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Monday, August 3, 2009

10 Essential Software Apps For Web Development on a Mac

MacbookWhether Macs are the best computers for web development is up for debate, but one thing can be agreed upon – there are some great software apps for web development on a Mac.

Here’s a list of 10 essential software apps for web development on a Mac.

10. TextWrangler is a multipurpose text editor that works for editing code and plain text documents. It can even open files from (and save them to) remote FTP and SFTP servers.

9. Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator. It is the first open source program to adopt Spiro curves. You can also go through their clip art collection and find dozens of images made with Inkscape that are free to use or modify.

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8. Cyberduck is the all-in-one FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3, WebDav and Mosso Cloud Files browser application. Web developers often need to switch between different file systems, and Cyberduck does this without a hiccup. It works with Textmate (which has a free 30 day trial), so you can open files from Cyberduck in Textmate, edit, save and upload.

7. Gimp is the second-most popular photo editing software program on the market, second only to Adobe Photoshop. The difference? Gimp is absolutely free! You can do just about everything in Gimp that you can do in Adobe Photoshop, so web developers will find this a welcome and wallet friendly addition to their software arsenal.

6. Aptana takes up where Textmate leaves off in some aspects. It is a full featured code editor, but adds the FTP support of Cyberduck, as well as important web technologies like Ajax, Adobe AIR and PHP.

5. Firefox is a must have for web development because of three great add-ons – Firebug, the Web Developer toolbar and ColorZilla. Firebug lets you edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page; while the Web Developer toolbar adds additional tools like clearing cookies, disable CSS, display ruler and display source. ColorZilla lets you pick colors from websites or images online, so you can match them to your web designs, plus measure the distance between two points on a website.

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4. JAlbum helps you make attractive photo galleries for websites. JAlbum comes with various templates built-in, but you can also customize your own template to better match a web project you’re working on.

3. Colloquy is a basic IRC client that every web developer will use at one point or another. Many web platforms use IRC for support, including WordPress.

2. MAMP is what you need to manage websites locally when you are without an internet connection or want to test changes without making them live on a website. It is easy to install MAMP and have access to Apache, PHP and MySQL for Mac OS X. It is also a stand-alone program, so if you need to install it, it won’t interfere with your OSX installation. Plus, you can use it to install WordPress on your Mac.

1. iTerm is a feature-filled Terminal emulator for OSX. You can bookmark your frequently used sessions, have tabbed windows with multiple sessions and more.

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Do you have any suggestions for better similar apps? Let’s hear them in the comments

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