What Applications to Use and Why

I consider myself a technology entrepreneur and with that I wear a lot of hats. Starting accidentally as an artist who needed to do a brochure and moving into a full web site wasn’t easy. Now through mostly self-teaching, making mistakes and help along the way I am now some what of a web guru (not to toot my own horn or anything).

I am now going to list my favourite applications and why I use/don’t use popular design suites.

I do ALL of my personal work with the following apps:

– WinSCP (free)- An ftp program which is very useful for transferring files and syncing folders… without it I am nothing.

– NotePad2 (free) – This is the greatest text editor ever on the shy side of a development environment. I am not a developer and don’t pretend to be one, so I KISS and just run with a good straight up graphical highlighting intuitive application. ALL of my work is written in this editor and it makes it easy to quickly make changes. I’ll explain more later.

– PhotoShop CS3 – I bow to the gods of design, this is the greatest program ever. Use it or lose it.

– Flash CS3 – Yuck, a necessary evil and the only real way to make my little flash movies. Never dev in full flash unless you’re a pimp, cause it won’t look good without a large budget or some deep knowledge. AVOID Flash people! Look for my other postings to explain why.

– FireBug for FireFox (rree) – If you want power greater than Zeus himself you must wield the FireBug. Greatest browser add-on EVER hands down, inspect your code, view errors and line numbers (which correspond with NotePad2 line numbers) and greatest of all, view CSS and where each element gets it’s attributes from, even edit IN BROWSER to see effects of your code changes… so important to solving that damned padding/margin problem.

That is all that I use. I used to play with Dreamweaver but I found it didn’t handle CSS well enough to be accurate. I was sick of using their layers and crap so now I just write everything in NotePad2 and I throw the main elements into a stylesheet, way easier than any other way I have done it. I also have a CCL (Common Code Library) that I have put together which will be available in an upcoming article that contains my base system for getting started as well as some basic stuff I usually throw into all my sites.

Thus concludes my list of apps. You can do basically everything short of heavy dev with this combo. I don’t find much need to do heavy development on typical sites which I build so this suite is customized for my usages… enjoy!

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