Monday, December 3, 2007

Paros Proxy - Web Debugging/Testing at it's finest.

I just got this one up and running under Ubuntu Gutsy. This is a very nice Web Development Tool as well as a nice debugging tool for seeing exactly what is going on in an HTTP connection. I think it's really intended as a security auditing tool, but I think people in Web Development are missing the boat if they don't take a look at this tool to test development modifications to existing live sites.

The big thing I like about it is the ability to modify HTML on the fly as it goes from the Web Server to the browser. This is a must have for anyone that needs to get down the the nitty gritty level of debugging sites at the HTTP protocol level as well as picking through generated HTML and Javascript code.

I write different Javascript for Websites. With this tool I can intercept the code in any site, then modify the code before my browser sees it. By doing this I can easily test pieces of Javascript in a live site to see if they work before giving them to the customer.

This is written in Java so you should be able to run it on pretty much anything. Since I run it on Ubuntu I've included a couple of notes about running it there.

This one will require sun Java 6. as the gcj Java that comes with Ubuntu won't work with Paros (at least with the 3.2.13 release I worked with).

If you are on Gutsy you can use apt-get or synaptic package manager to install java-6-sun.

Then in the script uncomment the line that sets

And change the line to run /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun/bin/java instead of just java (which will run /usr/bin/java which by default will be gcj)

If you don't make these changes you'll get a for SunX509. I've sent the small change needed in the Javascript to eliminate this particular error so we'll hope to see it as a fix in a future release, in the meantime though, It seems to work very well on Ubuntu with the Sun Java 6. It's a must have for anyone in Web Development. There is an equivalent product called "Fiddler" for Windoze, but it only runs in Windoze, so there you have it. Bop on over to the Paros Website grab a copy give and give it a go.


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