Online Tools That Make My Life Easier

Imagine a situation where you’re sitting in front of a colleague’s computer or one that is publicly used. By definition you’re missing all your favorite tools that you’re used to and you can’t install them even if you wanted to. Here’s a short list of online tools that help me a lot when I’m using a computer other than my own. These do not fully replace the desktop equivalents, but they’re good enough. Though it’s not a list of tools that replace desktop applications, but rather a list of online tools that complement them and some provide functionality that does not exist in desktop based applications.

HTML / Javascript

  • http://jsbin.com – this one allows you to write HTML and Javascript code directly in the browser and preview it instantly. Features a nice syntax highlighting.
  • http://zen-coding.ru/demo/ – this one is really nice. If you don’t have VIM handy or other editor that supports zen-coding, you can simply open up this page and start zen coding right inside the browser. And if you need some help with your zen here’s a cheat-sheet PDF and a nice post explaining what it is and how to take advantage of it.

Beautifiers

Regural Expressions

  • http://gskinner.com/RegExr/ – regular expression test page with possibility to save your expressions and a hint column if you forget something.

Data Processing

Network

Others

  • http://developer.yahoo.com/yql/console/ – that’s Yahoo’s YQL console which is way awesome. Being the page scraping enthusiast that I am, I really like how you can gather information from different sources in such a simple way, also note the REST API and the ability to save your queries.
  • http://hurl.it/ – not quite short how to explain it, but replaces tools like cURL and Wget for me. Basically does a request to specified ULR and returns the result.
  • http://hpricot.com/ – this one can be used for specific information extraction from any page a.k.a. Web scrapping.

Communication

  • http://webchat.freenode.net/ – a web interface for freenode IRC server. Really helpful in situations where you find yourself behind some firewall that restricts outbound access.
  • http://02.chat.mibbit.com/ – similarly to the above this is a web-based IRC client. The main difference it is not just for the freenode server.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but if you know some nice online tools and are willing to share them, leave a comment.

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