Unlocking Efficient Debugging: Why NiM Should Be Your Go-To Tool for Node.js (server side Javascript) Development

Unlocking Efficient Debugging: Why NiM Should Be Your Go-To Tool for Node.js (server side Javascript) Development
Photo by Shaun Dakin / Unsplash

As Node.js developers, we've all been there - stuck trying to debug our applications, wasting precious time and resources on tedious tasks like creating multiple instances of node inspector or switching between different Chrome DevTools tabs. But what if I told you there's a better way? NiM (Node Inspector Manager) has been helping Node.js developers simplify their debugging experience for over 8 years now, and it's an essential tool that should be part of your developer toolkit.

In this post, we'll dive into the world of Node.js debugging and explore the differences between using NiM vs about://inspect. By the end of this article, you'll understand why NiM is the clear winner when it comes to efficient debugging in Node.js development.

The Trouble with about://inspect

Before we get started, let's take a look at how things currently work. When you need to inspect your Node.js application using Chrome DevTools' built-in debugger, you can navigate to about://inspect and start the debugger. This works great for small projects or one-off debugging tasks. However, as your project grows in complexity and size, managing multiple inspector sockets becomes a hassle.

To add a new socket using about://inspect requires 3 actions minimum to actually add the new socket listener:

1. type about://inspect in the browser
2. click configure (assuming discover network targets is already checked... if not add an additional step.)
3. add the debug IP address and port

You might find yourself switching between different tabs, closing and reopening Chrome windows, or even using command-line tools to manage your inspectors. This tedious process not only wastes time but also opens the door for human error, making it more likely that you'll miss critical debugging information.

Enter NiM: The Efficient Debugging Solution

NiM is a browser extension specifically designed to simplify the process of managing node inspector instances. With NiM, you can create and manage multiple inspectors with ease, without having dig through and configure browser options. This means you can focus on what matters most - writing great code.  The same action of adding an additional debugger socket with NiM goes like this:

1. Click the browser action icon, enter the host and port, done...

Yes, I know what I did there, but still, much simpler a process indeed! Would you not agree?

One click, done!

Here are some key benefits of using NiM over about://inspect:

  • Multiple Inspectors at Once: Create as many node-inspector instances as you need, and manage them all from the upfront action button, not deep inside the browser settings UI.
  • Effortless Inspector Management: Start, stop, list, attach, and detach inspectors with ease.
  • Improved Productivity: NiM saves you time and reduces the risk of human error by streamlining your debugging workflow.

Getting Started with NiM

https://chromewebstore.google.com/detail/nodejs-v8-inspector-manag/fbbpbfibkcdehkkkcoileebbgbamjelh
https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/addons/detail/nodejs-v8-inspector-ma/injfmegnapmoakbmnmnecjabigpdjeme

Using NiM couldn't be easier. Simply install it from either Google's Web Store or Microsoft's Add-Ons and by default it's setup to open devtools if you happen to be inspecting on the default port 9229, so NiM will open the DevTools debugger immediately and automatically on install, batteries included, no extra steps needed! How cool is that? Why isn't it talked about more often (here's a hint... Node.js Governance Similar to Parler Elimination by Big Tech just saying)?! Anyway, give it a try today!

Conclusion

As developers, we're always looking for ways to improve our workflow and become more productive. When it comes to debugging Node.js applications, NiM is a game-changer. By providing an efficient way to manage multiple node inspector instances, NiM reduces the time spent on tedious tasks and allows you to focus on what matters most - writing great code.

In this post, we've explored the differences between using NiM vs about://inspect and highlighted the key benefits of choosing NiM for your Node.js debugging needs. Whether you're working on a small side project or a large-scale enterprise application, NiM is an essential tool that should be part of your developer toolkit.

So why wait? Get started with NiM today and take your debugging skills to the next level!