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Mike Riley

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Remote Mobile Debugging in Firefox 15

August 17, 2012

Firefox 15, scheduled for release in the next few weeks, has a cool new remote debugging feature for mobile developers. By setting remote debugging to true in the "about:config" Firefox browser configuration for both the desktop and mobile (only available on the Android OS at this time) versions, developers can step into, walk, and modify JavaScript and DOM elements on the fly via the remote debugging window available in the desktop edition of Firefox.

By setting the remote debug values to true in the host and client Firefox browsers, the desktop version of Firefox connects to the exposed port number 6000 in the mobile version (you have to supply the IP address of your mobile phone). Once the remote access permission session request initiated by the desktop version is granted by Firefox running on the mobile device, you're good to go. While it would be nice to see Firefox incorporate this debugging capability onboard the device (especially as Android tablets further proliferate the marketplace), this current solution provides an adequate stepping stone to get there. And since the mobile edition of Firefox allows developers to extend the browser with add-ons, it would be awesome if Mozilla could port their incredibly helpful Firebug add-on to the mobile edition of Firefox. Even so, Mozilla just made the prospect of debugging web pages on Firefox Android a whole lot easier thanks to this new developer-friendly addition.

For more details about using the new Firefox 15 remote mobile debugging feature, check out this blog post by Firefox team member Kevin Dangoor.

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