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Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar

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Gone are the days of single-digit audience for Gecko-based browsers, but IE is far from disappearing (which is a good thing even for the diehard Firefox defenders and all five Opera users – after all, the lack of serious competition turned Netscape into Netscape 4 and kept IE improvement frozen after that). But tools such as Firefox’s Web Developer Toolbar (a swiss-kinfe of tools for debugging weird and browser quirks) make lots of people (including me) develop the whole front-end using Firefox, only switching to IE to see if things don’t break.

But they do. It can be argued forever whether Mozilla, Microsoft or you failed in following standards – but the fact is that neither of the first two will fix the site – it’s your job. In that sense, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar is a welcome addition to the web developer toolset. As its Firefox counterpart, it adds the ability of dynamically breaking down DOM elements, resizing the window to typical screen resolutions and other niceties that help finding out which elements are causing trouble.

It is still a bit 1.0-ish (it only works well un-snapped – and the resize button can get hidden on the upper corner when you snap) and misses a few functions from its cousin. But it’s a good thing to have, and having it released by Microsoft themselves is a good indicator that there is someone there paying attention to developers outside the one-size-fits-all-mammoth-development-tool world.

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