Top 5 Web Development Apps for the Mac

3 3

First of all, I’m no expert web developer. Basically, I’m doodling around with web design, PHP and CSS for some time and I wanted to give you my thoughts about some of the applications I’v been using and which work for me. Actually, this post should be more adequately titled 4 vs. 1 app because one of the applications uses an all-in-one approach.

TextMate application iconTo get things started, you need a text editor and while you could use the built-in Text Editor for this, there are much better alternatives out there. One of the best is definitely TextMate by MacroMates with its vast amount of bundles. Each bundle supports functionality or shortcuts which are specifically tailored towards a programming or markup language. TextMate provides bundles from ActionScript to YAML. Additionally, there is this nice Project view which is basically a drawer containing all the files and directories which comprise the project. This makes it very easy to keep track of all the files in small to mid-size project and have fast access to all of them. The feature I use the most is certainly the “close tag”-shortcut (command+option+.) which I miss so much when I’m forced to use other editors. So, TextMate is definitely worth a try.

CSSEdit application iconSince it’s almost a crime today to build web pages without using CSS, a special style sheet editor is not only necessary but mandatory. Of course, you could use your editor of choice and just switch to the browser once you made a change. But this is not only tiresome but also leaves you alone when it comes to more subtle parts of style sheets. There, CSSEdit by MacRabbit is an invaluable tool. It sports a special CSS editor with auto-completion of all the keywords. But the best thing about CSSEdit is the Preview with its X-Ray mode which shows you margins, paddings and the like for each of the tags involved. The Inspector lets you then jump directly to the portion of your CSS code which is responsible for the tag. The live update of the preview comes in very handy if you want to play around with new line-heights or font-sizes.

Picturesque application iconWhat would a blog be without images, let them be screenshots or photographs. Only some days ago, I discovered Picturesque which has a very slick UI and has but the most needed tools to prepare an image for posting on the web. Next to resizing you can add shadows, reflections and round corners to your pictures, so it features all the things we love about Web 2.0 regarding images. The only thing I’m really missing in Picturesque is the ability to crop specific parts of my image. If this gets included in a future release the app would be perfect.

Cyberduck application iconWhen you’re done with programming, designing and decorating your web site, it’s time to upload all your contents to your domain via FTP. Transmit from Panic is probably the most famous application in this area but I prefer Cyberduck since it’s open source. And it works nearly as nice as Transmit. Only the Synchronize feature doesn’t always work as expected and sometimes Cyberduck gets stuck while uploading a file or disconnecting from the remote FTP server. But in my eyes these are minors issues compared to spending money on a slightly more stable app.

Coda application iconIf you don’t want to bother with four different applications at once I recommend Coda, also by Panic, which integrates all these major aspects of web development (besides image manipulation of course) into one application. I tried Coda when it first hit the web several months ago but wasn’t quite happy with it. But there have been many fixes and updates since then and now I’m a big fan. Sure, Coda is more complex than each of the previously mentioned applications but in exchange for that your workflow gets more compact. You don’t have to switch between your different programs all the time. It’s just great to have both your development and production environment at your finger tips the same tip. Especially the instant upload of modified files has caught my immediate appreciation. The only things I’m missing here are my loved closing tag shortcut and the unbeatable live update of the site preview.

But once again, this is just my opinion about these apps. I’m looking forward to your comments.

3 Responses to “Top 5 Web Development Apps for the Mac”

    Love the list especially Coda, which I couldn’t live without! You forgot to mention though a MySQL App, my favorite is CocoaMySQL, have a look!

    whobutsb on Aug 26th, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    You’re right, I forget completely about the DB part. But I think, once you set your whole database up you usually don’t worry about that too much in the long run. Rather you’re fiddling around with CSS or PHP. But thank you for pointing this, and I’ll definitely try CocoaMySQL.

    Robert on Aug 27th, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Now that I’ve been using Coda, I couldn’t live without it. Whenever I have to use a PC, I wish on my life that Coda was Windows-friendly.

    Sydney on Sep 16th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Leave a Reply


Der Boss singt mit einem kleinen Jungen aus dem PublikumBoss-PanoramaDer Boss!DarkoDarko