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Admittedly, Opera is about the fourth browser on my list (after, in order, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox), but the release of Opera Dragonfly may just change that for me, at least when it comes to Web development. Historically I’ve always relied upon Firefox’s Firebug extension when I need a good development debugging tool, but the Firefox browser has become such a memory hog for me that I’ve stopped using it on a regular basis. Of course, it’s probably a memory hog exactly because I’ve installed so many extensions (Firebug and the Web Developer Extension and …)!

On a cursory glance, Dragonfly may have everything I need:

  • DOM viewer
  • JavaScript debugger, allowing you to set breakpoints, inspect the values of variables, and set conditions to watch for
  • HTML and CSS editor
  • Resource inspector (what resources are loaded by the page)
  • Network traffic tool, a must for debugging Ajax, including the ability to craft your own requests to see the response
  • And more.

Unlike Firebug and other extensions, Dragonfly is built into Opera. Also unlike any comparable tool, Dragonfly can be used for remote debugging, including content destined for mobile devices or televisions!

I don’t know that Dragonfly alone will make me switch to Opera as my primary browser, but I have a strong feeling it will be my primary development browser for some time.