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Glimpse – Boston CodeCamp 20 Highlights


In case you were not able to attend Boston Code Camp 20, I thought I’d post some highlights from the conference.


Anthony van der Hoorn (@anthony_vdh) presented Glimpse, an open-source debugging tool that shows you execution times, server configuration, request data and more.
Glimpse is like Firebug, but with a wider and deeper reach.
Anthony is a passionate, articulate speaker. If you get the chance to attend one of his talks, don’t miss it.

Key Points About Glimpse

  • Easy to install via Nuget.
  • Easy to get it running (go to a URL on your site, click a button).
  • Provides useful, actionable metrics.
  • Pluggable, so it works with many different technologies (MVC, EF, SignalR, etc.)
  • Minimal load on your server.

What’s Wrong with Breakpoints?

Anthony explained that breakpoints certainly have value. They allow you to see a snapshot of your code at a single point in time. What they lack is context.
Glimpse provides you with context by tracing an entire request from client, over the network, through all the layers of server software, back over the network, and back to the client.
In MVC, this would include a hierarchical list of the views, controllers and actions involved in the request, along with execution times for each node in the tree.

What’s Wrong with Log Files?

Again, nothing, but log files often provide way too much unstructured data to wade through.
If you want to see log data in the context of the Glimpse dashboard, you can use the Glimpse log4net plugin.
Glimpse is free. It will take you less than 10 minutes to install and run. Enjoy!