A couple of weeks ago I watched the dotNetConf Open Source .NET Panel’ discussion which brought together a number of people from the .NET Open Source communities to discuss the state of Open Source in our community. The discussion was a good one, well worth watching and made me start to think about some of the Open Source projects I like – one of which features in this post.
Glimpse provides the answer for server side code that the likes of Firebug and Chrome Developer Tools provide for the client side developer. The project was originally conceived by Anthony van der Hoorn and Nik Molnar back in early 2011, and launched at Mix11’s Open Source Fest.
Glimpse did the usual Open Source project dance through many <1.0 releases, and mid last year became a project supported by Red Gate. Since then things have rapidly accelerated, and the community team have blasted beyond the 1.0 release threshold.
Today sees the announcement of Glimpse 1.4, along with a significant new look and feel introducing a Heads Up Display to make the most significant and useful information always available when Glimpse is enabled. Check out the announcement post over on the Glimpse Blog for the full lowdown, including a short video which gives a real impression of how the new Heads Up Display actually works.
Get Your Head Up!
I love that adding Glimpse to a project while working is as simple as adding a NuGet package
Once installed, build and run your solution, and then hit up the Glimpse Handler to see what’s installed and to enable the tool
So far all as expected. Now head back to your web application, and you will be greeted by the new look Heads Up Display at the bottom of the page, in all its Metro’esque glory.
The Heads Up Display appears across the bottom of all pages when enabled, providing at a glance key metrics about the page:
- Key Overall Timing Metrics
- Overall Time
- Time spent network communicating
- Time Spent processing Server Side Code
- Time until DOM Ready
- Server Side Processing Breakdown
- In the MVC case identifying the Controller
- The Action processing time
- The View processing time
- The Time taken by Database queries triggered by the page
- Realtime updating view of the Ajax Requests
More new UI awaits you on clicking the ‘g’ logo in the corner, the traditional way to summon Glimpse’s detailed FireBug like UI to the foreground, which has also had the Metro style make over. If you’ve ever used Glimpse before you will be familiar with the range of information available in here, including the very useful (and even prettier now) Timeline view:
Why Glimpse Works for me
- Very, very easy to get up and running
The ‘Pit Of Success’ is easy to get into, install the package, enable via a URL, and you are reaping the rewards.
- Tells me useful information
Glimpse has the useful metrics, configuration and information readily available – other than enabling it there is nothing more that needs to be done
- Friendly and far reaching community
Nik and Anthony are nice chaps and have fostered a good community round Glimpse, and care about engagement in the open source community. The community is growing with with ever increasing numbers of contributors and extensions for all kinds of things ranging from pure ADO to SignalR – I’ve found the SignalR one useful on a number of occasions
- Easy Extension
It’s pretty simple to start adding your monitoring for your own functionality to a custom Glimpse tab (so easy I’ve managed it!)
I’ve found having the metrics Glimpse provides to be invaluable on a countless occasions, and I encourage you to try it out, or even better, get involved with the project itself.
Full Disclosure – Anthony & Nik gave me a preview of the new Head Up Display functionality a few days ago, which prompted me to tell you how much I’ve liked Glimpse for quite some time – No money exchanged hands, but I might let them buy me a drink when I finally get to meet them both 😉
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