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Firepython - no prints?

· · python, programming, django

While I’m developing some web application I almost never use any debuggers or supporting tools: in 90% of cases usual print variable is enough for understanding a trouble. Of course, there are some very complicated cases, when I do import pdb; pdb.set_trace().

But I was pointed at very cool thing yesterday - FirePython. This thing consists of two parts - small library on python and plugin for Firebug. This tandem is engaged with very useful business - it displays all python logged activity1 in Firebug tab.

This tool is really helpful - now I need only two applications for development: an editor and a browser. Good news is that I don’t need to look for print output in runserver output. Regarding usual usage of logging there are some benefits too - at least you don’t need to follow files and their paths (for creation of which you may not have rights), moreover immediately you have nice viewer for logs with ability to filter them.

I’ve contributed today to development of FirePython by development of two middlewares - one for Django and one for WSGI applications, so now its usage is just a question of few movements. ;) In short: you need to install plugin itself, which depends on Firebug 1.3 (it’s still in beta stage, but I’m using Firefox 3.1, so this is not scary for me :P). After that do easy_install firepython. Another option: clone project from github and put folder firepython from python folder in sys.path or your project directory.

After that you just need to enable middleware by adding its path in MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES: firepython.django.FirePythonDjango. WSGI middleware has another path (how strange! :D): firepython.wsgi.FirePythonWSGI, which you should use as any other WSGI middleware.

Usage of whole system in code looks like:

import logging
logging.debug('what you want to debug today?')

Naturally you can use any level instead of debug - you can filter them in FirePython interface.