When it comes to Web Development tools, I'm always on the lookout for applications that remove the monotony from menial tasks. In a perfect world there would be one Programming language and platform that did everything superbly and elegantly. Unfortunately, its not a perfect world, and the reality of the matter is that when developing a web application with any degree of complexity, multiple pieces of technology must come together in, hopefully, complete harmony. Ah, but for the best laid plans of mice and men!
I have a fairly short, but strict, list of what makes great tool:
When complexity rears its ugly head, as it's sure to do, the first thing I look to do is leverage my intellectual control over the situation. Usually, the best way to do this is to look to the proverbial toolbox for some assistance.
Another great time saving tool I recently came across is flashcommand for OS X. Under the hood, it is a combination of python and AppleScript. It doesn't actually compile the fla files itself, rather it invokes the Flash authoring environment. However, when faced with task of compiling dozens of fla files, flashcommandremoves the labor involved in opening up each individual file and publishing it from within the Flash IDE. With a list of files and a little bit of bash it is simple to compile a slew of flash files in one go:
for file in $files
flashcompile -jv -s $file