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Old 02-16-2007, 01:48 PM   #1
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Default What Development Tools?

We have a good thread on Microsoft Expression Web going, but rather than insert this question there, I am starting a new thread.

What development tool(s) are you using for web development now?

I am using Dreamweaver MX 2004, and I have been content not to upgrade.

I expect to develop a new but small web site in XHTML and CSS with Dreamweaver MX 2004 this year.

I still have two "legacy" web sites developed and still maintained in MS FrontPage 2003, but they have little activity. One of them I am converting to Dreamweaver 2004 with CSS on my own, purely for the learning experience.

I expect to find most of the developers on Dreamweaver, but go ahead, surprise me by something unexpected.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
What development tool(s) are you using for web development now?
I am not typical, as I only do sites for myself, friends, and nonprofits. But I would say at this point I do small sites with BBEdit (text editor) and more ambitious ones with WordPress, stripped bare of most of its blogging stuff.

Not typical, though.

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Old 02-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #3
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If I were just doing a few sites a year I would used HomeSite - or just NotePad Pro. But I do lots of new ones and manage well over 100 existing sites, so DW is a must, and as a power user I have DW8 with the service patch. Plus TopStyle Pro, Homesite 5.5, PSP, PhotoShop etc.


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Old 02-16-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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dthomsen8: What development tool(s) are you using for web development now?
I'm still using GoLive5 and someday I will get around to installing Adobe CS2 suite and will probably continue to use GoLive...'-}}

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Old 02-17-2007, 12:01 AM   #5
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For the really heavy-weight editing I still use UltraEdit, though I'm a few versions behind. I'm afraid I only rarely touch HomeSite any more since everything I do is using server-side scripting (PHP) and I'm now starting to use some client-side scripting (unubtrusive JavaScript) as well - HomeSite is good, but really only for static tag-based documents.

But I'm now starting to use Eclipse - an open-source and free IDE framework with a lot of different plugins available for development work - some plugins are commercial, but a lot are free, open source as well. I'm quickly "growing into" it, as it's also ideally suited for team development work using source control (and I'm part of the development team for Wikka Wiki). Even better, it's cross-platform, so team members can all be using the same tool, even if some are using Windows and others are using Macs.

I have set up Eclipse with:
  • PHPeclipse - for PHP development
  • Aptana - geared towards JavaScript but it has editors for HTML, CSS and a simple one for PHP as well. It comes as a complete application (using a stripped Eclipse framework) as well as an Eclipse plugin.
  • Subclipse - an integrated client for the Subversion (SVN) source control system (I have set up a local SVN server as well, so I can do source control for my own things as well as use the SVN server we use for Wikka)
  • QuickREx - a tool to develop, test and re-use regular expressions; not something I'd use a lot, but very, very handy to have if you use regular expressions at all; it is avialable as a stand-alone version as well
  • Mylar - a task management tool that is really awesome: it "focuses" your work environment on precisely that which you are working on most intensively, and "fades" other things into the background - switch a task, and it brings up the focused environment for that task. What is really handy is that it can interface with issue management systems like Bugzilla and Trac (we use the latter for Wikka).

It's hard to explain how Mylar (in Eclipse) works, but I'm really impressed: this combo manages to save time, enough to mostly make up for some time lost because I don't have all the editing facilities that UltraEdit offers (but that doesn't have a SVN interface, which is becoming a major drawback). A major advantage of PHPEclipse and Aptana is that they have 'code assist', can jump from a function call to where the function is defined (provided it's in your project), and do "live" syntax checking - just the latter saves loads of time and server-testing roundtrips.

The latter is a reason I'm now looking for a more "lightweight" free editor that would have some of the features the PHPeclipse & Aptana editors are currently still missing, in particular block-mode or column-mode editing; of course it has to have code highlighting, but most free text editors these days do provide that.

TopStyle (2.5) is still in my toolbox, but mostly used to check some syntax or look up properties that I don't use often and forget the exact spelling of. And I haven't investigated yet how Aptana handles CSS.

If all you do is static HTML + CSS, the HomeSite-TopStyle combo still can't be beat, I guess. But if you do any kind of scripting at all, you should have a good look at Eclipse. What I have now is a really powerful environment, and totally free.

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Old 02-20-2007, 04:10 AM   #6
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I have recently switched most of my work to Linux and apart from Aptana (which is installed on my Windows machine as well) I am using Quanta+.

Linux is good for developers, less so for graphic work even if there are a few options around. The GIMP (unfortunate name but quite good for editing photos), Inkscape (which I use a lot) and Xara eXtreme which doesn't feel quite ready yet, but has got potential.

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Old 02-20-2007, 12:06 PM   #7
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I use BBEdit for my sites. I do have Dreamweaver on both Mac and PC, but don't use it at all any more.

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Old 02-21-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
Howard White
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1. Dreamweaver 8, but still a novice, trying to figure out how to use CSS to separate design from content.
2. iWeb, almost stupidly easy to make decent-looking sites in no time (if you have a .mac account.)
3. BBedit, as an adjunct to Dreamweaver.

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Old 02-24-2007, 06:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
What development tool(s) are you using for web development now?


I expect to find most of the developers on Dreamweaver, but go ahead, surprise me by something unexpected.
OK. :-) I use HTML-Kit as my primary editor. I have an old version of Dreamweaver that I should be using, but HTML-Kit is faster and easier to use. My regular browser is Firefox; I also test my HTML in Opera 9 and MSIE 6. For image editing I usually use Photoshop Elements 5.

-- Jon W.
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:54 PM   #10
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I'm not a web developer. But I have made a few sites. The last one was done with PSPad (a text editor) and TopStyle Lite. Before that I used NetObjects Fusion for a few sites. Very buggy software. And before that I used Symantec Visual Page.
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