Debugging JavaScript – article from DevShed – Introducing Venkman

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Debugging JavaScript code – an all too familiar nightmare. Yesterday I was told about Venkman for FireFox, today I found this article in DevShed: Debugging in Javascript, Contributed by Chris Root – 2005-02-16.

Venkman
If you have the newest version of Mozilla you can utilize a tool called Venkman. It is a Mozilla extension that provides a full blown debugger environment with variable monitoring, break points and many other features seen in debuggers from other languages.

Venkman in conjunction with Mozilla isn’t really a complete IDE like Visual Basic or Delphi, but it’s as close as it gets. if you’re curious and want to try Venkman go to the Venkman project home page and also try a Google search for “using venkman.” You’ll find all the information you need to get started.

The article goes on to discuss DIY JavaScript debugging – almost obsolete for FireFox users I would say. Still, an interesting read.

From the Venkman’s Project Home Page:

Venkman is the code name for Mozilla’s JavaScript Debugger. Venkman aims to provide a powerful JavaScript debugging environment for Mozilla based browsers, including the Netscape 7.x series of browsers and Mozilla milestone builds.

Brief History

In 1998, John Bandhauer was in charge of creating the Netscape 4x JavaScript debugger. In order to keep things modular, he began by creating a mid-level JavaScript debugging API known as js/jsd. This API augments the existing JavaScript API, providing clients with a useful set of debugger functionality implemented in C. John then went on to reflect that API into Java, and create his cross platform front end, eventually producing Netscape JavaScript Debugger 1.0 and 1.1.

In April of 2001, Robert Ginda began work on a JavaScript debugger for Mozilla, called Venkman. Venkman builds on the js/jsd portion of John’s 1998 work, exposing it as an XPCOM component. This allows the user interface be written in JavaScript and XUL, which allows Venkman to be fully cross platform.

Other resources:
Learning the JavaScript debugger Venkman a Venkman guide that’s slightly more useful than a towel by Svend Tofte.
The Venkman Development Home Page maintained by Robert Ginda This page contains the latest Venkman news and development releases.

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

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