The drawback to this is that just like Wireshark, the protocol layer traces of requests and responses are intermixed. Firebug will only show you the requests/responses/data applicable to the page you are currently viewing. Again, this is a mixed bag of goodness - it certainly helps for debugging and viewing specific pages, but you have to relaunch Firebug every time you want to view a page and in admittedly limited cases where you're debugging specific interactions with a site, you have to "repost/reget" the data, which could be problematic when you're trying to recreate a specific problem for debugging purposes or you run into while testing, especially if multiple tabs/windows are involved. In this respect, HttpFox appears to be a better choice as you can start it and it will continue to monitor the flow across tabs, windows, and requests without interruption.
Also slightly annoying is that the capturing of network layer data requires you to start the Net monitoring for the page separately. HttpFox automatically captures this data as part of the analysis process. On the flip side, Firebug does a much better job of visually representing the time to load individual components in a page, with HttpFox presenting the load times in a fashion similar to Wireshark, i.e. text based only.
|HttpFox: Elegance through simplicity ||Firebug: Making the complex visually appealing |
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HttpFox beats Firebug in its own UI design, in the way it easily lays out protocol layer information and associates them with requests, but it can't compare to Firebug's ability to dig deeply into content.
For me, I'm sticking with HttpFox because it suits my needs. But I definitely see the value of Firebug, and the next time I need a tool for debugging content issues, I'll certainly start-up Firebug instead.