When did Firebug get so terrible?

Firebug is one of those vital extensions for web developers and designers who use Firefox. I have been faithfully updating it whenever it whines at me to update it, which is usually every minor version, and it pretty much just works. Firebug and I have a romance of debugging HTML, CSS, and more recently the Javascript and JQuery that I use in Select Other, Processing, and some more recent custom development for Slight High.

The honeymoon ended recently… On a recent Windows installation at Slight High, I ran into the following feature, which apparently has been around since 1.4. Firebug will persist throughout, not only page requests in a tab, but for an entire site.

This could be useful. Sometimes you do want this functionality. But not all of the time.

By default, if you start opening up Firebug while browsing sites you normally go to, but don’t develop on, such as Google, you will start to find that Firebug pops up on every page for that site.

The feature and terminology here, which was fairly difficult to search for because coming up with effective search words to find what you want is a nebulous task, is “Activation”. I found a few mailing list posts from ages ago talking about it in vague terms, but I finally figured out the settings by looking at Firefox’s about:config settings interface.

It was also fairly difficult to find this information in Firebug’s documentation from their web site linked above (I did find it eventually). Instead I found it in their Development Blog via Google under the article, Firebug 1.4 Activation. Here are some useful or terrible options/actions you may want to turn on/off:

  • Firebug button -> Clear Activation List: gets rid of all saved site information in Firebug. Yay!
  • Firebug button -> Firebug button -> Options -> Activate Same Origin URLs: This option, turned on by default, pops firebug open on similar domains, but ignores sessions.
  • Firebug button -> On for all web pages: Why would you ever use this?

In 1.4 you could manage black lists and white lists, but it looks like that is all managed for you in recent versions.

Okay, so Firebug, you are not terrible. Love me again~

Nota Bene

I did find something truly terrible. That is this terrible program: McAfee On-Access Scan. With the amount of hard disk crunching it does, there isn’t any hope for a long-lasting hard drive when using it.

  • McAfee On-Access Scan: Hi! I see you have a new file on your system! Let me scan that for you! Yep, go ahead and grab another cup of coffee or do something else for the next 5-25 minutes!
  • McAfee On-Access Scan: Hi! I see you have taken a screenshot and pasted it into Paint! Let me scan that bitmap data for you! Yep, go ahead and kill yourself now because I won’t be finished forever!
  • McAfee On-Access Scan: Hi! Running an IDE? Get out.