The ability to optimize a web space is the goal of anyone working extensively on the Internet. Web designers and developers are always on the look for ways to maximize their old tools and adopt new ones. In addition to reliable web hosting solutions, they are dependent on a bevy of external applications and software plugins that can make or break a new project. Here are five:
Redmine—This free, open source project management app helps you to assign tasks, create charts and graphs, develop wikis, manage files, and track times and bugs. Based on the Ruby on Rails platform, Redmine is a cross-platform app and can even integrate with SCM. Originally released in 2006, Redmine has 30 major installations across the world. It recently released its 1.3.2 version.
Yuuguu—This is a multi-platform, desktop sharing, web conferencing app that promotes collaboration among Windows, Mac and Linux users, allowing up to 5 different clients share screens at once. Other valuable features include cross network IM, real time communication, and Skype integration.
BrowserShots—This application is simple but useful, allowing users to preview what websites will look like on multiple browsers and platforms. BrowserShots provides snapshots of how each browser will display your page and even allows you customize your analysis by screen size and color depth.
Mockingbird—This site facilitates the creation of “mockups” of websites. All the user has to do is provide the ingredients (text, pictures, graphics, modules, etc.) of what will go on the site and Mockingbird stirs up a suitable template so that you can preview the interface of a site and test its navigation features. It even provides you with a link and an embed code for future use. Great for entrepreneurs preparing for big business meetings.
Kuler—This database site developed by Adobe Labs allows you to experiment with color and modify color schemes for use on the web. Providing web developers with swatches, RGB and HEX codes, Kuler enables them to mimic color gradients they’ve see in photos uploaded from image repository sites like Flickr. It is, of course, integrated with all the major Adobe software.
These five tools should be on the radar of any web development professional looking to optimize web projects or launch new ones. They represent the need for cross platform and cross browser tools that can help developers synchronize their work.