Screencast: Using Debugging Tools with the Maps API

Friday, February 08, 2008 at 1:11:00 PM

When I was a little kid, I took ice skating lessons (amongst other sports lessons which ultimately led me to conclude that I'm possibly the least athletic tomboy ever). I distinctly remember what we learned on the first day of lessons: not how to do cross-overs or pineapples, but how to fall. The instructor was wise enough to know that we'd be able to grow our skills much more if we knew how to fall and recover with minimal pain and effort. And now, I apply that same philosophy to programming: I'd rather learn how to debug in a particular language or environment before I learn any advanced skills. As many of you know, bugs can often be tiny little typos but they can take *hours* to find without a good debugger.

Most people are experienced with the debugging tools for compiled languages like C++ or Java, as they generally come bundled with the compiler. But I've found that quite a few people don't realize that there are debugging tools available for Javascript (besides alert, which you should now repress all memory of ever using). So I'm sharing my favorite debugging techniques in the form of a series of screencasts - there are a couple about Firefox extensions like Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar, a couple about native browser tools like the IE Script Debugger and Firefox Error Console, plus one about the Maps API built-in debug console called GLog.

Check out the screencasts and please share any questions or suggestions (e.g. your own favorite debug tool) in the forum. And hopefully, we'll all get better at Javascript development than I ever (never) got at ice skating. :)