Using Firebug as a scalpel, yet not for web development

Needless to say, I’m an avid user of Firebug , let’s face it: without it, web development would suck big time, yes we do have other variants but firebug remains the status quo, for me at least. Yet this is not an article about how to develop web apps with Firebug, no, is an article about how one can use it to have a little fun and be more practical.

Everyone hates ads, well maybe hate is a bit too much, everyone dislikes ads, I know I do. In Firefox we have the AdBlock Plus extension. Does the job pretty nicely, yet nicely, doesn’t fit my taste, why ? you may ask. Well firstly, its not that fast and breaks my development by taking me out of the flow (it does that by making Firefox and the pages I visit slow - this is an empirical observation, it’s been a while since I’ve used the extension) and secondly because

on some sites I actually want to see the ads and maybe even click the darn things so I can show my support

(and that’s a big chunk of the sites I visit daily).

Going back on track: today we use web apps for a considerable time: I open ad-supported web apps in the browser and keep them opened for the entire session (since I rarely close Firefox, that could mean a full day, or even more - I use hibernate). What I don’t like about them ? The ads of course, now this may come in conflict with the previous paragraph but I’ve got a good reason for killing them ads: most of the time they’re flash and they change at intervals of time, problem with that and Firefox in long sessions is that it memory leaks like crazy (it’s something related to the extensions, I reckon) and Flash and those ads seem to help a lot.

By now, it’s pretty obvious: I kill them with Firebug. How ? Pretty easily, firstly I find the node, the container for the iframes or whatever they use, and delete that node using Firebug since the node doesn’t exist anymore, gone are the ads. One may ask “But you do this every time ? Why don’t you use some extension like greasemonkey or something to do that for you ?” My answer: I have long sessions and I only do that for 1-2 sites that I keep opened all the time so it doesn’t bother me, also using Greasemonkey or something similar would add up to the resources that Firefox is using, probably getting me somewhere near the ad-block version.

In conclusion, Firebug can be useful for something else then web development.


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