In the second post of my “set up” series, I’m listing some of the apps I use daily for web development. The first part dealt with utility apps.
There are a multitude of tools available, and the specific ones you need will inevitably vary based on the kind of development you do, the languages you use, size of team etc. I do mostly front-end dev and WordPress theme + plugin development in a small team, so my choice of apps obviously reflects this. Also keep in mind that the industry is moving fast and in 12 months time we might all be using an entirely different set of tools.
Text Editor: Sublime Text 2
I’ve written about Sublime Text in an earlier post, but I’m still going to mention it. It’s one of the best code editors out there at the moment, if not the best. Highly extensible, there are plenty of good additions relating web development and WordPress.
Get Sublime Text 2 here: http://www.sublimetext.com
CodeKit for Sass & Compass
For an introduction to Sass, go to http://sass-lang.com/
Codekit ($29) http://incident57.com/codekit/
Version Control: Tower & GitBox
After having used Git for the last couple of years, it’s almost hard to imagine web development without some kind of version control. Learning at least the basics of git on the command line is most certainly recommended, but day-to-day I find a good GUI client is very handy. For many small projects the simple and elegant Gitbox (http://gitboxapp.com/, 13.99 € on the Mac App store) is quite enough, but for most projects I use Tower (http://www.git-tower.com/, 49.00 €).
I’ll be expanding on how we use Git in WordPress projects in a later post.
Diff with Kaleidoscope
Sometimes (ie. often) you get conflicts when merging somebody else’s code with your own. A good merge tool helps, and for the Mac you can use either the free FileMerge included in the Mac OS X Developer Tools, or the excellent Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope used to be just a really good (and pretty) file comparison tool, but in its latest version 2 beta it includes merging capabilities for text and folders.
Download the trial here: http://www.kaleidoscopeapp.com/
PHP Error Monitoring: Console
Thanks to my excellent colleague Marco, I’ve discovered how useful the built-in OS X Console.app can be for tracking down PHP errors when doing local WordPress development. This allows you to easily view any errors without printing them out using WP_DEBUG and messing up everything.
MySQL Admin: Sequel Pro
For both local and remote MySQL administration, there’s nothing better than Sequel Pro. And it’s free.
WP-CLI for command-line WordPress
When developing multiple WordPress sites locally or remotely, activating and deactivating plugins and themes via the admin interface can become tedious. For geeky-minded people, there’s WP-CLI, a simple command-line interface for creating and managing WordPress installations. Quoting from the website:
You can update plugins, set up multisite installs, create posts and much more.
That’s all! In the next post in this series, I’ll look into my browser testing setup.
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