Web Design with FOSS
GNU / Linux is a great development platform. Whether you’re writing code for applications, games, mobile or the web, all the tools you’ll need are at your fingertips. I’ve been using Linux for the last 5 months now to run my web design business and every job I needed to accomplish has been completed using free and open source software. Below is a list of my favourite applications that help me to achieve my daily tasks:
Bluefish – Code Editor
Filezilla – FTP
This is my goto FTP client, which is also available on Windows and OS X. It has all the features that you’d expect, such as encrypted FTP, remote search and file transfer pause and resume.
Inkscape – Vector Graphics
Considered by many to be the best FOSS alternative to Illustrator, Inkscape is a great tool for creating scalable graphics, such as logos, leaflets or posters. Another feature-rich application, there’s not much you cannot do with this and for me, the align options are invaluable, ensuring I get the perfect placement of my text and images.
GIMP – Image and Photo Editing
The GNU Image Manipulation Program has been around for almost 20 years and for me, has become the best program on Linux for tasks that might previously have been done in Photoshop. I use it mainly for editing photos, resizing images, and touching up, but it has so many features, like masks, animations and lens perspective distortion correction.
Darktable – Photo Post-Processing
Darktable is an impressive raw photo editing application and could be compared with Lightroom, providing non-destructive photo editing. Available on Linux and OS X, this free / open source software has the essential features that most photographers will be used to using, such as exposure compensation, shadow and highlight adjustment and noise reduction. Workflow is fast and efficient, from importing your images, to making the necessary adjustments and exporting. You can even copy the history of changes from one image and apply to any number of your other images and this can save you a lot of time!
LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP
LAMP is a collection of web service software for building dynamic website and web applications. Setting up a lamp server on Linux is a fairly straightforward and painless experience and once I have it installed, I can test my php scripts locally without having to upload them to my live web server. Not only is this quicker, but it allows me to test my websites, without them being visible to the wider world. Once I’m satisfied with the code, I will upload to my web server using Filezilla and then publish the site.