developer Tools on a daily basis. I have only ever touched Firebug a few times for debugging in Firefox.

For the times I have used Firebug however, I felt as though the functionality was much the same. I played around with a number of different areas and found everything to be as intuitive and functional as Chrome's Developer Tools; I did not feel lost or out of place. Also, I am aware of what both tools are supposed achieve, and I feel safe the following assessment.

I would say yes, Chrome Developer Tools are an adequate debug tool which are comparable to Firebug.

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I agree as I use chrome's dev tools myself though if you have only touched firebug a few times how can you say something is comparable to it? –  Chris Apr 21 '11 at 14:51
    
@Chris - For the times I have used Firebug, I felt as though the functionality was much the same. I played around with a number of different areas and found everything to be as intuitive and functional as Chrome's DevTools; I did not feel lost or out of place. Also, I am aware of what both tools are supposed achieve, and I feel safe in my assessment. –  Craige Apr 21 '11 at 16:53
    
Totally fair and I agree. It is probably worth mentioning because otherwise I read your answer as "I am claiming they are equal in feature set though I hardly ever touch firebug". –  Chris Apr 21 '11 at 17:28
    
Agreed. I added my previous comment to my answer. –  Craige Apr 21 '11 at 17:32
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Chrome Developer Tools may substitute vanilla FireBug, but the strength of FireBug lies with so many extension being available for it.

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Agree. Though I almost only use Google Developer Tools now, but now and then I open up Firefox for Firebug and addons like Firecookie and such. –  Niklas H Apr 21 '11 at 20:32
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Firebug still has the edge in a couple ways

  • Network traffic debug. Much easier to dig into ajax request/responses and look at headers and data in the log in Firebug

  • Chrome (at least, latest chrome dev) has an annoying habit of hanging on to cached files even when I do a shift-F5 reload and an updated file is served. Firebug seems to reliably reload cache when I ask.

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What is wrong with GDT regarding network traffic debug? I use GDT for that all the time, as our systems depend heavily on AJAX. –  Niklas H Apr 21 '11 at 20:33
    
Have you seen the developer tools since Chrome 8? –  greyfade Apr 21 '11 at 22:37
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Chome developer tools has a 'disable cache' setting if you click the gear icon. Hopefully that takes care of the caching issue. –  Jon Jun 25 '13 at 15:46
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Chrome's debugging tools (at least for me) have a very confusing interface. When I was experimenting with Chrome I gave them a try but just couldn't understand them. I quickly switched to Firebug lite.

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I just looked at GDT for the first time. The listings from the network tab are double the height of every record in Firebug, meaning you see only the half of the Firebug screen. Didn't like that. –  user8685 Apr 21 '11 at 20:51
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Chrome's tools may well be an adequate substitute for Firebug - I use Firebug personally, but that's largely due to being totally comfortable with it after using it for a long time; and I work with some talented developers who use Chrome and its tools to great effect.

But a more important point is: the thorniest problems that you're likely to have to debug on the HTML/CSS side are cross-browser incompatibilities. And to master them, you're really going to need to be comfortable in the debugging tools of every browser. So, stick with Chrome and its tools while you're learning, but you'll want to teach yourself Firebug and IE and Safari's built-in dev tools at some point.

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I think the Chrome tools work pretty great, sure there is a difference here and there, but overall you shouldn't miss anything very important. As long as it works for you, why switch? They are very similar, so if you at any point want to make the jump it should be pretty easy.

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