Tools for Web Developers
The term web development refers to the work involved in developing a website for Internet (WWW) or Intranet.
This includes web designing, content development, web server, network security, client side scripting, server side scripting and configuration.
Typically it refers to the non design aspects of website that is writing markup and coding. Web development tools have a huge contribution
in making web development one of the largest Internet based industries of 21st century.
In this article we would take a review of various web development tools.
Some of the commonly used and well known tools for web developers are:
- Microsoft Expression Web
- HTML Kit
- Adobe Golive
- CSS Validator
- HTML Validator
- CSS Tidy
- Clean AJAX
- VMware Server
- Font Struct
Now let us take a brief look at the above listed tools and see what they are capable of doing.
Dreamweaver CS5 is an excellent Web page building and Website management tool that handles all the major site building tasks,
Dreamweaver dominates the world of professional web authoring in much the same way that Photoshop dominates photo-editing.
It has achieved this commanding position by combining a WYSIWYG design environment with unbeatable hands-on coding power and by focusing throughout
on workflow-based efficiency. It is these same three core areas - visual design, coding and productivity - that are targeted in this latest release.
Other improvements in the latest version include enhanced support for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and layout and formatting mark-up language designed to work along HTML.
Regardless of the coding language you are using you will also benefit from the new Coding Toolbar running down the left hand side of the Code View
which provides quick access to snippets and source formatting, invalid code highlighting, commenting and removing comments and so on.
It also provides the new ability to collapse and expand tags and selections which is designed to allow you to focus in on sections of code,
but which I found a major complication and possible source of confusion when working with HTML/CSS.
Other major improvements include Connectivity with a wider array of servers is now offered including digest authentication and SSL secure transfer for WebDAV.
Check-in, check-out has also been improved and you can now compare files both locally and remotely. Most usefully,
the Synchronize command has been reworked to allow files to be removed from the transfer list or deleted entirely.
Starting price of this great tool is 306.93 $ (USD).
Microsoft Expression Web
Expression Web is owned and developed by software giant The Microsoft. It came as an upgraded version of a basic tool earlier designed by Microsoft,
FrontPage, which had a Ms Word like feel and was designed to give a lead in browser wars to Microsoft.
It is a part of Expression Studio suite. Expression Web can design and develop web pages using XML, CSS 2.1, ASP.NET or ASP.NET AJAX, XHTML, XSLT,
Microsoft SharePoint Designer provides related Microsoft technology. It offers Visual Studio support forASP.NET applications.
It has some legacy support for classic ASP. Expression Web uses its own standards-based rendering engine which is different from Internet Explorer's
Trident engine. The first beta version was released on May 14, 2006. Since then 3 more versions have been released, namely Microsoft Expression Web 2,
Microsoft Expression Web 3, Microsoft Expression Web 4. This handy tool combined with the goodwill of Microsoft costs you 190 $ (USD).
HTML-Kit is a full-featured editor and an integrated development environment designed to help HTML, XHTML, XML and script authors to edit,
format, lookup help, validate, preview and publish web pages. Newcomers to web page development can benefit from letting it point out errors
and provide suggestions on how to create standards compliant pages. Experts can save time spent on common tasks using the highly customizable
VBScript, ASP, PHP, JSP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, VB, C/C++, C#, Delphi / Pascal, Lisp, SQL etc.
HTML Kit may feel difficult to handle for new developers but it's a very powerful tool for those who know how to use it.
HTML Kit is a freeware but additional updates and modification require a registration for which fee is charged.
Adobe GoLive is an HTML editor and Website management application from Adobe Systems. Adobe GoLive lets you quickly design,
build, manage, and deploy dynamic content for the Web and wireless devices. With its built-in Web authoring and dynamic database tools,
you can now move rapidly from concept to site deployment. GoLive also includes the new Adobe Web Workgroup Server, which offers sophisticated
asset management features like version control that enhance workgroup collaboration and help you leverage assets more effectively.
Now you can deliver personalized multimedia content to a worldwide audience anywhere, anytime. Primary advantages include Free tech support is
short-lived; vast array of windows, palettes, and tools may confound beginners; requires coding to set up a database.
GoLive was discontinued in April 2008.
IntraWeb Studio Personal 2.0 is site administration software developed by Atozed Software.
IntraWeb Studio is a professional Content Management System (CMS).
It enables you to manage your website in a very efficient and cost effective way.
IntraWeb Studio is one of the first true .NET applications that allow you to create and manage powerful websites with little effort.
With its article and templates based approach, IWS makes it simple to maintain a consistent and efficient look throughout all your web site.
This site administration software is freeware, which means you can download and use IntraWeb Studio Personal 2.0 absolutely free.
There's no need to buy the product. IntraWeb Studio Personal 2.0 supports English interface languages and works with Windows 98/XP/Vista.
The W3C CSS Validator, developed by the same organization that created and standardized the CSS language, is the most used and most reliable CSS
validator available. It's a free and open source web-based tool that will scan your CSS source and explain any lexical or syntactic errors it finds.
The W3C CSS Validator checks compliance with the CSS 2 standard by default. At the time of writing, most browsers are targeting the upcoming CSS 2.1
specification. There are some well-supported features of CSS 2.1 that didn't exist in CSS 2, so the W3C CSS Validator may give you errors on those.
On the results page, the validator will often give you a number of warnings even if there are no errors. These warnings do not imply that your page is
invalid or even written poorly. They are basically tips for things to be aware of. Most of them deal with the fact that users may customize their
default stylesheet, and if they, for example, choose to have a black background and white text by default and your page only specifies a
light background color, the page may be unreadable for those users. The validator may recommend that you specify a text color along with your background
color to prevent these potential problems.
The W3C HTML Validator Service checks HTML documents for conformance to W3C HTML and XHTML recommendations and other HTML standards.
This one is not as user friendly as the others however it is the one more experienced web designers should use.
You should have a doc type declaration included and also character type in the meta tags before it will analyze the HTML code correctly.
The W3C HTML validator gives an explanation for each error it finds but then you have to understand HTML lingo to figure out what it all means.
The W3C HTML code validator does not pick up all HTML errors if using the transitional doctype however so use other validators with it,
because it doesn't always pick up a missing html tag or extra or missing carets, etc. The W3C site also has validators for other markup codes
like XHMTL, CSS, RSS feeds and can also find broken links.
CSSTidy is an open source application that parses, fixes, and optimizes CSS code to reduce file size and also to standardize CSS code formatting automatically.
It also finds and removes redundant styles and properties. You can adjust CSSTidy's settings to your preferred compression level but even the default
setting can often give you 30% compression according to the creators of CSSTidy.
Clean AJAX speeds up Ajax development by cutting down the amount of code you have to write (and rewrite), giving you access to common
and proven design patterns used in Ajax applications. Clean AJAX can be used with any server-side technology such as PHP,
but JSUnit provides the developer a simpler, automated way of doing unit tests to ensure thorough testing at a fraction of the time it would
take to test manually. JSUnit allows for the execution of automated tests for multiple browsers and operating systems.
code and setting break points. It also comes with a command-line interface built in. Venkman is an extension that you can easily install
and download through the Firefox Add-ons section of Mozilla.org.
VMware Server is a free tool that allows you to start up a virtual computer in a desktop window. This way you can test multiple versions of
Internet Explorer in their proper configurations, with no need to purchase extra computers. You will, however, need to purchase a copy of
Windows to install on each virtual machine you plan to use.
Because this emulates an entire working computer, there is usually a
noticeable performance impact. The free VMware Tools package, conveniently available from the menu in VMware Server, helps accelerate
basic utilities like the mouse and graphics, but it is still recommended that you use a modern computer and disable any performance-impacting
effects in the virtual machine.
FontStruct is a free font-building tool brought to you by the world's leading retailer of digital type, FontShop.
FontStruct lets you quickly and easily create fonts constructed out of geometrical shapes, which are arranged in a grid pattern,
like tiles or bricks. You create 'FontStructions' using the 'FontStructor' font editor. Once you're done building, FontStruct generates high-quality TrueType fonts,
ready to use in any Mac or Windows application. You can keep your creations to yourself, but we encourage users to share their 'FontStructions'.
Explore the Gallery of fonts made by other FontStruct users and download them or even copy them and make your own variations.
A very handy and easy to learn web application which is used for creating web page templates. It has a very simple user interface,
making itself a good tool for quick-and-dirty mockups of web layouts. It is used by both professionals and new developers to create custom
templates for websites.
Pixlr combines image design and paint tools with photo editing and adjustment features more convincingly than any other online image editing program.
Whether creating an image carte-blanche, layering one image over another or using a variety of filters, effects and level adjustments to
transform photographs, Pixlr is equally capable of producing results on par with many of its software-based counterparts.
Yet, despite its deep feature-set, Pixlr remains facile, intuitive and, most importantly, user-friendly.
- A fully customizable user interface with movable and scalable windows.
- Navigation-free drop-down menus featuring all filters, adjustment and layering options.
- Intuitive design and paint features with a dedicated history window for reference and quick undo/redo.
- A 'Photo Express' portal for quick, simple changes to images and photographs.
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