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Test and Debug HTML5 Apps Remotely on Windows Phone 8 Devices

The JavaScript-based platform allows developers to do remote testing and debugging on a Windows Phone through Internet Explorer 10.

Web developers know that although testing and debugging an HTML5-based Web app on the desktop is possible, it's far from optimal. Problems crop up that are sometimes only found when debugging on an actual mobile device.

That's where weinre comes in. Weinre stands for WEb INspector REmote, and is a debugger designed to work remotely, typically on a smartphone like the iPhone and Android platforms, using Google Chrome and Apple's Safari browsers as the UI.

Now add Windows Phone 8 and its native browser, Internet Explorer 10, to that list. Oren Freiberg, a Program Manager on the Windows Phone Browser team, blogged today that weinre is now available for Windows Phone. It was a partnership between the Microsoft Open Technologies group and its contributor community.

"Using weinre, a developer can inspect HTML content and modify the style and layout of a page in real time on a Windows Phone 8 device or emulator," Freiberg wrote. "You can also see errors as they occur in the weinre JavaScript console."

Instructions on setting up weinre on a Windows Phone 8 device are available on the Open Technologies Web site. The blog page also has a video demo on using weinre.

The weinre homepage notes that weinre is JavaScript-based; specifically, it uses node.js. Weinre doesn't use any native code in the browser, limiting its functionality. But for Windows Phone 8 developers using HTML5, it may catch problems and errors that might not appear any other way.

Microsoft Open Technologies is an independent subsidiary of the company, dedicated to open source software development and collaboration. The group recently celebrated its first year of operation, and has seen many successes in that time.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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