As additional resource to the programming I have started, can be made easier if you have the right tools. I’ve categorized each according to use.
Not all students have books.Ã‚Â Sometimes, a free ebook helps to guide you when coding is a bore.
Foxit PDF Reader – This is an ultra light alternative to Adobe Reader. It opens instantly and has a very small footprint. I dropped it after installing the latest version though since it now uses an installer while the old one uses compressed, stand alone executable much like utorrent.
Sumatra – is a similar program to Foxit. It also has a portable version which makes it perfect for people like me who are always on the go but can’t leave their fave apps behind.
kompoZer – is a lightweight alternative to the bigger, pricey web development suites like Microsoft Expression Web (the replacement for Frontpage) and Macromedia Dreamweaver (Now Adobe) which stemmed from the now defunct project NVU. It’s perfect for HTML and CSS beginners since the WYSIWYG editor does away with much of the coding. If you need a more advanced editor for PHP, XHTML, XML and other web documents, go for HTML-Kit. A mobile version for KompoZer is also available.
Some, and I stress SOME, of its features include:
- Auto-completion (language and file)
- Syntax highlighting (and brace and indent highlighting)
- Regular expression find and replace
- Split screen editing
- Spell checker (built in but requires Aspell)
- Hex editor (plug in available)
- Tabbed document interface
If that’s not enough, Notepad++ also features a mobile version.
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express – It’s a handful yes but it SMSE can cut down on development time because you don’t need to relearn your SQL commands, well most of them anyway. the interface is easy to use but it really needs a good documentation to go with the installation. I spent about 3 hours poking around before I got things working on my first time working with SMSE. As obvious in its name, it’s for MS SQL only.
MySQL Administrator and Query Browser – provides the same GUI interface for SMSE but to is packaged into two separate applications. It’s much simpler to use than SMSE but working around the Query browser can be a bit confusing (remember to click the edit button!) for a lot of reasons. They’re a lot useful compared to the usual command prompt controls for SQL though. Both programs are meant for MySQL only.
If you’re using Netbeans and Eclipse, then you don’t have to worry about installing a 3rd party program because Netbeans has it’s own modeling tool (on 5.5) while Eclipse supports this function via EMF (Eclipse Modeling Framework).