Tools of the Trade – free web development tools for Mac OSX

One of the things that I love the most about coding, and the web in general is the development of open and free standards. Along with those open and free standards comes the web development tools needed to build and deploy web applications. Here is a collection of some of our favorites, so download and enjoy!

#1 MAMP. I love this program. MAMP is the everything you need in one download: APACHE web server, PHP, and MySQL installation for OSX. Simply put, it’s the easiest way to get your testing stack up and running on your local machine. We use MAMP mainly for local testing, but it is suitable for full production servers. You can get it here.

#2. MySQL Workbench. When I begin a project, I typically start with the database, if it requires one. There are a lot of database management tools out there that run on OSX, but there are not many that allow you to visualize a project, and work on it from ER diagram prospective. While there are still quite a few annoying bugs in the current version of the workbench, it’s still an invaluable tool for database development

#3. Fraise I don’t know about the ongoing status of this app. However, we all know and love Eclipse over here, but sometimes I just want to open up a single file really quickly and make a change to a variable or other entity. Having a versatile and easy to use text editor is an important part of any web development work flow. Fraise is fast, stable, and has a good UI. Simple is good.

#4 Eclipse Whoa. this is the whole enchilada. If you are just starting out, the learning curve is a bit daunting. However, this is the workbench tool to rule all workbenches. Infinitely configurable, and capable of coding most any language, Eclipse earns major points in utility, and versatility. It’s not without it’s drawbacks, however. Eclipse can be a bit of a memory hog, and you can really get lost in all the packages, and add ons. Still, it’s one of the best things going out there.

#5. CyberDuck This is a great FTP program with an active development cycle, and wonderful capabilities. There is not much more than needs to be said here. This program is a must have.

I hope that I have covered all of the basics. One glaring omission is a FlashDevelop like tool for Mac OSX. There are some projects out there that show promise, but nothing that matches the capabilities of FD on OSX.

We’d love to hear what you think. What free web development tolls are you using for OSX? – happy coding!

About Curious Minds
We are a web development firm in New York and Chicago, providing development resources and consulting for websites and mobile apps since 2004.