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Firebug is well known to web developers as one of the best tools to have at your side when trying to debug website issues. Many have said that it’s a priceless tool, and at one point Joe Hewitt wasn’t sure if it would remain free. He questioned whether users would be willing to shell out $15-$25 for an extension, but he strayed from the paid route in favor of keeping it open source.

Here we sit just days after the 4-year mark of the first public release, and this incredible extension has been downloaded well over 21 million times and has roughly 2.5 million people who start up a version of Firefox that is Firebug-equipped. With nearly 800 reviews this extension has an average 5-star rating, which is an incredible accomplishment no matter how you spin it.

The cherry on top is that Firebug 1.5 was released yesterday after about 6-months of development time. The release notes for this version are quite extensive, and you’ll quickly see that the update touches on just about every area that the extension covers. One of the more important things may be that Firebug 1.5 includes support for Firefox 3.6 that should be available sometime soon (possibly this week from what I’ve read). Here’s a quick rundown on the areas that have been improved upon:

  • Mike Radcliffe’s Inspector. A key feature, now solid as a rock
  • Jan ‘Honza’ Odvarko’s expanded and refined Net panel, with accurate timings
  • Steve Roussey’s reworking of HTML editing and entity support
  • Kevin Decker’s CSS and Style side panel improvements
  • Support for dynamic, graphical breakpoints through out Firebug
  • Tested support for the soon-to-be-released Firefox 3.6

If you use the add-on stop by and leave a quick review. It never hurts to say thanks for developing such an extensive and free add-on.

Firebug Homepage (Firefox extension)