It’s been a while since I collated my ‘must have’ tools so here goes:
- The Semware Editor Professional (TSE Pro/32)
I’ve been using TSE since it was first created (when the beta was called ‘RoadRunner’), and its predecessors Qedit for OS/2 and the earlier Qedit. I’ve tried Emacs, vi, Brief, EditPlus, UltraEdit, Notepad++, ConTEXT and a few dozen other editors over the years, and nothing rivals TSE. Now if only there were a Mac version I wouldn’t have to use…
- TextMate (Mac OS X)
Alas, this is the ‘best’ programmer’s editor I’ve been able to find for Mac OS X. It’s good, but could use some refinement. Alas, this appears to be the pinnacle of options. I’ve heard good things about BBEdit, but I’ve only dabbled with it a couple of times, and it’s notably more expensive than TextMate.
I’ve used many version control systems and is notably better than the rest. I wish tooling were a bit stronger, but the industry is getting there.
Not bad, if you can’t use GIT. Popular so it’s hard to avoid it these days, though I expect SVN’s fortunes will decline in the next couple of years as GIT becomes ascendent.
Great Telnet and SSH client.
Great command line tool; “curl -O -# foo://blah” handles almost anything you’ll need. Not that I need it often, but when I do it beats everything else.
The king of browsers, for a reason.
Best developer aid for browser work.
For when Firebug isn’t enough. Nice views of HTTP request and response, complementing Firebug.
Since we’re on the subject of network analysis, this is the ultimate network sniffer. I’ve used it on and off for years. Not needed very often, but when it is, nothing else will do.
THE image editing and conversion tool. Replaced PaintShopPro in my bag of tricks – more capable, easier to use, and free. One reason to run VMware on a Mac
- VMware Fusion (Mac OS X)
Better than Parallels, from the masters of virtualization. Cheap too.
- VMware Workstation
The Windows equivalent to Fusion. I’ve used it for years. Incredibly helpful, and better than any alternative I’ve tried. Not quite as cheap as Fusion, but still worth it.
Nice alternative to Win+R.
Too many useful tools to count. PsTools, ProcessExplorer, FileMon, RegMon, AutoRuns, Junction, Sync, the list just goes on.
Don’t let the name fool you, it has nothing to do with SQL Server or .NET. Think “SQL Server Query Analyzer and Enterprise Manager, but for Oracle – and free.”
Graphical diff tool. Open source. Free. One of the few things I truly miss on the Mac.
Another graphical diff tool.
- V – the File Viewer
A modern, graphical Windows replacement for the old LIST.COM from the days of DOS.
Great compression format, for the times when you really need tiny archives (and don’t about the memory, cpu or time to get there). I just wish the GUI was more like WinZip (or just less primitive).
Google-style clean minimalist interface. Best IM for business.
All around handy dandy ad-hoc scripting hack. A million and one uses.
The definitive development tool if you work in Java.
SVN plugin for Eclipse.
- AnyEdit tools
Plugin for Eclipse. Sad, to need a plugin to get an option to ‘strip trailing whitespace on save’, but at least it’s better than not having the option at all. Still, it’s a long-overdue addition to Eclipse’s editor.
Excellent Java analysis tool. Eclipse’s warnings make for a good ‘lint’, but FindBugs goes further identifying more subtle problems. Java programmers should use it regularly, a task made even easier with the Eclipse plugin
Feels more bloated and less responsive than Eclipse, with a lot more focus on “Enterprise” (J2EE) development (and gives “Java on the desktop” a bad name – fat and sluggish, in 2009 no less). But it has one major redeeming feature: Swing form builder. I’ve yet to find a form builder for Swing that comes close to Visual Basic 6.0, but at least NetBeans form builder for Swing is moderately tolerable. Best of a bad lot, if you ask me. Shameful too. But if you need to do Swing, it’s more help than hurt, and the price is right.
The industry standard, for Java build systems. It’s flawed, even as per its creator. SCons, CMake and MSBuild sound interesting, but I’ve only dabbled with them (so far). Alas, even if they’re all better than sliced bread, Ant is so entrenched in the Java community it’ll take years for its star to start to fade.
- Microsoft Visual Studio
Still the king of IDEs.
- MSDN Subscription
Sweet grab bag of tools at a fraction of their total price. Last time I played this game, XP, Office 2007, Visio 2007, and Visual Studio 2005 were $100 cheaper buying an MSDN license that included those (and more).
Apple’s IDE for Mac and iPhone. I find it weak in some ways compared to Eclipse and Visual Studio, but that said it’s still the only way to develop for the Mac or iPhone. I’ve done the no-IDE/make-only thing; it has its place, but I like it better in conjunction with an IDE. Apple’s IDE is good enough to be worth the effort, and can only get better.
Holy Shit! That’s all I can say. I’ve used a dozen profilers over the years, and this has every feature I’ve ever seen, some very useful additions and refinements, and Apple’s interface design touch. Not only is the tool good, but it’s beautiful. A pleasure to use.
Who bothers remembering where anything is anymore?
I run my own site for my own domain, and even so I find GMail hard to beat for some things. TIP: Use HTTPS – secure email access from anywhere with a browser.
- GMail for the Blackberry
Get the native application for the Blackberry. Notably improved over the years. Only thing lacking is an automated check for updates – not that it’s updated often, but it seems every 6 months I remember to check and voila! There’s a significant update I can download. Pull is good, but having to remember to check is painful.
Some other folks have like lists: