Some helpful debugging tools

by Adrian on October 30, 2009

Just came across a few new (to me at least) debugging tools that I thought I’d let you know about, just in case you find them helpful…

  1. Mole for Visual Studio – an interesting visualizer that enables you to see all the properties of an object in a clear and simple way. You can also modify them and interestingly you can also create ”favourite’ properties. This can be really useful if you always find yourself needing to look a the same 5 of 100 or so properties on a particular type of object (e.g. String.Length).
  2. DebugBar – a commercial alternative to IE’s (as of version 8.0) integrated Developer Toolbar. It has some cool (Fiddler-like) features that enable you to see HTTP traffic. It’s only then that you are reminded of all of the files some pages need to download before they are fully rendered.
  3. Drip – a memory leak detector for IE. Now that C++ is a distant memory (no pun intended!) for most developers in the .NET world, memory leaks are regarded as something the CLR ‘just’ takes care of. Unfortunately, due to IE’s continuing dependence on COM its Trident rendering engine can still be perceptible to memory leaks. Developers need to be aware of this when coding outside of the CLR with technologies such as HMTL and JavaScript .
  4. Firebug Lite – a simplified Firebug implementation for IE. If you’re used to developing with Firefox, switching to IE, Safari or Opera and being forced to give up Firebug can be a bit of a ‘disappointment’. If this is your experience Firebug Lite can go some way to helping you out. On the other hand, if you have never used Firefox or Firebug, Firebug Lite can be a useful alternative to IE’s Developer Toolbar.

As I learn more I’ll let you know how I get on…

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