Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼

Jolt Awards: The Best Programming Utilities

, July 29, 2013 The top utilities that solve annoying development problems.
  • E-mail
  • Print

Finalist: Fiddler

Fiddler is an unexpected surprise: like a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia with a Turbo 327 under the hood. It shows you everything that is going on behind your browser, mobile device, or Web-aware application. Fiddler monitors traffic to and from browsers (IE, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera); .NET, Java, PHP, and WinHTTP apps; and mobile devices (Android, IOS, WinPhone 7, and PocketPC).

Installation is drop-dead simple. Start your browser, start Fiddler, and HTTP/HTTPs traffic capture begins. Fortunately, the request/response traffic is filterable so you can zero in on traffic from specific sessions. A very useful display is the Timeline, showing the sequencing and absolute time-frame of each message. Need to send a custom request to the server? You can use the Composer to build the request string manually in Raw mode or get simple assists in Parsed mode. Need to modify traffic? Fiddlerscript is a simple language that lets you define rules for tweaking requests and responses. .NET developers have the capability to capture Web traffic (including AJAX requests) for playback with the Visual Studio Web Test product.

I am amazed at what Fiddler provides functionally. My only stumbling point was getting the detailed help that I needed to understand how to exploit its power. The website Help is adequate, but is best for configuring Fiddler for different browsers. Apparently, a book on Fiddler is in the works.

Fiddler was acquired late last year by Telerik, the UI Framework company, so Fiddler has substantial resources behind it. The company has committed to keeping Fiddler as a free product — which only enhances the utility's attraction.

— Gary Evans

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.