Here we are !

A few weeks after the last release we are excited to ship Vorlon.js 0.3 to the world. 🙂

In this version we focused to make node.js inspection better with Vorlon.js. Special thanks to Sofiene Djebali who is doing an awesome contribution to Vorlon.js!

We already added a preview of this capability in the 0.2 version, you can read more about it here : http://meulta.com/en/2016/02/01/vorlon-js-0-2-1-is-out/

 

Why would I want to use Vorlon.js to inspect my node.js app ?

The idea behind this is to make you capable of getting all the information you need to debug a node.js app remotely.

We all know Tools to debug locally and we also know some of them that work remotely. What we are aiming is to create an easy-to-use set of Tools specialized on various node.js modules:

  1. In version 0.2 we added the possibilty to inspect a node.js app with Vorlon.js. To do this you only have to npm install and require the vorlonjs-node-wrapper npm module. Then you can start the client part of Vorlon.js Inside your node app as documented here : http://vorlonjs.io/documentation/#debugging-nodejs-applications. Thanks to this, you can use Vorlon.js plugins
  2. Still in version 0.2 we made the standard Interactive Console, Object Explorer and XHR plugins working in node.js inspection scenarios
  3. In version 0.3 we are bringing you 2 new plugins specifically crafted for node.js debugging
    1. Node.js
    2. Express.js

We plan to add more of these specialized plugin to help you going through your worst debugging cases! 🙂

To activate these, you just have to go in the settings from the Vorlon.js Dashboard page.

 

The Node.js plugin

This one is the main that you want to use in a remote node debug scenario. As the Console, XHR and Object Explorer one it can be use for any node.js apps.

It is composed of 3 panes:

  • One displaying the hierarchy of modules you required inside your app
  • One showing a graph of your app memory usage
  • One giving you information about the node process

 

The Express.js plugin

To be able to use this plugin, you obviously have to use Express.js in your node app. You also have to declare a variable so that Vorlon.js is able to access the Express informations:

EXPRESS_VORLONJS = app;

Once this is done, you will have access to :

  • The list of routes configured in your express app
  • The requests that has been made and that hit your routes
  • Your session variables
  • And the express local configuration

 

Next steps

We are now going to start a huge refactoring process to be sure that the server part catches up with our plugin ambitions. We have a lot of great stuff in our roadmap. We will share this soon, stay tuned ! 🙂

If you have any idea of improvements or ideas of plugins that might be useful in Node.js remote inspection scenario, reach out with the team via twitter or slack 🙂

To get this version you can:

If you have any question about Vorlon.js or this article, feel free to contact me on twitter : http://twitter.com/meulta