The second half of the free software list presented at the AUGSA meeting:
The first time I developed a Flash application that involved printing I think I went through two reams of paper adjusting the margins and placement of graphics. Fortunately we now have PDF printers that print to a PDF file. Adobe has one but one of my favourites is CutePDF.
Adobe’s PDF Reader is notorious for its’ ability to bring a browser to it’s knees not to mention the amount of time it takes to start up and the memory it consumes even when not in use. Several alternative ‘lite’ PDF readers are available of which my personal favourite is Foxit Reader.
So many of us take Google Docs for granted now that it is surprising when we work for a client that is still emailing spreadsheets to keep track of requirements and progress. If you need to work on documents across a range of workstations or need to share docs with remote colleagues then do yourself a favour and take a look at Google Docs.
ToDo List is a simple but really powerful program for managing development projects. The ability to nest sub-tasks, allocate dates
Tamper Data is an add-on for Firefox that lets you inspect and modify HTTP request headers and POST parameters. Whilst this is primarily used by unscrupulous gamers to fake game scores it is an invaluable tool for debugging and monitoring the performance of your web apps. You can check the validity of POST params and returned data and measure the time taken to return responses.
The Flash Switcher add-on for Firefox lets you change the version of Flash Player embedded in your browser – great for testing how ‘all’ your audince will see your site.
Firebug is a logging add-on for Firefox that prints ‘trace’ statements from Flash in the Firefox console window. Great for debugging Flash apps that must be deployed to be tested.
Even as a Flash developer I still find a lot of the Flash content on the web more of an annoyance than an benefit, consequently my number one free software product goes to Flash Block a Firefox plugin that replaces Flash content with a button that gives you the option of downloading and viewing the content or not.
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