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1.2 What You Need

You’ll need some tools to follow along with this course and to continue your journey as a web developer. In this lesson, I’ll show you how to get set up.

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1.2 What You Need

Web developers use a lot of tools for writing their sites and applications. And we're not going to cover the vast majority of them because while they solve some very complex problems they also introduce a lot of complexity. You're just starting out so you don't need to know all of that stuff. Instead we're going to cover the most basic tools that you will need. Not just for this course, but for everything else that you're going to do as a web developer. So starting today, these are tools that you are going to be using every day, if this is something that you do every day. We're going to start with the most obvious, and that is a browser. You need to download and install a browser. Now every operating system has one already installed. But you should know that the browser is where our sites and applications execute. So in that sense it's a lot like an operating system and just like all the other operating systems in the world, every browser is different. Chrome, IE, Edge, Firefox, all of these browsers, while they have some commonality, they also have some differences. Some browsers support features and technologies that other browsers do not. Now the very best web developers write their sites and applications to run in every browser and that is something that you definitely want to work towards. But for the sake of simplicity, and for just starting our, we're going to stick with just one browser. Now it really doesn't matter what browser you choose, because for everything that we're going to talk about in this course, every modern browser is going to work just fine. However, I am going to use Google Chrome. It is cross-platform, which is of course, very good. but it's also our go-to browser. Anytime that we need to quickly test something or even as we are developing our site or application, we typically just have one browser open. Because that just greatly simplifies the development process. And then as we need to start testing in other browsers then we incorporate those. And Chrome is that browser that we use. It is essentially the defacto standard as far as browsers are concerned today. So browser Is the first tool that you'll need. The second is a text editor, because we're going to be working with a lot of text, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, these are all programming languages, and we deal with them in text. Now every operating system has a built in text editor. But you do not want to use them. They will work but they don't have a lot of the features that we need for editing code, because that is what we are editing. Code is text. But code is special text. So I have replaced Notepad, which is the default text editor for Windows, with a program called Notepad2. It has a lot of extra features like line numbers, which is very useful. There's also a feature called Color Coding. As we are writing code, there are special things in code that makes it different from normal text. So those are in a different color, and you begin to recognize what things are based upon their color. And every code editor is going to have these two things, line numbers and color coding and there's, of course, other features that make code editors useful. And there are many code editors, a lot of them are free and a lot of them are paid for software. So really what you need to do is find a code editor that you like. No one can tell you what the best one is except you. So I'm going to point to in the direction of several code editors. And I encourage you to try them all, just so that you can get an idea of how they work and what you like in a code editor. We're going to start with a tool called Brackets. And this is what I'm going to be using in this course, because this also has the third tool that we need for web development, and that is a web server. Because while we can work with our files on the computer and run them from the computer, we really need to run our application from a web server. And the Brackets makes it easy to run the things that we are working with as a web server. So brackets.io, this is made by Adobe but it is open source, it's also cross platform. In fact, everything that I'm going to show you today Is cross platform. So you will be able to run it in Windows, OS 10, and Linux. So download and install Brackets, try it out, and of course, right now, you don't really know how to try it out, and that's okay. But I encourage you to use Brackets as you are following along in this course, because that is what I'm going to be using. So Brackets is one option. There's another called Atom. If you go to atom.IO this is another code editor made by a company called GitHub. And it has a lot of the same features as Brackets. But it too is cross platform, it is open source, at least, I think it's open source. But even if it's not, it's another wonderful tool that you can use for writing code. The third is made by Microsoft. If you go to viualstudio.com, they have a tool called Visual Studio Code. Now if you are on Windows you can install Visual Studio Community. However, if you are just now starting out, I recommend that you do no use Visual Studio. That is primarily for people who are familiar with not just web development but development in general. But, Visual Studio is a wonderful tool if you are on Windows. Now, they have something called a Visual Studio Code, which is cross platform and it's a lot like brackets and Atom. In fact, judging just by the screenshots that you see, they are a lot alike. The only thing about Code, while I do like it, it is primarily geared for more experienced developers, especially those who are getting into the server side of things. So while you can use Code at this point in time I don't recommend it to start out with. But do download it, take it for a test drive because there are a lot of wonderful tools inside the Visual Studio Code. Now, the final tool that I'm going to show you Is not free. It is cross-platform, and it's called Sublime Text. And a lot of people balk about paying for software, but also remember that if this is something that you are serious about, you do need to spend the money on the tools that you want to use, the tools that are useful to you. If Sublime Text is one of those tools, then fork out the money for it. It's not very expensive. It used to be about $60, and it might be more than that now, but if it has the tools that you need later on down the road, then, yes, give them the money, because they have spent a lot of time on this. The current version is version 2, but they have version 3 in beta, and you can use the beta if you are a paid customer for version 2. Now, any one of these is going to serve you well. But once again, I am going to be using Brackets in this course. So what I would recommend for you right now is to install Brackets, go through the course, and then as you're more familiar with web development in general, then download the other options and see which one you like better and then start using that. Because the code editor is probably the most important tool that you are going to use. It is what you will use to create the sites and applications that you and other people are going to use. You need to love the tool that you will use every day.

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