Web development tools I couldn’t live without
Over the last 6 or so years as a developer, one of the things that seems to change most is the tools I tend to use everyday. Sometimes they change because there's something better for the job, sometimes it's because my workflow changes and requires changes to the tools I use most.
Hopefully this will help beginner developers setup a web development toolbox.
I use chrome as my main browser now - it's super quick and it's Developer Tools (Ctrl + Shift + J) are nothing short of awesome. Most of the Extensions I used in Firefox previously are pretty much available in some form or another for Google Chrome.
- Eye Dropper
Very useful for quickly grabbing colors from a website.
- Webug (FirePHP for Chrome)
Webug is one of the most useful Chrome extensions simple because we quite often use Zend_Log_Writer_Firebug.
- Window Resizer
Even though I often use a 960 grid layout if the design allows for it, it's always handy to see what your website will look like on different screen resolutions.
- NetSarang xShell
This is a terminal emulator with support for SSH, TELNET, RLOGIN, SFTP and serial support. I prefer this to the much more commonly used PuTTY.
- Git Extensions
Even though when I'm on a linux machine I do prefer to use the terminal for Git, I just hate the windows command prompt. This application makes handling Git repositories a breeze and actually fun to work with!
- Windows Virtual PC instances of IE6, IE7 and IE8
Although I previously used IETester, it really wasn't reliable enough. I've since upgraded and now use a separate XP Virtual Machine for each browser. A good article can be found on sitepoint here.
Easily the best Notepad replacement. It's quick, has syntax highlighting for lots of languages and a bunch of tools you'll probably never use! Couldn't recommend this highly enough.
- KeePass Password Safe
Using seperate, complicated non-dictionary words is one of the most important parts of securing sites/user accounts. KeePass does an excellent job of storing these passwords (and more!) safely.
Easy to use straightforward FTP/SFTP client. Prefer not to use FTP for deployment, but when the need arises to FTP/SFTP into a server, FileZilla does it aswell as any.
- Komodo Edit/IDE
My main IDE I use is Komodo IDE. It's fairly quick (compared to Eclipse - which some love, others loath. I loath!). It has support for 'snippets', decent color schemes are available (Twilight theme by me can be found here), PHP Debugging capability, symbol list and the list goes on.
I might come back and do a re-post in a couple of months to compare the tools I use now to the tools I will be using then. Maybe they'll be the same - maybe they won't.