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Web Development Tools Essential Software

[ Related Reading: Essential Desktop Productivity Software ]

One nice thing about migrating to a new Operating System is that you’ll probably have to install / reinstall software. How in the name of anything is that nice you ask? Well it forces you to remember what tools you truly use.

I have a ton of software for web dev. Don’t you? I’ve recently migrated from Windows 10 to Windows 11 about a month ago now, yet I’m still getting things setup. I suppose that process never ends, truly.

Now that I’m getting comfortable on the new system, I’ll share here what I believe are the essential web development tools. I usually stick with free software downloads, Github repositories, etc., for my software application choices. Of course, there are a few that we must agree are worth the investment in their commercial software versions.

Antares SQL | Free and Open Source Client
Antares is a cross-platform SQL desktop client that aims to be a complete tool for developers supporting as many databases as possible and all major operating systems, including the ARM versions. Antares SQL currently supports MySQL/MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and Firebird SQL.
MySQL Remote Admin – SSH Tunnel: HeidiSQL – Ansgar Becker
OS – Windows: Administer database in a graphical environment from your desktop. What I like about it: remote SSH Tunnel for connection to database on a remote server.
Serious Database Problem Solving – Solved
Whenever I encounter a problem with a database query that I can’t seem to get to return precisely what I’m looking for, I turn to DevArt dbForge. It just works. I’ve never had any problems with the few things I’ve done with it, and it’s fast. You can connect to your remote database via SSH. It is not a free software, but you can use the Professional edition on trial for 30 days.

There is an “Express” edition as well, and the Pro version becomes the Express edition after the trial expires, so there’s no need to download separate software. Check it out. Why would I lie about it? 🙂 Even the people at have DevArt at the top of their recommended GUI tools for graphical interface admin of their own DB!

Note: DevArt dbForge is Commercial Software which offers an Evaluation period for no cost.

image of devart dbforge
File Management
Split Pane – FreeCommander (MS Windows)
FreeCommander is a dual pane file manager for Windows. It’s been around for many years, and lasted through many versions of Windows! I’ve recently discovered that you can preview a folder of SVG files as thumbnails. Check out this little screen recording for the SVG thumb view demo. Note: In my experience the ScreenRec website often doesn’t work with Mozilla-based browsers.
File Names – Bulk Rename Utility (MS Windows)
Rename files in bulk, including recursively and with MANY filtering options, including regular expressions. Option to include folders. The Bulk Rename Utility is a must-have.
Source Code
Meld – Graphical DIFF Tool from Linux now Cross Platform for Windows too!
WinMerge – Probably the best GUI Diff tool for Windows. At least outside of commercial software.
Find Code in Files: Text Crawler – Digital Volcano
OS – Windows: Text Crawler can search and replace with regular expressions in multiple files with the option to test the results prior to applying the replace. I’ve tried several utilities which perform similar functions, but this I find to be most effective with least resulting errors. Visit the Text Crawler website.

Online String Tools
Unlike the other essential software listed here, this is a collection of web accessible, convenient scripts for web developers, like unencoding a URL encoded string (e.g. characters like %5B0%5D in the browser URL). “Online string tools is a collection of useful string manipulation utilities. All string tools are simple, free and easy to use. There are no intrusive ads, popups or other garbage. Just string utilities that work right in your browser.”
VSCodium / Codium
Codium is VS Code as FOSS, without the Microsoft telementry stuff. Learn more about vscodium.
Style – Color and Imaging
Just Color PickerAlways on Top.
Pixie – a tiny little cutie pie…
PSD (Photoshop) Files – FREE Editor – PhotoDemon
Do you need a way to edit Photoshop PSD files with free software? If you don’t need access to Photoshop’s more advanced tools, and simply need to edit some text in a layer, or something else fairly simple, I highly recommend you check out PhotoDemon. It will also open SVG files. Way to go, PhotoDemon team!

I’d like to note that I wouldn’t have known about it, had I not been for software. I’ve used the platform since it was introduced. I don’t know that it’s super popular anymore, now that we have things like MS OneDrive integrated in the Windows O/S, and the availability of other cloud storage services like DropBox or MEGA, but I continue to keep a install because I always find something in the available software selection that I’ve never seen before. PhotoDemon happens to be one of those apps.

PhotoDemon Image Editing Software

Whatchu do

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