The Best Mac Web Development Tools

It has been over a year since I purchased my first Mac, an i5 Mac mini that I’ve just sold because of my new acquisition, a Macbook Pro Retina, my new fast as light computer.

Before buying the mac I used to use Ubuntu, I still have my old Ubuntu PC (an i7 with 6Gb of RAM) but I rarely turn it on.

In this post I’m going to show you the tools I use for my daily work (mostly coding WordPress & Prestashop Plugins/Themes).

Hardware

Synology DS211j ($200 DS212j)

The DS211j is a NAS, a small white box where you can put up to 2 hard disks and make it accessible from any computer/gadget in your local network. And the NAS can also download files from the internet by itself (torrents, eMule…).

I use it for many things, there is my Time Machine backup, films and tv series, pictures backups, screencasts… and I can see it on the TV through Apple TV, on the iPad, iPhone, Android… And of course I have tons of files from my daily work (you can have two hard disks in RAID-1)

Synology OS:

Two good external monitors ($530 2 x Dell IPS)

Buy two monitors of the same model, with IPS panel and capables of tilt, swivel and rotate. Dell monitors are always a good deal.
Use a stand ($49.99 BookArc Pro)

A stand is a must, occupies the least possible space on your table when using your laptop in “desktop mode”.
Wireless headphones ($69.99 Logitech H800)

Be free when speaking through Internet, walk and stretch your legs.

Software

Dropbox (Free)

The best for file share, mostly because of the third party tools that support its API.

Alternative: OwnCloud (Free)

XCode (Free)

We must install XCode in order to install command line tools (needed to install “homebrew“). Once XCode is installed (through App Store), go to Preferences-Downloads and install “Command Line Tools”.
homebrew (Free)

The apt-get of Mac.

Alternative: MacPorts

iTerm 2 + zsh (Free)

The best replacement for Mac’s terminal.

Related: OH MY ZSHELL!

Spotify ($4.99/month)

If you like listening to music while programming, this is your app!
Filezilla (Free)

I still haven’t find a better FTP client for Mac.
Alternatives: Forklift Transmit
VMWare Fusion ($63.23)

Virtual machines on your Mac, run Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu… each in his own window into OS X!
Alternative: Virtualbox
CodeKit ($25)

Compile your SASS/Less files, compile js, optimize images, reload pages as you write…

Alternative: Live Reload

Sublime Text 2 ($59)

The best editor ever!
Git + SourceTree (Free)

If you aren’t already using version control you are doing it bad, start today!
Frank DeLoupe ($0.99)

A good color picker.
Dash ($9.99)

Read the documentation of your language, APIs, snippets… even if you are offline!
Selenium (Free)

Browser automated testing

Extra:
Yeoman (just released, Yeoman is a robust and opinionated set of tools, libraries, and a workflow that can help developers quickly build beautiful, compelling web apps.)
http://yeoman.io/
http://addyosmani.com/blog/improved-developer-tooling-and-yeoman/

September 14, 2012

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