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Browsers for Web Development in Linux

A good browser is an essential component for web development. Fortunately, there is no shortage of browsers in Linux. Forbes have a list of Linux browsers in the article titled Browsing The Web On Linux. The article is so old(2002) that it don't mention my favorite browser - Firefox. Firefox is, without doubt, the browser of choice in all platforms that it supports.

But this is not a post to extol the virtues of Firefox. This is a post to explain which browsers to use when developing web sites in Linux. Let us start with Firefox


Many people have strongly recommended using Firefox rather than IE for web development. Some of the main reasons for this are...

Firefox supports Web Standards better than most other browsers. Targeting Firefox will encourage you to use better code.
Build-in Development Tools
Some helpful tools for JavaScript/DOM development is available with Firefox - like JavaScript Console and DOM Inspector. If these are not enough for you, you can use extensions to enhance Firefox.
The best selling point of Firefox is perhaps the availability of hundreds of free extensions. Some must-have extensions for web development...
  • Firebug - Extremely useful if you are using JavaScript. This is a more powerful JavaScript console - much better than the default one provided with Firefox. You can filter out unwanted error messages like CSS parsing errors, XML errors, errors for other domains etc. You can also inspect html elements. Also included is a JavaScript shell that executes your commands in the context of the current page.
  • Web Developer Extension - This extensions have too many features to be listed here. Some of the most useful features are...
    • Disable styles, JavaScript, Cache, Images etc.
    • Outline block elements, tables, divs...
    • Edit the CSS of the current page in real time.
    • View/Edit/Delete Cookies.
    • Add external tools - Editor/Validators etc.
    • And more..
  • Venkman JavaScript Debugger - A powerful debugger for JavaScript. Unfortunately, it is not very easy to use and require some getting used to before one can use it to its full power.


Lynx is a text browser. Open a terminal and type the command...


This is how the lynx browser works - it has no graphics - the interface is completely in text - this is very useful for accessibility testing, SEO, usability testing and more.

Accessibility testing

Looking at your site with lynx browser will show you how people will lesser browsers are using your site. You will see the importance of skip links, shortcut keys etc.


Lynx shows you how a search engine like google sees your page - without the pretty graphics - without the flash animations - without javascript.


Is your site useable even without the javascript menus? Without the flash navigation interface? Take lynx for a spin and you will find out.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Stuff..

Best Wishes
Best Wishes
Web Develpment