Roxen Developers' Toolkit
Below are the list of common software tools that we in WDS use to help us create websites.
Roxen Application Launcher
The browser-based code editor in Roxen CMS is not very powerful. However, Roxen also supplies a helper application that you can install, which facilitates editing raw code files by acting as a bridge between your web browser and your text editor of choice.
Installing the Application Launcher
- The versions under the “Configuration” tab of the Content Editor are not the latest versions of the Application Launcher. Later versions are available for download below.
- The OS X version of the Application Launcher bundled with Roxen CMS 4.5 is not compatible with Snow Leopard (10.6) or newer.
- Users of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) should upgrade to Roxen Application Launcher 4.2.16.
- Roxen CMS 5.1 still bundles the 2.2 version of the Windows launcher. Version 3.x of the Roxen Application Launcher in Windows was rewritten in .NET and moved closer to feature parity with the OS X version.
OS X version
Roxen Application Launcher 4.2.16 (.dmg)
Modified: 7 June 2012, 16:07
Roxen Application Launcher 3.1.7 (.zip)
Modified: 7 June 2012, 16:06
Using the Application Launcher
- Enter the Content Editor.
- Select the "Editor Profile" dropdown in the top toolbar.
- Select "Application Launcher."
- When you edit a file, the Application Launcher will open the file in your application of choice.
- When you first open files, you need to make associations with the file types. Thus, if you open a .css file, the Application Launcher will ask you what program you want to use to open .css files now and in the future. Once you save these settings, the Application Launcher will remember them and automatically launch your file in your application.
We in WDS use a variety of text editors. Each have their advantages, which can include code completion, code highlighting, and error validation. Below, in alphabetical order, are the common ones that we have used:
There are hundreds of browser extensions out there that help developers troubleshoot and write code. Below are the ones that WDS developers can't live without. All browser extensions are free.
Browser: Firefox, Chrome (Firebug Lite), Safari (Firebug Lite)
Firebug allows you to peek under the hood of your site and tweak it to your needs. Below are some of the features:
Web Developer toolbar extension
User Agent Switcher
Browser: Firefox, Flock, and Seamonkey suite
Companion extension to Web Developer's Toolbar. Allows to to spoof various user agents to test whether site scripts are delivering different content to different web clients.
The list is extensible; here is a sample list to import:
IE Developer Toolbar
Browser: Internet Explorer 7
Download the Internet Explorer 7 Developer Toolbar
For IE8 and newer, the Developer Toolbar is pre-installed. You activate it via the Tools menu or the F12 key.
This is Microsoft's attempt to recreate Firebug. It is useful for troubleshooting basic rendering issues with IE.
Safari Web Inspector
Web Inspector is included with the Safari browser, so there's no need to install a plugin. To turn it on, go to Preferences > Advanced. Then check the box labelled "Show Develop menu in menu bar."
Firefox Web Inspector
The Web Inspector built into the Firefox browser is evolving into one of the best available inspector tools. Find it under Tools → Web Developer → Inspect, or use the Inspect Element contextual menu.
Browsers: Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 8, Opera 7.5+, MSIE 6+
The Mouseover DOM Inspector (MODI) is a favelet that offers similar functionality to the above tools, except that it works in more browsers. It provides information on node structure, layout, and attributes.
ColorZilla works very similarly to the eyedropper in Photoshop and GIMP. Click on the extension in your lower left corner of the browser, and a set of crosshairs will appear. Use your cursor to gain valuable color information about the site you are viewing.
Testing Internet Explorer
Testing multiple versions of Internet Explorer used to be complicated, unpredictable, and not always reliable. However, Microsoft has released free versions of IE in multiple operating systems so that developers can test their sites effectively and accurately.
Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC, available for Windows 7, allow you to run multiple Windows environments, such as Windows XP Mode, from your Windows 7 desktop.
VMware Fusion is an application that allows you to run Windows inside of a virtual machine (VM) on OS X on Intel-based Macs. It is available at the PSR Web Store, as well as copies of XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
Linux (and Windows and Mac)
VirtualBox is an open source alternative to VMware Fusion. You will still need to have a licensed copy of XP, Vista, or Windows 7.
Scanning for Broken Links
Stale content with broken links can become a significant issue for websites with infrequently updated content, especially on pages buried a few levels deep within a site. It is common practice to enhance site content by linking to original source material on external sites; however, external sites can shut down or reorganize site architecture without warning, breaking these links and diminishing the value of your content.
An automated tool that can crawl through a site to verify the source of each item of linked content is the only practical solution for a large site.