Alan Storm has a great module called Layoutviewer that is great for front-end developers. It allows you to see the layout that Magento will use to render a page. This can be useful to debug what layout updates have been applied to a page. One way or another, it usually ends up in most of my development sites.
Here is a nice little shell script you can copy-and-paste or download to easily add it to your project:
#/bin/bash VIEWER_HTTP_DOWNLOAD="http://alanstorm.com/2005/projects/MagentoLayoutViewer.tar.gz" # If we are in the root, then we need to go into app/code/local. if [ -f "index.php" ]; then cd app/code/local; fi curl -so - $VIEWER_HTTP_DOWNLOAD | tar xvzf - ( cat <<'ConfigFile' <?xml version="1.0"?> <config> <modules> <Alanstormdotcom_Layoutviewer> <active>true</active> <codePool>local</codePool> </Alanstormdotcom_Layoutviewer> </modules> </config> ConfigFile ) > ../../etc/modules/Allanstormdotcom_Layoutviewer.xml
Also, here is a little bookmarklet that you can use to show the formatted XML for a page using the installed module:
Just drag it to your bookmarks bar!
You can also download the attached shell script. It will (from the htdocs folder for your Magento site) download the layoutviewer module.