Tools of the Trade

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ronaldroe, Aug 29, 2014.

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  1. ronaldroe

    ronaldroe Super Moderator Staff Member

    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 disappointing 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?
  2. RDB

    RDB New Member

    I have started to look into Grunt, I have it installed its just trying to find time to learn how to use it.

    Sublime Text is brilliant, its probably the best tool for code. I have started to divulge into PHP a little more and also JS Libraries such as Node.JS and Anglar.JS.

    Another popular tool which is similar to grunt is

    And I have also started to use SASS. I use this for the preprocessing
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  3. Brian Angel

    Brian Angel Member

    Grunt is cool once learned. All the magic happens in the package.json file. Once you set that the way you want it its good to go. My set up for it is more than likely painfuly simple, but it does what I need it to ( uglify, Sass build, etc) so .. why fix what aint broke.

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