The Mozilla team has launched the Open Web Tools Directory today which offers a variety of tools that can aid web developers in their projects. You are however wrong if you are now expecting a boring menu that looks like any other web directory that you visited over the past years.
The Open Web Tools Directory is different from most web directories as it places icons of the web tools that have already been added to it on the screen with a tiny header and footer area that provide filters and offer additional information.
The benefit of this solution is that it allows to place more tools on the screen without forcing the user to scroll or change pages. The page will only load in web browsers supporting canvas which includes Firefox, Opera or Google Chrome for example while Internet Explorer 8 (and likely all other Internet Explorer versions as well) throw an error and do not display the page.
There are obviously some negative aspects as well. Missing descriptions or information on the screen are probably the most noticeable ones. The only source of information are the icons. A click on an icon will display a hovering box that contains a short description and a link to the homepage. The problem here is that you need to click on each item that you do not know to receive information about it. It would have been better to display the information on the page or while hovering the mouse over the entry.
It is possible to filter the tools by category. Possible categories include debug, code, design or deploy. A search in the footer is available as well which can be used to find specific tools.
The team admits that only a fraction of the tools are already listed on the website. Webmasters and developers can submit tools which are then reviewed by the team and put on the website if appropriate. They have also plans to create a generic website that is accessible by all web browsers. Web developers and interested users can visit the page here.
Update: Mozilla Tools is no longer available, the domain returns a 404 not found error when you try to open the site.
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