The Value of Your Browser

These days, Firefox and Chrome are both excellent browsers that can greatly aid your Web development efforts. That is thanks to their built-in developer tools. If you use the Inspect Element option (right-click) you can see a great depth of options. Modify CSS to see how changes you want to make will look real-time. Having JavaScript errors? You can track those down. Want to see … [ Read more ]

Code Tools

Code writing tools range greatly – from the standard Notepad that comes with Windows to complex platform emulation tools. And then there is a vast land of what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) tools which provide fancy graphical user interfaces and drag-and-drop features to ease creation of code.

Do-It-Yourself Editors

It may seem odd to many that a bunch of webmasters, myself included, prefer to code without the aid of a … [ Read more ]

LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)

Any type of Web programming relies on the use of a platform, which consists of four major components: the operating system, the webserver technology, the underlying database, and the programming language. The platform I use and am semi-knowledgeable about is usually referred to as LAMP:

  • Operating System: Linux or some other open-source version of Unix
  • Webserver: Apache

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Transfer Tools

Depending on the code tool(s) you use, you may or may not need a dedicated transfer tool (since some tools include them already). Basically, the purpose of these tools is to transfer the code files you create from your computer to the server. FTP is the most common method used so that is what I will focus on. For what it’s worth, my favorite is SmartFTP.

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    Server Tools

    If you are using a hosted server (which I assume almost everyone reading this is), then you will occasionally need access to your server to perform some higher level development work. To do so, the most common tools are telnet and ssh (via a program like putty). These tools allow you to “tunnel” into your server account and perform tasks like manipulating files (change … [ Read more ]

    Development Tools

    To actually design and maintain your website, you will need to use some software tools. Throughout this site, I will recommend various resources relevant to the topic under discussion, but here I am referring to the basics of writing and maintaining your code. Essentially, there are three basic types of tools you will rely on: code tools, server tools and transfer tools[ Read more ]

    Other Popular Development Tools

    The LAMP platform is the focus of this material but there are some other popular development tools you may come across in your work that I will not be discussing here and at present know fairly little about. These include:

    • Microsoft IIS
    • .ASP
    • .JSP
    • .CFM
    • Java

    [ Read more ]

    Whither PHP?

    “Heavy-duty computer-science folks tend to get frustrated with scripting languages because they’re not precise,” says Rasmus Lerdorf, an engineer at Yahoo and inventor of the PHP language. “But for someone who has a lot of work to do and needs to go home on Friday afternoon, it just works.”

    Lerdorf, a native of Denmark, started PHP in 1994 to make it easier for novice programmers to … [ Read more ]