Web Development Tools

Note: this is one of a series of posts about the creation of the King Design web site.

All developers have their favorite tools. Here is a quick overview of the tools I used during the development of the new King Design web site:

  • BBEdit – I’ve been a “text editor” developer for years. I’d guess 95+% of the code I wrote for the site (PHP, HTML, CSS, JS, SQL, etc.) was written in BBEdit. The remote editing capabilities via SFTP are very nice. At some point I really need to give Emacs a good try.
  • Illustrator – Vector based graphics give you supreme flexibility.
  • Photoshop – I flesh out my design ideas in Photoshop first, then implement them in code. I also used Photoshop to create all the web versions of the images on the site.
  • Tasks Pro™ – When you are working on any project, it’s easy to let details slip through the cracks if you aren’t careful. I used Tasks Pro™ to jot down ideas, tasks, etc. so I wouldn’t have to worry about them (all you GTD folk know about this) and wouldn’t forget them. I generally list out the big sectionqs of work early on, then fill out the details as I go. Before starting on a section, I’ll outline that section. Of course, I already have a few tasks and notes here and there. I find that scheduling tasks helps me stay on track.
  • Transmit – Gotta get those files up to the site somehow. I use Transmit for SFTP – love the tabbed interface in version 3.
  • Subversion – Some might not consider a source control system a web development tool, but it was probably one of the most important tools I used. It was big enough that the next post in this series will be devoted to how I used SVN in developing the site.
  • iTerm – Since each site was a checkout of a Subversion repository, I was doing a fair amount of terminal jockeying. The tabbed window interface is awesome for terminal windows. I’d have one tab for local, one tab for remote, one tab for an additional location I needed to be, etc.
  • Camino – I think it’s the best Mac browser out there. The Gecko rendering engine is currently superior to the KHTML engine in Safari, and it feels like a Mac app, unlike Firefox. It’s also faster (I should redo those tests with the current releases). Now if only it had accesskey support.
  • Firefox – While I prefer Camino for general browsing, the Firefox JavaScript console and Web Developer Extension are second to none. I use Firefox for all my JavaScript debugging.
  • Safari and IE (Win) – Mostly for testing.
  • Google and Yahoo – I don’t always remember every piece of syntax or technique I need and have to look them up.
  • php.net – The documentation here is the best way to lean PHP (after you review a tutorial to get the basics).
  • Mail, Thunderbird and Adium – Quite handy when you’re e-mailing or IM-ing a friend asking for feedback on design issues or help with content.