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10 Essential Software Apps For Mac Web Developers

written by: sherisaid•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/11/2010

For a developer, trying to keep abreast of all the potential applications for your Mac can be a daunting task – whether you’re freelance, or working with a team. With hundreds of software apps available, who's got time to check them all out? Here are the top ten I find most useful.

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    Low Cost Essentials

    1. AppZapper costs $12.95 and is a drag-and-drop uninstaller. Given OS X's drag and drop installer, it's surprising that this kind of feature isn't built into the core functionality – but it's not. AppZapper allows you to dump those new goodies that don't work as well as they claimed to when you downloaded them in one easy step. You get five freebie zaps to check it out before you buy.

    2. TextMate is arguably the best editor on the market for Mac. It's not free, but with all the features and convenience it offers, it's well worth the $59.00 price tag to speed up cumbersome tasks of code production and markup.

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    Open Source Software You Can't Live Without

    3. Inkscape is a powerful open source vector graphics program with features similar those of Adobe Illustrator. Incorporation of smooth Spiro curves is what makes Inkscape stand out from other available open source programs.

    4. Cyberduck is an open source, all-in-one browser application for Mac OS X that handles FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Cloud files and Amazon S3. Seamless integration with a number of external editors makes editing different types of files quick and easy.

    5. Aptana Studios is a fully featured open source web application IDE with the FTP support of Cyberduck, integrated Ajax and Javascript libraries, and plugins for PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails. It's a complete cross-platform environment for complex web development, and it's completely free.

    6. Firefox is boon for web developers everywhere due to great add-ons, most notably Firebug and the Web Developer toolbar. Firebug allows you to edit, debug, and track CSS, HTML, and JavaScript on any web page and the Web Developer toolbar gives you additional tools, like cookie cleaning, disabling CSS, and onscreen rulers. It, too, is a free download.

    7. Photo galleries are a common need for many websites both commercial and personal. JAlbum offers and easy and attractive option for creating web galleries. You can choose to use the assortment of built-in templates or you can create your own.

    8. Colloquy is an open source IRC, SILC & ICB client that every web developer will find useful. Its slick look and smooth operation makes it the first truly viable chat client for Mac.

    9. VirtualBox is a great open source program for checking cross-browser compatibility. It’s a much leaner program than Parallels and offers most of the same useful features.

    10. iTerm is a feature-rich open source Terminal emulator software for OSX. You can use it to bookmark frequently used sessions, access multiple sessions in a tabbed browser, create separate profiles for managing bookmarks and more.

    So there you have it, 10 absolutely essential software apps for Mac web developers, most of them open source, easy to use and eminently useful.