Fixing a papercut in Firefox’s WebIDE

Web IDE has gone though some twists and turns as a feature in Firefox, but one thing has remained constant for me: When I launch an app, I *always* want to debug it. Having to repeatedly wait and hit the wrench button has always bothered me. During a development session I may do this hundreds of times.

So I wrote a small Firefox add-on that changes the functionality of the “play” button in Web IDE to also open the Developer Tools once the app has launched.

Warning: It’s not pretty. There’s probably a better way to do it. Take a look at the source here and let me know if you have ideas.

INSTALL

A couple of other things I want to add:

  • First force-stop app when you hit Play. Currently the new app source doesn’t get reloaded because the old app instance is running, which is wrong and maddening.
  • Always show dev tools. The way the pop in and out is very heavy feeling. Just keep them open all the time.
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Doublestitch – A Simpler and Cleaner Pocket for Firefox

I love Pocket and I love Firefox.

But two things were driving me batty about the Pocket feature built into Firefox:

1. The design of the popup experience when you save a page to Pocket is… unfortunate. It stays up far too long, and it doesn’t go away when you switch tabs. Yeah, it stays open for a given URL even when you’re on a tab with a completely different URL! But regardless of whether you think that’s as crazy as I do, I never want to add tags so just don’t need it at all.

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.17.56 AM

2. The Pocket toolbar button doesn’t indicate whether you’ve already saved the page or not. You have to click the button to figure it out. Now this might not be a problem for everyone. But the way I use my browser can best be described as “tabsplosion”. I don’t know when or where these tabs come from, or how they get there, or whether I saved it already or not. So this tiny piece of ambient visual signal would be useful for me.

So I took a couple of hours over the last few evenings and scratched the itch. I made a Firefox add-on which does the following:

* Adds a new Pocket button to the toolbar. (You can remove the old one by right-clicking it and choosing “Remove from Toolbar”). Mine is red. I want to make one that has nice gold double-stitching on it…

* The new button shows a check mark badge when the page is already saved.

* You can click the button to either add or remove the page from Pocket.

* No popup.

That’s it. Simple, clear and out of your way.

INSTALL HERE (WARNING: Experimental side-project software. You’ve been warned.)

Source code: https://github.com/autonome/doublestitch

If you try it out, let me know if you find any bugs or have any ideas for improvements!