Mozilla Firefox is turning ten years old and to mark the occasion the company has designed a special present for the people who essentially run the Internet on a daily basis: developers. Originally released in 2004, Mozilla Firefox quickly rose to prominence as a reliable, secure and lightweight alternative to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Though its user base was initially small in comparison to Internet Explorer (thanks largely to the fact that Microsoft bundles its browser with every copy of the Windows operating system), its support has grown astronomically in only a decade. Mozilla has recently released the Firefox Developer Edition, which has a wide variety of different benefits that can’t be ignored.
For Developers, By Developers
Mozilla is touting the Developer Edition as the world’s first web browser that was designed specifically with other developers in mind. It’s graphical user interface has been created from the ground up to support the types of activities and the workflow processes that these individuals go through on a daily basis. It’s a browser that allows developers to build sites and apps, test their work, scale to specific requirements and complete other types of activities all from the same application. Though these components were possible before the release of the Firefox Developer Edition, it usually required a great deal of multitasking and moving back and forth from separate programs.
One of the major benefits of the Firefox Developer Edition has to do with the wide range of different options it provides to developers with regards to debugging. Many of these features are possible thanks to a single built-in extension called Valance. Valance allows developers to both inspect and debug an app or site across any type of browser or device that a user may be viewing it on. When a user views an app on the iOS operating system (which is found on all Apple devices), for example, it should naturally respond differently than if the user were viewing the same app on Android. Valance natively has support for these types of systems and more, allowing developers to complete all work from a single point of access.
Another major benefit of Valance is that it includes compatibility for all of the major operating systems in use by users today. Support is extended for Chrome for Android, for example, as well as the mobile version of the Apple Safari browser that is currently installed on every iOS device in existence.
If a user is browsing a site on a desktop computer, for example, they are both using a mouse for navigation and using a large format browser on a large screen monitor. The layout of the page should automatically change when the same content is viewed on a touch screen device like an iPhone or iPad. The built-in Style Editor allows developers to automatically account for these types of changes. Additionally, they can experience the way their content will look and feel in different environments automatically to make sure that they’re always putting their best foot forward.