Website development tools

Website development occupies a significant portion of my time spent working with computers as evidenced by the number of active research and teaching projects in which I am engaged. So any tool that can enhance my productivity in this area is greatly valued. Here is a sampling of the tools that I find useful in my day-to-day web development activities:

Eclipse Eclipse – an open development platform (eclipse.org)

  • Free! (Other popular tools can cost $100+)
  • Good CVS support for supporting collaborative projects with co-workers and students, maintaining version history, and enhancing portability of the entire development process (i.e., work from home, school, laptop on the road)
  • Syntax highlighting for HTML, JS, and PHP files through the PDT project
  • Document outline and quick navigation for JS and PHP files
Mozilla Firefox web browser (firefox.org)

  • Syntax highlighting when viewing page source
  • Excellent web developer tools add-on
  • Easily inspect any HTML element rendered on a page
  • Standards compliant
Windows Vista Snipping Tool (windowshelp.microsoft.com)

  • Easily capture screenshots for thumbnail links
  • Used to create the thumbnails on this page
  • Excellent for capturing a rendered page, editing with photoshop, and then using for demos and planning next steps in the design of the user interface
Microsoft Office OneNote (office.microsoft.com)

  • Keep a journal of software development activity within easy reach
  • Easily work with screenshots during user interface design
  • Organize software projects into separate notebooks
Adobe Photoshop CS2 (adobe.com)

  • Expensive, but academic discounts available
  • Save documents for the web in variety of formats (GIF, JPG, PNG)
  • Easily import picture data from the clipboard into an image file
  • Crop and resize images to specific dimensions, maintaining aspect ratio during the entire selection process

Happy website development, enjoy!

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