Safari Web Inspector

Safari Web Inspector
I make my living as a web developer these days and a good “page inspector” tool is an absolute essential. For that reason, I switch to Firefox and the amazing Firebug tool when I write webdev code. I used a recent nightly of Webkit and was pleasantly surprised by its inbuilt Web Inspector. It lists the DOM, the CSS style computation, the box model and some bit of element properties. The interface is amazing, I love the HUD style effect, and it’s much less distracting when the element is shown as the parent in the hierarchy (see the top div in the image above) instead of it being placed in a pageful of tags.

What it still doesn’t do is display any kind of javascript information. The Webkit guys seem to have gone with a separate application called Drosera (which allows people to debug javascript, attach to any Webkit-ish app etc.) and it makes my browser hang badly when attached to it (and hence I couldn’t test and name a verdict).

So my personal feature request list for the Web Inspector would be:

  1. A Javascript console, watch/breakpoint functionality is not a must, but definitely must have a console.
  2. A Request/Response Inspector, especially those of XHR Requests.

If I get these two things I’ll switch to Webkit entirely. As it is, I love it’s Mac-iness, but like Firebug too much to let FF go.

(and yeah, what you see in the pic is the Web Inspector inspecting itself. Apparently, it’s written mostly in HTML and JS. Cool!)

OS X and Vendor Lock-in

Every now and then I find myself defending Apple and its products. Besides the unusual (over here) honor of owning two Apple computers, I’ve not indulged in any obvious Apple fandom. I like their products, and I smile when I hear OS X being compared to Windows. 🙂 Regardless, one of the more stupider criticisms of late that I’ve heard is vendor lock-in and how being on OSX somehow locks your data up. This is obviously precipitated by Tim Bray’s unswitch and a couple of other related posts. This is a rebuttal.

OS X is an operating system and it does nothing special to pack your data in and hide it. “Vendor lock-in” occurs probably when you use Apple’s applications. iApps, possibly, or those bundled with the OS. Solution? Don’t use the bundled applications, or use them alongside open data stores. Let’s take my Dock. There’s Adium, which is a port of the opensource Gaim, Skype which is platform independent, Safari, which I use alongside & Google Bookmarks; Netnewswire, which is an RSS reader and which syncs everything up to Newsgator, the built-in Terminal, ITunes which might take my music ratings along with it (big deal), downloading songs using Transmission, Bittorrent & XTorrent, Textmate which afaik is just a text editor, and Photo Booth, which just takes pictures and stores them as images in my Pictures folder. My email client is Gmail.

Otoh, I use the plethora of opensource tools made available to me through Darwinports: Netstumbler, wget (which is my download manager), curl, and other opensource tools like Neoffice, etc.

I can’t see no vendor lock-in here (sic). Please move on.