Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Web designers/developers who write client-side code with a language that needs to be compiled, usually lose some time going back and forth with their editors and the compiling interface (usually command line).

If you don’t already have a setup for auto-compiling, Koala might be what you need.

It is a desktop application that works on Windows, Mac + Linux and can compile Less, Sass, Compass + CoffeeScript.

Koala Compiler

Koala can compile the files manually or automatically once they are changed and compresses them.

Also, it is possible to set different options for each file to be compiled.

Lately, a post at WRD had introduced Hack St. which was a handy web app for debugging HTTP requests.

Postman is a similar tool with more features and comes as a free Chrome extension.

It allows sending any type of HTTP requests (GET, HEAD, POST, PUT..) with any number of parameters + headers.

Postman Chrome Extension

There is support for different authentication mechanisms (basic, digest, OAuth) and the response received is syntax highlighted (HTML, JSON or XML).

Postman keeps a history of requests so that we can easily re-send them later and has a “collections” feature for storing all requests to the same API/domain.

The extension even has some more features to simplify testing and debugging of HTTP requests. A must-have for every web developer.

When we want to test how a web project will render in a different browser, we usually copy/paste the URL in the new browser and load it.

Catapulty, a bookmarklet, has a simpler solution that reduces the steps involved (copy, paste and hit “enter”: 3 steps).

There are 2 bookmarklets: throw and hit. When we press “throw”, the URL to be loaded in other browsers is stored by the service and, when we press “hit” in other browsers, the URL is loaded there. That simple.


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  • KineticWing is a free IDE that is lightweight, portable and works on all major operating systems (Mac support is mentioned to be coming soon).

    It is not a complicated IDE but more like a smart text editor with modern features.

    These features include support for Sass or Less (with built-in compiler), HTML5-CSS3 or CoffeeScript.

    KineticWing IDE

    A great feature is the ability to extending it with JavaScript plugins and there are already many like JSHint, JSLint, Less Compiler, JSBeauty..

    KineticWing is supporting server-side languages as well and more of them are being added within time.

    The editor is not yet perfect, it is in beta status, but the features and roadmap are very promising.

    Google Chrome’s “Developer Tools” is what many developers use to debug client-side code.

    Chrome Logger is an extension that brings server-side code debugging to this tool.

    Chrome Logger

    It has libraries for PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, ColdFusion and Node.js. Also, new ones can be created with the documentation provided.

    These libraries simply enable us to view variables in Developer Tools.

    Although each server-side language has their stronger debugger tools, using the same logging tool for client and server-side makes sense.