Well, as I get deeper and deeper into Web site development, I keep finding neat little tools. Aside from Linux -- I bet you can't guess what my favorite distribution is --I've found nifty tools to manipulate the server so far that are within my budget: free. Also, they support my database of choice: PostgreSQL.pgAdmin III
is an excellent GUI for administrating a database. Now, I'm not an old hand at SQL, so this makes doing simple things very easy for me, but it still lets me know what SQLS it'll run or has run to do whatever operation. It wasn't so handy in the design of a database, and it's documentation is a bit lacking.DbSchema
is an excellent GUI for designing a database. Whereas I had been using pencil and paper because I haven't been able to find a single tool capable of doing things as neatly as I can on paper, this tool does a much better job than what I can do and it can create the whole database for me. There are some things that it does not do well. For instance, I have a a foreign key in table_2 that references table_1. DbSchema will, for some unknown reason, try to create table_2 before creating table_1. Obviously this will fail as PostgreSQL will raise a sign saying, "Um, I can't make this table refer to another table that doesn't exist." Also, there are some speling errros. (How is dinamically
spelled wrong?) With a little ingenuity on my part, however, the work around is to just sync the elements individually to avoid any trouble. The documentation, however, is very thourough and easy to understand, even with its splliing erooors.
These two tools together create a complete package for me so far. I haven't gotten very far along in my database development, so I'll have to let you know of any further limitations I stumble upon. Really, though, it has been so difficult for me to find tools that utilize PostgreSQL instead of MySQL. (Google has been great at finding tools, just not within my budget.)
As for the actual Web site, Bluefish
has been the best I've come across. It is closer to a glorified text editor than it is to a development environment. It has it's own limitation, such as not supporting multiple syntax highlighting schemes simultaneously completely and not so great documentation. For example, I may have in one file XHTML, CSS and PHP, with the CSS within the style tags. The XHTML and PHP will have proper highlighting, but the CSS will not. Bluefish is very fast and lightweight, however, which is what makes it closer to a text editor than the development environments I've had experience with so far. It will start within seconds on my aging Athlon XP-M 2400+. (NetBeans keeps crashing on me or won't start. Not a good work environment for me.)