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Thread: Tools of the Trade

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Tools of the Trade

    I've always kinda liked the old "what tools do you use" threads. Mostly because it lets me gauge the state of the art. It's been a while since someone asked, so what are you using these days?

    I've switched to Linux (Ubuntu) for my development environment. I've found it to be a bit more developer friendly, especially considering many of the other tools I use are designed for Unix-based systems, and are often shoe-horned onto Windows, if they're available at all.

    For my code editor, I use Sublime Text 3, though I've been keeping a close eye on Adobe's Brackets and Github's Atom. For server software, I've mostly abandoned packaged deals like the many *AMP setups in favor of the command line tools that come packaged with most back end language installs. I find these have way fewer issues, and I can run them from whatever directory I want.

    I've mostly stopped writing vanilla CSS, and have moved to Sass' SCSS preprocessing. To preprocess the files, I use the Grunt task runner for NodeJS. With Grunt, I use the Sass compiler with Compass, Autoprefixer, Uglify. I use Grunt's Watch module to keep an eye on the files and run the relevant compilers as well as connect to the Chrome Live Reload plugin to automatically reload the page when files change.

    For image editing, I still switch over to Windows and use Illustrator or Photoshop (Gimp and Inkscape don't do it for me), though that doesn't happen often, since my designs rarely contain images. I generally try to use icon fonts where possible.

    For most projects, I try to keep the number of JS libraries to a minimum. Where it makes sense, I don't even use jQuery anymore. I don't use jQuery plugins much either, unless the project either has a low budget or a short time constraint. I do not ever use frontend frameworks, especially Bootcrap.

    For backend, I'm still most comfortable with PHP, though I'm working to remedy that, picking up both Ruby and NodeJS.

    I've been doing a lot of HTML5 Canvas lately, trying different helper libraries since the Canvas API is so disappointingly low-level. CreateJS is my favorite so far. My Canvas-based project will hopefully come together over the next year. It's a rather large side project.

    That's about it. What about you guys?
    Last edited by Ronald Roe; Aug 29th, 2014 at 06:02 AM.
    Stryke_the_Orc likes this.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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  3. #2
    Member Stryke_the_Orc's Avatar
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    While no where near your level of experience, I have run strictly Linux for quite a while, only switching to windows when school requires it. I run Ubuntu for most things, but switch to CentOS to play with back end scripting and server maintenance procedures (sandboxed environment so I don't screw up anything lol). I tend to use bluefish editor or gedit depending on the project I'm working on. Most of my images are created in either gimp or Photoshop touch on my android. I'm still in the process of learning so not much javascript or php yet, though I've completed the basic courses on code academy and have an advanced web development course in the spring.
    This is a great idea for a thread, especially for budding developers like myself. Thank you for sharing and giving me some ideas.

    Slithering from the nether regions of a twisted mind and tarnished soul

  4. #3
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    I suck... I had to look up most everything you mention Ronald lol. I am not nearly as good or knowledgeable, I am self taught which means I am always eager to learn more and can always improve. With that said, I am actually reteaching myself with the help from Code Academy like Orc, to help gain new techniques and to see if what I am already doing is on par with current standards.

    I use Photoshop for any and all graphic needs. I am currently using Dreamweaver but I do write my own code (I don't know what others mean when they talk about DW's bloated code but maybe that is because I code my own)

    For my clients I set up CMS throughFreeCms.com, pretty simple to set up and for the clients, though I have noticed that it does add bloated <p> <br /> code so I am looking into a different Cms provider option.

    Oh and my development environment is Windows. I had to look that up as well lol, I didn't know what you meant.








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    Junior Member eirbyte's Avatar
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    Nice to see what people are using.
    I stooped using the MS environment in 2002 and have been using Linux ever since.

    Linux Mint at the moment.
    Gimp not as nice a photoshop but works for me.
    Inkscape seems to be more stable now.
    Bluefish.
    Bootstrap.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Windows servers where and when possible (which is most of the time). There were legitimate criticisms of Windows servers back in the day, but most of them have morphed into nothing more than anticapitalist rhetoric and I refuse to subscribe to it. That, and every time I work on a Linux server it takes me 10-15 times as long to do something I can do on a Windows box.

    Photoshop for graphics, although I don't do much graphic stuff.

    Visual Web Developer Express (horribly named text editor from Microsoft) and Visual Studio Express for writing/compiling code.

    I use jQuery sometimes, although I'm trying to break away from it more and more.

    That's about it. I'm not big on having 5,000 tools when a few will suffice.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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    Junior Member Jetstorm's Avatar
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    For editor I'm currently on Sublime Text 3 with the emmet plugin and the code is running on Debian. I think it's better suited for server environments than Ubuntu, mostly by being more stable. Plus the older package versions ensure greater compatibility with a wider range of hosting providers.
    For server side scripting I use PHP and depending on the project I might go for CodeIgniter or Wordpress, and sometimes node.js where appropriate (real-time webchats, headless browser rendering, etc).
    Client side - jQuery and Bootstrap - they might add some extra bloat, but the development process is much easier and therefore faster.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stryke_the_Orc View Post
    While no where near your level of experience...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproofgfx View Post
    I am not nearly as good or knowledgeable...
    I wanted to wait until after GAME responded to address this, since he's on a much higher level than I am, but I know his core toolset is relatively small. I did that to illustrate that experience doesn't really define how many tools are in your toolbox. I use the tools I use because they make my workflow fade into the background so I can focus on what I'm there to do: code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproofgfx View Post
    ...I am self taught
    Don't sell yourself short. So am I, and I'm not as far ahead as you might think.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  9. #8
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    I try not to sell myself short, especially when I do this on the side and I stay busy with work, but when it comes to sharing what I use or how I do things I know some techniques or tools may not be right.


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