Developer Environment – Part 1

People often ask me what I use to develop a website and how I go about it. I can’t cover it all in one blog post, but I can give a brief overview of what I use and how I use it.

I’ve always thought that there is no right or wrong way to design your site – some people love Dreamweaver, some people prefer Notepad – it’s all down to your own personal coding style. I do all of my development work on a Mac, but a great deal of the software I use has it’s counterpart in the Windows world.

SkEdit Text EditorSkEdit – http://www.skti.org/skedit/
I have used this from day one (well, when the software was released). Brilliant tabbed interface for multiple file editing, quick preview with your favourite browser (set these in a list), code highlighting (fully customisable), code completion and my favourite find and replace system ever – this is one of those simple little applications that does exactly what it claims to and incredibly well. Also available to use with a subversion repo with additional plugin.

TextMate text editorTextMate – http://macromates.com/
One of the oldest and greatest Macintosh text editors, name a function and it probably lives within TextMate somewhere. What I love about TextMate is the sheer speed with which it  can complete tasks – not to take anything away from SkEdit above, but code highlighting in TM is second to none. What’s really great is the ability to download ‘code’ bundles from the TM site allowing you to add code highlighting and completion rules at will.

Coda from Panic SoftwareCoda – http://www.panic.com/coda/
When code broke onto the scene about a year ago it blew my mind. They have the text editor from SubEtherEdit (one of the better) and jammed a full Markup editor with all the bells and whistles in, along with a proper preview window (in app, based on WebKit), W3C validation checking (very handy and functional), a FTP engine (based on the Best FTP app – Transmit), ssh terminal and if all of that wasn’t enough an ‘in app’ library with full access to PHP, XHTML and CSS reference books – just try it out, it’s really very good and well worth the coinage.

Part 2 coming shortly….

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