Debugging Javascript in IE

Cover of the 'Ajax In Action' bookIf you’re like me, you use Firefox for your web development, turning to IE every now and agan to check out styles, Javascript, etc. The Web Developer toolbar is invaluable, as are the Firebug and IETab extensions. However, there invariably comes a time when you can prevaricate no further: you have to check out your script in Internet Exploder, debug an ActiveX object, whatever. Now, you could turn to the Microsoft Script Debugger (WGA alert!), but that’s a huge pain in the arse to use, and of very limited capability. However, I learned a wee tip last week at a free Ajax seminar (follow the link—the presentation is attached) I attended, hosted by the folks at SkillsMatter, and given by Dave Crane (author of Manning’s Ajax In Action no less):

Use Microsoft’s Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition (and you thought IBM had the monopoly on unwieldy product names).

Really! It’s a free tool, and from what I have seen so far it’s pretty useful. What’s more, it has a half-decent Javascript debugger in it. So I’d be interested to see what you think—despite this post, and the fact that I have seen the tool in action—I can’t actually use it: it requires Service Pack 2, something Stinky (my IBM Thinkpad) does not have. Doh!

(Oh, and yes, the seminar was very good. Based on my experience of the morning, plus the organisation beforehand, I would recommend checking out SkillsMatter’s training offerings).


  1. Downloaded. Installed. Registered. Where's the debugger??? I just remembered how much I hate these 'visual' environments - I am going to be screwed when we move over to eclipse for domino dev… might get away with it as we don't allow ANY open source stuff here. Thanks for the info BenAndy Dempster#
  2. By service pack 2 I assume you mean Windows XP SP2? Now that's a very scary thought - a corporate machine without XPSP2!Colin Williams#
  3. Yes, SP2 for WinXP. Scary you say? Is it really that big a deal? My PC already has a firewall, an encrypted hard drive and various other safeguards on it.

    We do have SP2 in our organisation, but it's only coming on newly-imaged or replacement PCs (i.e. it's not being rolled-out to the existing user base).Ben Poole#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.