A neat thing happened last month. I entered a feature request against the Web Inspector debugger shipped with WebKit, to get some new function added. Two weeks later, that function was implemented in the FireBug debugger for FireFox. Coincidence?
The feature request was this one: Bug 38664: Web Inspector: add a "table" method to console, to allow output of tabular data. I got the idea for this from looking at another Web Inspector bug: Bug 30897: Web Inspector: Support Debugging via HTTP Headers like FirePHP and FireLogger. Turns out that FirePHP (another interesting project) has had support for tabular console output for a while. I immediately felt left out.
So how did the FireBug folks beat the Web Inspector folks (me included) to the implementation? Turns out that IBM employs folks who work on both Web Inspector and FireBug. My primary contact for FireBug stuff in IBM is John J Barton, and I thought this new function would be interesting enough they'd want it too. I guess I was right. John and I trade notes on stuff like this from time to time.
Once Jan Odvarko (aka "Honza") posted his blog entry Tabular logs in Firebug, my interest in this bug grew, for some reason :-) So, had some conversation with Jan, on the bug, last Friday. It was great for Jan to provide additional feedback in WebKit's Bugzilla. And then I was totally surprised yesterday morning to find that a bunch of additional great ideas around the feature request got posted back to the bug over the weekend, from Jan and other Web Inspector developers.
I decided to try to summarize where we were, provide some examples, and ended up writing a little
console.table() simulator to play with, all of which is currently available in this file: console.table() proposal. Please post comments on that file back to the bug, for now.
I love friendly competition!