JScript Debugging: Made easy with IE8

JScript Debugging: Made easy with IE8

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The feature I'm most excited about in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 is ironically one you might not notice at all.

Problem

If you're reading this, you probably know (and are still untangling the double-negative logic of) the "Disable script debugging" option in IE.  Say you just spent 10 hours debugging script.  It's time for a break.  You read your favorite blog.  Suddenly, you are presented with:

error

Needless to say, you probably did not "wish to debug" the rest of the world's script... especially after a day of debugging your own.  But you hesitate to uncheck the option because you know you're going to need it again tomorrow.

Solution

IE8 now enables debugging on-demand.  Thanks to a feature we tucked into VS2008 about 1/2 year ago in anticipation, when you F5, VS gives a hint to IE to flip on debugging... just for that tab you are on.  This means you no longer need to leave script debugging enabled in IE.  VS will do it for you.  Simple.

Special thanks to the debugger folks and the IE team for lining this one up!

Jeff King
Program Manager
Visual Studio Web Tools

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  • I can't say how grateful I am for this little feature. I belive that a lot of developers would say the same thing. I also noticed that IE hangs now and then when you surf the web and debugging is on.

  • This had to be done years ago.

    Anyway I don't know any better JavaScript debugging tool than Firebug for Firefox. That's one of the most major reason I use so much Firefox instead of IE.

    Consider creating similar debugger for IE.

    Why people should have Office, Visual Studio or other software installed to debug poor JavaScript code. It's all about browser.

    Regards.

  • @Dmitriy:  Your comments are completely fair.  IE8 also introduces an unpdated toolbar (now part of IE itself).  While the toolbar is work in progress--and may not have the richness of Firebug yet--I wanted to you to know that the IE team understands what you're talking about (our team meets with theirs) and are working towards the vision you describe.

  • Jeff, so what are you saying here? Turn off script debugging in IE and then VS will automatically enable it when you do F5 debugging? Not really clear from your post...

    Dmitry - definitely check out the new features of the built in developer toolbar. It does a good chunk of what FireBug does for debugging now and in an unobtrusive way. I especially like the fact that you can set and IE remembers breakpoints you set for a given page and the IE debugger experience IMHO is way cleaner than FireBug...

    I do wish that a few extra steps could be done to improve Error Display in IE. Firebug's error icon along with the ability to jump to the error in script code is something that would really improve the debugging experience in IE as well!

  • @rstrahl (Rick): That's what I'm saying.  Turn off script debugging in IE.  VS will essesentially do it for you as needed.  I'll update the wording of the post.

  • Here is a nice feature of IE8: Remember both "Disable script debugging" options you had to

  • Here is a nice feature of IE8: Remember both "Disable script debugging" options you had to

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