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HttpWatch App Now Supports iPad

 September 2, 2013

The latest update to the HttpWatch Basic and Professional apps adds supports for the iPad. Customers who have purchased the Professional app can download the update onto their iPad for free.

On the iPad the app now has a split screen button:

which will display the browser next to the waterfall chart of HTTP requests:

In portrait mode the display is split horizontally:

If you have suggestions on how we can improve the HttpWatch iOS apps please contact us directly or use the ‘Rate this App’ menu item.

Two Tips for Integrating HttpWatch with other iPhone apps

 July 1, 2013

This blog post shows you how to open log files in HttpWatch from other apps and how to open a web page in the HttpWatch app instead of Safari.

Tip #1 - Use the HttpWatch Custom URL Schemes to Open Web Pages

The HttpWatch app adds the following custom schemes to iOS:

  • HWHTTP – any URL prefixed with hwhttp: will be opened as a regular HTTP web address
  • HWHTTPS – any URL prefixed with hwhttps: will be opened as a secure HTTPS web address

These schemes allow you to simply add the letters ‘h’ and ‘w’ to a URL and cause it to be opened in HttpWatch. For example, in Safari enter ‘hw’ at the start of the URL and press Go:

HttpWatch Custom SchemeOpen in HttpWatch

The page will then be opened in the HttpWatch app allowing you to see a waterfall chart and the HTTP requests required to load the page:

View Page in HttpWatchWaterfall Chart in HttpWatch

Not all iOS apps support custom URL schemes, but most of the standard ones from Apple do. For example, you can use links like this in messages with Mail or as clickable links in web pages with Safari.

In Safari, this process can be simplified by creating a bookmarklet that automatically uses the custom scheme based URL to open HttpWatch. To do this, add a bookmark to Safari and use the following text as the URL field:

javascript:location.href="hw"+location.href;

then give the bookmark a name like ‘Open in HttpWatch’. Once you have done this you can open the currently viewed page in HttpWatch by clicking on the bookmark:

Use BookmarkletUse HttpWatch Bookmarklet

Tip #2 – Open HWL and HAR Log Files

The HttpWatch app can open log files that are contained in other apps. For example, you can open log files that are attached to Mail messages:

Open Log in Mail

Or within a third party app such as Dropbox:

Open Log File in Dropbox

Future updates to the HttpWatch app will provide new ways of interacting with the app and improve on the methods shown here. Please let us know if there are any other ways in which we can improve your productivity with the app.

The Sad State Of HAR File Compatibility in 2013

 June 24, 2013

Ok, that title is a bit misleading. There are lots of tools successfully using and exchanging HAR files. It should probably read the ‘Sad State of HAR File Compatibility with HttpWatch in 2013′.

Here are some attempts to import HAR files from other popular tools into HttpWatch for Windows:Chrome HAR Error

and in the HttpWatch iPhone app:

Firebug HAR Error

HttpWatch was one of the original adopters of the HAR file format and the first Windows GUI application that could open and display HAR files. During the implementation of the HAR import feature we were concerned about supporting variations in HAR files from other tools.

To address this problem we decided that we would validate HAR files against the spec during import and flag up anything that did not conform. The theory was that this would avoid users being confused by data not being displayed as they expected in files that had questionable content.

This worked well back in 2009 when we added HAR import. However, since then HAR version 1.2 has been released and it seems that many tools have drifted away from strictly following the HAR spec.

So what’s the best way to fix this situation? Here are some ideas:

  1. Make HttpWatch less picky about HAR files and don’t worry about inconsistencies
  2. Update the HAR file spec to make it have less constraints and provide hints about how HAR viewers should cope
  3. Have a publicly available HAR file validator in the same style of the W3C markup validation service
  4. Submit HAR file related bug reports to the popular HAR adopters to get any issues fixed

Please let us know if you have any thoughts on this. Perhaps, a combination of all four approaches would be best.

You can use the HAR validation built into HttpWatch for free against your own HAR files by downloading one the following:

If you attempt to open a HAR file an error message will be displayed if any incompatibility with the spec is detected.