If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then I am honored by the beta release of the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar. While the AEVITA Web Inspector was a blatant rip-off, the IE Developer Toolbar, although clearly inspired by the Web Developer extension, is a separate and potentially useful tool.
The structure of the menus resembles the Web Developer extension with ‘Disable’, ‘Images’, ‘Misc’, ‘Outline’ and ‘Resize’ all being common between the two tools, as well as the ‘Validate’ menu correlating to the ‘Tools’ menu in the Web Developer extension. Most of the features have an equivalent in the Web Developer extension, although the IE Developer Toolbar contains fewer features – particularly those related to CSS.
There are three unique features of the IE Developer Toolbar that stood out for me.
Firstly, ‘View DOM’ which is similar to the DOM Inspector in Firefox. What makes this feature unique is the option to ‘pin’ the DOM Explorer as part of the browser window which is useful.
Secondly, the ‘Show Ruler’ feature which gave Ben some ideas on how to improve the ‘Display Ruler’ feature that is part of the Web Developer Alpha.
Finally, the ‘Outline Positioned Objects’ feature which I have already added to the to-do list for the Web Developer extension and I am hoping to include in the next release.
Overall, I think the IE Developer Toolbar is an interesting tool which, while clearly immature, shows some promise and it will be interesting to see how it improves going forward. For a more in-depth review of the IE Developer Toolbar with screenshots check out Cow’s Blog.