Web 2.0 Expo: Web Developer Tools
Ben Galbraith and Dio Almaer of Ajaxian and the developer tools group at Mozilla gave a wide-ranging talk on web developer tools. They noted that the web often seems more like a hack than a platform — it's amazing that developers are able to make web apps do the things they do. This is especially true with Ajax raising the bar for interactivity, and sites turning into applications instead of documents. They're out to make the web a better platform.
Some future technologies that have them excited:
- HTML5 canvas
- Web workers, giving web apps the ability to have background threads
- Desktop integration, such as Fluid, Prism, Adobe Air, and Titanium
As part of its efforts to improve the web as a platform, Mozilla is working on an open web tools directory, as well as a variety of development projects.
Ben and Dio noted that Firebug blew away existing tools and set a new standard for web development tools, providing a comprehensive set of tools in the browser itself. Other browsers have followed with IE8 and Safari 3.0 both providing good tools.
Mozilla Labs has a relatively new project called Bespin, a web-based code editor that is intended to be a showcase for HTML 5. This project is still young, and it won't run on an flavor of IE for a while, but it looks very promising.