The best 2009 web development tool?

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I remember the good old days of 1994. Back when your only choice of developing a web site was doing it by hand. Remember typing HTML codes like <b> and <table> and making it all work? Or, if you didn’t know what those meant, you had to pay some developer $100+ an hour to do it for you. Seriously, back then HTML developers were in short supply and building a web site was expensive. The magazine/conference company I worked for, Fawcette Technical Publications, paid more than $100,000 to build its first web site, which was a pretty rudimentary one.

Then came a bunch of tools. I liked FrontPage. But played with Hotdog. Dreamweaver. And a bunch of others that I’ve forgotten. FrontPage has been morphed into Microsoft Expression, which is still a damn cool tool, but it was really designed for last year’s web.

What about the web of 2009?

Of course you’re going to use Ajax and build Restful APIs, right? What about putting your stuff in the cloud? Of course!

So, what’s the best tool for that job?

Well, three million people have chosen Aptana’s toolset and they are about to release a tool for building cloud-oriented websites and apps.

So, yesterday I went over and got a look. Here’s the videos:

1. Discussion of Aptana’s tools and what the 2009 web marketplace looks like with Kevin Hakman who runs developer outreach for Aptana. 20 minutes.
2. Demo of Aptana’s Cloud with Kris Rasmussen, cloud lead. 18 minutes.

What will you see there? The web-development tool for 2009? I think so and so do three million other developers. Got anything that helps startups build cloud-based websites and apps better? Let’s hear about them.

Hope you’re having a good Christmas with your family. More cloud stuff on Friday when we post our interview with Tim O’Reilly and go and visit 12seconds.tv in Santa Cruz to hear how they are using cloud computing to build a popular company with almost no money invested.

Comments

  1. Yea right. Aptana is garbage, and server side JS is ridiculous. It might be the FrontPage of 2009 since FP was a horrid tool as well, but for real developers Aptana is avoided like the plague. Stick to gadgets and services Scoble, your perspective on dev tools is laughable.

  2. Yea right. Aptana is garbage, and server side JS is ridiculous. It might be the FrontPage of 2009 since FP was a horrid tool as well, but for real developers Aptana is avoided like the plague. Stick to gadgets and services Scoble, your perspective on dev tools is laughable.

  3. Being a bit of a web developer myself, I thought I’d chime in with what I like/use. Obviously I still write my code by hand, but there’s a lot of tools for different aspects of design/development that I like.

    For designs I use Photoshop, I never did catch on to Fireworks. As far as writing markup or code go, I’m all about either Notepad++ or Dreamweaver’s IDE. I don’t use about 90% of Dreamweaver’s capability (and the WYSIWYG does nothing for me anyway), but I love it’s tabbing and syntax highlighting features.

    I’m looking at switching over to OS X sometime in the next year, and I’ve played around with Coda a bit, from the guys at Panic. It’s an amazing IDE.

    For various administration tasks, I use Putty for SSH to administer my Linux box, and FileZilla for FTP. WHM/cPanel is great serverside, running on CentOS of course. If you’re looking at running a single site, Ubuntu Server with a LAMP installation looks promising.

    For testing and debugging, I use Firebug and Web Developer Toolbar in Firefox 3, which is great for JavaScript (AJAX) and CSS. And ColorZilla is cool for picking colors out of a site. User Agent Switcher and Tamper Data are good for security testing. IETab is a great way to switch to rendering in IE without opening it in another window.

    So… wrapping all that up I can’t say there’s one “definitive” winner for a web development tool, because all the programs I mentioned are part of a big workflow. If I had to pick one, I would say Coda wins my “awesome software of the year” award :)

    And lastly, VMWare/VirtualBox are great for testing your site on a great number of platforms without managing multiple partitions and boot devices or having a handful of machines.

  4. Being a bit of a web developer myself, I thought I’d chime in with what I like/use. Obviously I still write my code by hand, but there’s a lot of tools for different aspects of design/development that I like.

    For designs I use Photoshop, I never did catch on to Fireworks. As far as writing markup or code go, I’m all about either Notepad++ or Dreamweaver’s IDE. I don’t use about 90% of Dreamweaver’s capability (and the WYSIWYG does nothing for me anyway), but I love it’s tabbing and syntax highlighting features.

    I’m looking at switching over to OS X sometime in the next year, and I’ve played around with Coda a bit, from the guys at Panic. It’s an amazing IDE.

    For various administration tasks, I use Putty for SSH to administer my Linux box, and FileZilla for FTP. WHM/cPanel is great serverside, running on CentOS of course. If you’re looking at running a single site, Ubuntu Server with a LAMP installation looks promising.

    For testing and debugging, I use Firebug and Web Developer Toolbar in Firefox 3, which is great for JavaScript (AJAX) and CSS. And ColorZilla is cool for picking colors out of a site. User Agent Switcher and Tamper Data are good for security testing. IETab is a great way to switch to rendering in IE without opening it in another window.

    So… wrapping all that up I can’t say there’s one “definitive” winner for a web development tool, because all the programs I mentioned are part of a big workflow. If I had to pick one, I would say Coda wins my “awesome software of the year” award :)

    And lastly, VMWare/VirtualBox are great for testing your site on a great number of platforms without managing multiple partitions and boot devices or having a handful of machines.

  5. How about good old notepad…no? I used notepad for several years up until last year =D

    Haven’t tried Aptana, but my dev lineup looks pretty similar to Chris’, which is one major reason why I haven’t switched to Chrome.

  6. How about good old notepad…no? I used notepad for several years up until last year =D

    Haven’t tried Aptana, but my dev lineup looks pretty similar to Chris’, which is one major reason why I haven’t switched to Chrome.

  7. I’ll agree with Chris; Coda is an amazing editor. It reminds me of Homesite (a favourite of coders at the time), before Macromedia got their hands on it. I just can’t stand Dreamweaver on the Mac (and tolerated it on XP). The team at Panic “get” the mindset of the web coder and made a product that caters directly to us.

  8. I’ll agree with Chris; Coda is an amazing editor. It reminds me of Homesite (a favourite of coders at the time), before Macromedia got their hands on it. I just can’t stand Dreamweaver on the Mac (and tolerated it on XP). The team at Panic “get” the mindset of the web coder and made a product that caters directly to us.

  9. Chris, you are so pro. I use much of the same: Putty, FileZilla, Ubuntu server, Firefox, Firebug. I’ve played with VMWare, but haven’t really found a use for it.

    I refuse to touch IE (I ain’t pro), use PSPad for text editing, and AppJet for a web framework. Server-side JS is the bee’s knees, and I expect more devs will get onboard in the coming year or two. But it’s a house of cards. Things will be language independent soon enough.

  10. Chris, you are so pro. I use much of the same: Putty, FileZilla, Ubuntu server, Firefox, Firebug. I’ve played with VMWare, but haven’t really found a use for it.

    I refuse to touch IE (I ain’t pro), use PSPad for text editing, and AppJet for a web framework. Server-side JS is the bee’s knees, and I expect more devs will get onboard in the coming year or two. But it’s a house of cards. Things will be language independent soon enough.

  11. Aptana is a great tool; I have been using it for sometime. However, if you don’t use Jaxer or the cloud then NetBeans has the edge for PHP and Javascript development.

    It is particularly good with WordPress and Habari as it reads in PHPDOC for code completion.

  12. Aptana is a great tool; I have been using it for sometime. However, if you don’t use Jaxer or the cloud then NetBeans has the edge for PHP and Javascript development.

    It is particularly good with WordPress and Habari as it reads in PHPDOC for code completion.

  13. I gave up Komodo and started using Aptana a good while ago. Their great accomplishment is taking away the pain of installing plugins in Eclipse. They took Eclipse and made it work by improving the user interface, and could have built the company on that. Komodo charges about $300 bucks for their IDE and Aptana is way better. If they could have made the php debugger easy to set up they could have eaten Komodo’s lunch. Instead they insist on building the stupid Jaxer and cloud stuff which nobody really wants. It’s always a hassle for me to rip out Jaxer buttons out of the interface.

  14. I gave up Komodo and started using Aptana a good while ago. Their great accomplishment is taking away the pain of installing plugins in Eclipse. They took Eclipse and made it work by improving the user interface, and could have built the company on that. Komodo charges about $300 bucks for their IDE and Aptana is way better. If they could have made the php debugger easy to set up they could have eaten Komodo’s lunch. Instead they insist on building the stupid Jaxer and cloud stuff which nobody really wants. It’s always a hassle for me to rip out Jaxer buttons out of the interface.

  15. Scoble, you seem to be under the impression that web developers no longer code html/css/js etc by hand. I think your losing touch of how things are really done in the trenches. Notepad/Notepad++/EditPad/Notepad2 and all those other text editor variants are still a web developers best friend.

  16. Scoble, you seem to be under the impression that web developers no longer code html/css/js etc by hand. I think your losing touch of how things are really done in the trenches. Notepad/Notepad++/EditPad/Notepad2 and all those other text editor variants are still a web developers best friend.

  17. I echo the fact that you still really need to code by hand which I find amazing.

    The Coda tool mentioned above seems very good if you are a Mac user. Depending on your site it could be a good fit. I use DW mostly but am going to try this tool and see how it works for me.

    As an aside Adobe seems smart for buying Macromedia/DW but they have done little to nothing to really embrace that user base and bring it forward. They have essentially said “here you go, spend $1000 and we will add in a bunch of graphics and publishing stuff as well” and then you can figure out how to make use of it. Some special tools for DW users that would have expanded layout/graphics options in the DW context would have been huge. But Adobe has done none of that. (my view.)

  18. I echo the fact that you still really need to code by hand which I find amazing.

    The Coda tool mentioned above seems very good if you are a Mac user. Depending on your site it could be a good fit. I use DW mostly but am going to try this tool and see how it works for me.

    As an aside Adobe seems smart for buying Macromedia/DW but they have done little to nothing to really embrace that user base and bring it forward. They have essentially said “here you go, spend $1000 and we will add in a bunch of graphics and publishing stuff as well” and then you can figure out how to make use of it. Some special tools for DW users that would have expanded layout/graphics options in the DW context would have been huge. But Adobe has done none of that. (my view.)

  19. “Remember typing HTML codes like and and making it all work?”

    I’m not entirely sure you ever did. Any web developer worth his money and reputation still codes by hand. Do you pay attention to the people you interview?

  20. “Remember typing HTML codes like and and making it all work?”

    I’m not entirely sure you ever did. Any web developer worth his money and reputation still codes by hand. Do you pay attention to the people you interview?

  21. I have just discovered a tool that requires only the ability to type and click the buttons of a mouse!
    See a website I have just made using this tool at mytreesurgeon.com
    All details and a special Christmas offer can be found at http://www.thefirstway.com

  22. Hi,
    I just can’t stand Dreamweaver on the Mac (and tolerated it on XP). I use DW mostly but am going to try this tool and see how it works for me.

    hey have essentially said “here you go, spend $1000 and we will add in a bunch of graphics and publishing stuff as well” and then you can figure out how to make use of it.

  23. Hi,
    I just can’t stand Dreamweaver on the Mac (and tolerated it on XP). I use DW mostly but am going to try this tool and see how it works for me.

    hey have essentially said “here you go, spend $1000 and we will add in a bunch of graphics and publishing stuff as well” and then you can figure out how to make use of it.

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  25. Web designers
    If you have decided that you need a good website for your business, the next step is to decide who should create it. This decision is one that needs a lot of attention because if on the one hand, a well-organized and attractive web design can help you tremendously in making more money; on the other hand, a poorly designed website can cost you money, drive away customers, and can hurt your company reputation. Following are the few basic steps you need to keep in mind, while choosing a Web Design Company