I made the switch to OS X about half a year ago now, and I must admit I’m going to find it rather hard to go back to using Windows or Linux on the desktop. The interface is way more user friendly, the OS is rock solid, and I find myself far more efficient than the days I was using an alternative desktop OS.
Now, I still need a Windows-based desktop computer for running video games, and I’ll never turn my back on a Linux-based web server, but for a development/general purpose machine, OS X wins hands down.
This post contains a listing of several tools I use and love every day for development. I’ve donated to all but one of them (GitX doesn’t have a way to donate) and look forward to continuing updates.
For years I was a big user of phpMyAdmin, it had served my every need. However, I started to move further away from shared hosts (which usually provide PMA) and more into cloud/VPS solutions, and installing and maintaining PMA on every server was a bit of a chore. Also, the skins for the tool are horrible, the only good skin having been long outdated.
Sequel Pro is a native OS X MySQL client, it is snappy and has all of the useful tools one needs in a MySQL client (e.g. indexes, relationships, table editing, etc.). The interface makes sense and is very easy to use. You can open different connections in different tabs as well. The only thing I wish it could also do is SQLite and Postgres administration, otherwise it’s the one MySQL app you’ll ever need.
Having hopped between IDE’s for years, trying all of those bulky Java based apps on varying different operating systems, I finally came to the conclusion that I need something a little lighter. That’s what makes VIM awesome, it only requires a handful of megabytes to get it running, and it has the snappiest interface you will ever use. Text movement and editing, once you get used to the keys, is nothing short of amazing.
MacVim is the defacto VIM client for OS X. Using some configuration settings I was even able to bind to the OS X swipe left/right inputs for controlling my buffers. With some keyboard wizardry, my Caps Lock key is now an escape key; without this using VIM is a bit of a chore. If you’d like to check out my VIM settings, you can do so via my MacVim Github repo.
Jason is a sexy JSON editor native to OS X. For the last project I was working on, I was building a Single Page App which talked to a RESTful JSON API. When doing this communication I often needed to visualize the data being passed to me from the server for debugging purposes. That’s where Jason came in. Jason has a lot of cool features, such has hitting Cmd+V to paste a JSON document into a new Jason window, which makes JSON management a breeze.
GitX is a nice GUI tool for visually representing Git history. It’s not perfect (as you can see from this chaotic screenshot below) but it has been the best tool I’ve used so far. As far as doing standard Git stuff, nothing beats the command line. But, for visualizing history and quickly moving through commits, GitX is awesome. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any updates in some time.