Google Snatches Firebug’s Core Developer

By | July 20, 2011 | 6 Comments


Google Snatches Firebug’s Core DeveloperOther web browser vendors to get jealous.

Good news for all the Google Chrome users, IBM’s John J. Barton, the core developer of Firebug, will be joining Google’s Chrome team to work on its next generation Web dev tools.

What made him to take such decision? According to John, working on the next gen Firebug is not practical as browsers change too fast for the size of its team to keep up and shift from desktop to mobile requires additional development time. Furthermore, he could not obtain another year of support from IBM to continue the contributions.

Here’s what he had to say:

Now all of the browsers have (or will soon have) their own debuggers. Basing next gen work on Firebug is not practical. The pace of change in browsers is too fast for our team size. Firebug hasn’t really been able to keep up with Firefox, let alone compete with other tools. Moreover, the shift from desktop to mobile and from one high-tech browser (Firefox) to three or more requires additional development effort. I think our current drive to re-architect Firebug is on the right track, but I could not obtain another year of support from IBM to contribute to that work.

In moving to Google my first priority will be to complete the investigation of QueryPoint debugging with Salman Mirghasemi while he is still in his PhD. Other work will depend upon what I learn at Google, but I hope to be able to help if someone from Firebug wants to port to the Chrome remote debug protocol. While the Chrome team is naturally focused on tools for their browser, Google as a whole benefits from dev-tools improvements on all platforms. Thus I will also be looking for other opportunities to work with you.

[Thanks, nobody!]


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Anonymous

    Erm… you forgot “f” in the word “shift” there… :P

    • http://www.favbrowser.com Vygantas Lipskas

      Wow! :)) Sorry about that. Fixed.

  • everybody

    “What made him to take such decision?”

    Money. With money you can destroy nearly everything.

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Well said.

  • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

    This is quite sad bearing in mind WebKit has decently powerful dev tools while Firefox hasn’t.

    • http://rudivisser.myopenid.com/ Rudi Visser

      Maybe it will force Firefox to stop being lazy shits and not developing some developer tools just because of Firebug’s existence.

      But it won’t, the addon is already there.