FireBug

A couple days ago I posted about a FireFox extension that gives you a live JavaScript REPL running inside the currently loaded web page. Since then, I stumbled across Firebug, which IMHO may just be the greatest web development extension for Firefox since … err.. well since the Firefox Web Developer extension!. Firebug allow you to open a panel across the bottom of your Firefox window that gives you a ton of functionality including inspecting the HTML of any highlighted part of your currently loaded web page, inspecting registered Javascript event handlers, etc. It even includes a very impressive JavaScript debugger and profiler. Check out this video for an overview!

Solution to my Firefox lockups

I’ve been having some problems lately with Firefox randomly locking up (this is on OSX 10.3). It’s been driving me bonkers. I’ve tried doing some troubleshooting on it and I’ve been *fairly* certain that it’s related to one or more of my plugins, but I haven’t been able to figure out which one specifically. Until now that is. So far I am *fairly* certain I’ve fixed the problems by taking the following steps:

  • Disable the “notify me of updates” feature in switchproxy.
  • Disable the periodic check for updates for firefox and for extensions and themes.

New favorite Firefox extension

I think I’ve found a new favorite Firefox extension. Scrapbook lets you save a web page or a snippet from a web page. There are a couple of things I find very nice about it:

1) It saves the *entire* web page (including images), but removes javascript. Usually (not always of course) that’s exactly what you want to have a readable copy of most online articles.

2) You can edit the saved web page or snipped (insert comments, highlight passages, etc).

3) There’s a nice side panel where you can organize your scrapbook into folders and subfolders.

4) When you save an entire web page, the properties for the scrapbook item includes the original URL. This is a huge one to me.

I found Scrapbook in a discussion on 43 Folders about DevonThink. I’ve been considering trying Devonthink to organize and keep copies of some of the interesting things I read about on the net, but there are two problems for me with using Devonthink. The first is that it keeps everything in a proprietary database. The second, closely related, problem is that it’s an OSX only application. I love my Powerbook, but I might have to switch to a Windows XP laptop at work so I’d hate to become to deeply attached to a OSX only application.

Scrapbook isn’t nearly as powerful an app as Devonthink, but it is cross-platform, and I think it might fill my need for now. A lot of my very large collection of bookmarks are to article I *think* I might want to refer to again. But of course, it’s hard to find them from just a bookmark, so I find I’m needlessly cluttering my bookmarks collection without *really* helping me find anything. So I’ve stopped bookmarking articles and blog entries as often, but now I find I’m frequently looking for an article or blog entry I’ve read about before, but didn’t bookmark. Arghh!! Maybe Scrapbook will help at least a little.