I've been trying to figure this out from the docs and samples but there just isn't enough there yet (or maybe I'm missing something?).
I want to create a devtools panel but I still want access to the inspected window's dom like I get in content scripts. Right now my option is eval something in the context of the inspected window, but i would really rather not do that if I can avoid it. If I can just use a content script along with my devtools page/scripts that would be idea, but it doesn't seem to be working like I expect that it should - i can't seem to use the background page to send messages between my devtools page and my content script.
Also, is there a way to get those cool dom subtrees to display like they do in the elements panel or in the console along with the awesome hover/highlight feature?
So I can connect to the content script from the panel page by forwarding the tab id of the inspected window and pulling that out in my background page. So I have to do this
message.from = sender.tab.id;
chrome.tabs.sendMessage(message.to, message, callback);
The code I was originally testing works fine now with Chrome 26+ ... I think I was doing something that should have worked but didn't at the time that caused the behavior I was seeing.
@Konrad Dzwinel's comment was very helping on debugging devtools and noting that fact that this method actually should and does work. Thanks!