Make it easier to enable remote debugging on Firefox Desktop



4 years ago
2 months ago


(Reporter: sole, Unassigned)


(Blocks: 2 bugs)

Mac OS X
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Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


Right now we have to first enable debugging and then open the console, go to it  and type "listen {port}" to make it listen to a port. This is not very cool!

Jryans is working on some sort of bonjour like system that will allow for "autodiscovery" of Firefox OS devices. Perhaps Desktop could do the same.

The idea could be that once you enable "Enable remote debugging" on the devtools preferences, the announce service starts running. We're thinking that this should be enabled by default on DevEdition, and off by default in Stable-but still would be possible to enable by going to Settings.
Blocks: 956871
Bug 942756 had already changed the "enable remote debugging" checkbox to behave like this, but it was a small part of the overall change that got sidetracked for unrelated issues. I wish someone would extract that bit and land it separately, even though using the multicast announcement suggested here would be even better.
I think there are two separate use cases here:

1. for phones it is particularly cumbersome to do discovery without the bonjour feature because the user would have to manually enter in ip addresses. The Bonjour-like layer of jryans' solution is solving that in particular.

Based on what jryans said in IRC yesterday, there is then a secondary service running on the device that tells the debugger where to connect to to start debugging, with an accompanying permissions workflow.

For the use case of debugging a desktop browser I think this can be a lot simpler to cover the desktop use case, eg:

# I want to remotely debug the current site in a release browser ( chrome or firefox ) from developer edition

To accomplish this, we need a few things:

* discovery of installed browsers, across platforms. We already do this in other tools? 
* a way to start up the browser, specify a remote debugging port and then get it to navigate to a particular page and start. I'm pretty sure dcamp had this working for chrome at one point when he was initially working on fever dream

# I want to start debugging a page in some other already-running browser from developer edition

This is only slightly different, but at least for Firefox we could do something here, using what Ryan has already done. Essentially, dev edition needs to be able to find other Firefoxes that are running and could be debugged. If Dev Edition knows that, then we could have some chrome://inspect -esque UI that shows the browsers Dev Edition knows about and lets the user start debugging them.


The differences in the use cases are, again, slight. Is the other browser already running? Does the user want to debug a page already open in that other browser, do they want to debug the page open in dev edition, or (maybe?) do they want to paste in a url?


4 years ago
Blocks: 1070868


5 months ago
Product: Firefox → DevTools
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