Internet Explorer Developer Bar

I posted this link to the Elsewhere section yesterday, but think it's worth a mention in its own right. Microsoft have made available for download a Developer Bar for Internet Explorer. Not just IE7 either. It works with IE6 and onwards.

It hasn't got the same number of features as Chris Pederick's Firefox equivalent, but it's got the important ones and some additions to boot. I like the Ruler feature a lot and can see that coming in handy.

Most importantly for me it has the DOM Inspector Explorer - a "power-user" feature that lets you inspect and modify the DOM on the fly. It all makes me feel like I know what Im doing.

For a while it might have looked like Firefox was leaving IE behind. To me it now looks like IE is fast catching up. With its impending v7 release we can expect good things. All good news for us as both push for better support of standards and stuff.

As I said yesterday, IE7 looks a lot like Firefox to me. Confusingly so. Below is a screenshot of one on top of the other. Notice how similar the tabbed interface looks. Notice IE's new search box. All browsers are starting to look the same to me. A good thing I guess.

So, there you go. Download the toolbar. It's a must-have tool for any web developer. Later this week I'll give an example of when it might come in handy.


  1. This is all good and all... but... I don't buy they are listening to developers until they do things like properly support CSS2.

    A hack... is a hack... is a hack. I hate hacks.

    • avatar
    • Dragon
    • Tue 20 Sep 2005 08:03 AM

    And to make you all feel better. Opera {Link} have announced that the are now giving away their wonderful browser for free. No adverts!

    So now you have no excuse for getting all flavours of browser. Personally I'm a huge Opera fan. Have been right from version 3. They had most of the "features" you see in other browsers first. (Tabbed interfaces, customised layout etc.)

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Tue 20 Sep 2005 09:15 AM

    Bob. After readin the IEBlog and WaSP site for a while I get the impression things are moving in the right direction. We can't expect this of MS in the same way we would from a community effort. They'll do what they want and we'll have no choice but to cater for it. Anything they do that is good is ... errr ... good.

    Dragon. Good news indeed.

  2. Jake... agreed. In fact, I'm headed to get the toolbar right now. I don't know how we did web development before all the developer tools we get with Firefox. Just having a portion of them in IE will be a huge help in testing/building.

  3. Interesting that you should point out that browsers are starting to look the same. I had a customer ask me why so many internal portals looked the same. I told him that portals are typically designed to address the same issues and over the years have evolved to where they deliver the solutions in a similar format.

    I imagine that browsers are evolving in the same way.

  4. There.. I have now downloaded and installed the developer toolbar. Oddly enough, I did it using Firefox which caused me to glance down at my task bar. As usual, the only IE window open is the one I run Hotmail in. Unless I'm testing something for work which requires IE, everything else gets done in Firefox these days. In about 3-10 years when we upgrade to IE R7, perhaps that will change. That'll be about the same timeframe as our Domino upgrade, more than likely. Hmmm... on another note, have the notices on this embedded form changed? I seem to recall them saying something other than HTML is not allowed, etc., before? Or am I just losing what remains of my mind?

  5. Thanks, Jake. I'll be sure to pass this along to my colleagues. That will keep the desktop standards police marginally happier.

    • avatar
    • Ralph Bacon
    • Wed 21 Sep 2005 02:56 AM

    Except that it doesn't run on Windows NT (according to the MS page).

    In the corporate world, the wheels stop for a long time then grind very, very s-l-o-w-ly. We're not even going to upgrade to XP until May 2006!

    Luckily, as a developer, I'm supposed to be getting an XP machine any time soon but there are no floor network ports left to plug it into! Doh!

    • avatar
    • Karen
    • Thu 22 Sep 2005 11:17 AM

    I downloaded and took the toolbar for a spin. Clicked the outline button, and it tanked. The browser window had to close.

    Here's a more user-friendly, and less buggy toolbar. Use them both and contrast and compare... {Link}

    • avatar
    • Bob
    • Sun 13 Aug 2006 03:14 AM

    The IE toolbar is far behind the Firefox one. Also, Firefox has many other web extensions. The MeasureIt extension for Firefox is probably the equivelent of the ruler feature.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Tue 20 Sep 2005

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