RE: ASP.NET Development Helper

From the Powertoys mailbag. This is a cool IE add-on that adds some helpfull information to IE when you are debugging your web apps. - josh

A few weeks ago, I got a question about the WebResources feature not doing its expected client-caching as described. It turns out the application was in debug mode. With that context, I was discussing with couple folks here, how it would be nice to be able to tell the developer that the app or page was being run in debug mode in the browser. At the same time, I also wanted to learn a bit more about browser helper objects for some other v-next related thinking.

I love it when I get to kill two birds with one stone. So I decided to sit down and write a little browser extension to provide an indication of debug mode within the browser. The screenshots below show what I ended up with. You can download the binaries and run this locally on your end.

Screenshot of ASP.NET Development Helper

As you can see from the screenshots, I went along I added in some additional tools such as the ability to hide trace information from the page (useful if that interferes with your page layout), and view it in a separate window, as well as the ability to see view state in a decoded form. The latter is especially useful for control developers to analyze their view state and control state usage. I already spotted a couple of things we could potentially pack better in GridView.

Obviously this is just a start for this kind of a tool. What kinds of features do you think would be helpful? Also do you like seeing this kind of information alongside the page in the browser? Or would you prefer some other type of visualization?

[Update 5/12/2005: Dino reported back that this extension seemed to break themes. It turns out IE doesn't like the css file if server module included a cookie for the .css file. I have updated the module to restrict itself to .aspx pages for now.]

[Via Nikhil Kothari's Weblog]