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My Top 5 Web Developing Tools

This month Daron Rowse announced his ProBlogger Group Writing Project. He tasked his readers to come up with a top 5 list of any kind. Lists are my specialty, and so is web development, so I offer the top 5 web developing tools that I use everyday.

1. Dreamweaver 8

Macromedia’s Adobe’s Dreamweaver product is my essential tool for managing and developing all my products. The toolbar wizards for medial tasks cut down on my development time as well as file management to keep my files current. Dreamweaver is the preferred IDE for ColdFusion developers. There are many features that create robust functionality a few short actions.

2. Firefox

All of your hard work needs to be seen, and that’s in the browser. Firefox is my pick because of the ability to customize the browser to your liking with add-ons. I use many of these add-ons to diagnose and discover areas of improvement in my display or coding. Here are my recommended add-ons from a previous post:

Web Developer Extension: A suite of tools that tell you almost anything you need about the page you are on.

A suite of tools that tell you almost anything you need about the page you are on.

Firebug:

Awesome add-on that allows you debug your JavaScript, CSS, and HTML live on the page. The CSS inspector feature is great for finding those troublesome div tags.

IE Tabs:

Toggle between IE and Firefox rendered pages without having to fire up Internet Explorer.

ColorZilla:

What color is that on the page? Now you can see the hex and RGB of colors with an eyedropper that save the color to the clipboard. Great for web designers.

MeasureIt:

Get the height and width in pixels of anything on a web page. This handy add-on is essential for web designers and developers alike.

3. SQL Query Analyzer

We run our major sites with Microsoft SQL as our database. The built-in query analyzer allows you to create on-the-fly queries and executing SQL statements. The drag and drop interface makes it easy to get the data I need. I build the queries there and past them into my ColdFusion component pages.

4. Microsoft Excel

This may seem like an odd thing to include in a list about developer tools, but I have saved hours by using Microsoft’s Excel. An example is coding a set of CFPARAMs. The statement is as follows. <cfparam name=”FORM.FirstName” default=”Jason”>. I will break up the first part <cfparam name=”FORM. into one cell, skip a cell, then ” default=”, skip a cell, and finally “>. Use Excel to repeat the rows for as many variables that you have. Type in your variables into the first blank column. The next logical variable would be LastName, then the other blank column, you would put the default value. This saves me time of cutting an pasting the IF statement over and over.

5. ColdFusion MX 7 Web Application Construction Kit

The CFWACK is an essential resource for us ColdFusion developers. The book is always within arms reach of me throughout the day. This is the first place I look for solutions to problems I encounter while coding.

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