Open Source Web Design

By Nick Little on August 25, 2008

By Nick Little on August 25, 2008

I have always wondered what open source tools are out there for web design just in case I decide to boycott Adobe or Adobe goes bankrupt or something. It turns out there are some pretty good options for web design. None of them are quite as good as Fireworks or Dreamweaver, but they do get pretty close at least for the classic Apache, MySQL, PHP setup.

The best PHP editor actually turned out to be the best CSS and Javascript editor I could find as well. They are actually plugins to one of the best open source IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) available, Eclipse. Eclipse can be downloaded from plug-ins for PHP, CSS, and Javascript are PHP Development Tools, CSS Eclipse Plug-in, and JavaScript Editor Eclipse Plug-in, respectively. The PHP Plug-in was designed to work with XAMPP, a cross-platform Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl distribution.

Last, but not least we have the GIMP. It is by far the most popular open source image editing application. It lacks many of the features of Photoshop, but most can be accomplished using either plug-ins or a combination of steps. Exporting images using slicing is much more difficult than using Fireworks, but it can still be done.

Using open source software would not be my first choice, but if something happened where I did not have access to Adobe products I would still be able to be productive.

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  1. Tim Priebe Tim Priebe on August 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve messed with GIMP some in the past. While it may technically have some of the same capabilities, it’s user interface was, at the time, terrible. It was a huge pain to use, and I quickly dropped it. Not sure if the situation has improved any or not.

  2. Avatar Nick Little on September 2, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I personally had never used GIMP before, and did not find the interface difficult to use at all. It is organized similarly to Photoshop. I don’t know when you used it, but currently it is not any harder to learn than Photoshop.