There were many trends and changes in web development during 2011, a lot new tools, this is section of tools that were release during 2011 and have their unique significance to ease coding and take web to the next level.
Chrome Developer Tools
In the past years I was quite happy using Firefox and web development Add-ons – Firebug and Web Developer. This year I switched to Google Chrome and Chrome Developer Tools. There are several reasons for this turn. Tools are based on WebKit’s web inspector (a part of the open source WebKit project) but include a number of enhancements. Often I am working or testing websites which are cached and gzipped, with other tools it is very difficult to see from where things are coming and going I found out that with Chrome Developer Tools, everything is on fingertips. Currently there is an Experimental API for developer that would like to extend the tool even further. You can view the video here.
Bootstrap is Twitter's toolkit for CSS for mobile apps, social apps, website and more. It includes base CSS styles for typography, forms, buttons, tables, grids, navigation, alerts, and more. Twitter Bootstrap is just CSS, but it's built with Less, a flexible pre-processor that offers much more power and flexibility than regular CSS. Bootstrap is easy to use, just drop in the pre-compiled CSS into your project. Check some resources and examples on GitHub.
LESS extends CSS with dynamic behavior, what standard CSS does not support is presented with Less such as variables, mixins, nested rules, functions, operations and functions. LESS can runs on both client-side (Webkit, IE 6+, and Firefox) and server-side, with Node.js.
Less also offer provide support to define and re-use classes. There are many examples on the main website and on GitHub.
On 16th of November jQuery Mobile 1.0 was announced. jQuery Mobile is something revolutionary as it works on all major platforms for mobile phones and tablets. Query core and jQuery UI and strive to make mobile development efficient and accessible. As well in combination of HTML5 will help almost every web developer to be able to develop application for mobile phone without need to learn extra programming language.
Of course jQuery is pretty heavy, but we are not talking about web now, but for mobile development which is emerging technology.
Modernizr and CCS3 Pie
CSS3 PIE makes Internet Explorer 6-9 capable of rendering several of the most useful CSS3 decoration features. It is not a secret the a lot web template clubs already abandoned development of CSS support for IE6-8 a while ago, but facts are that there are many mobile and web users that haven’t updated their browsers, yet. CSS3 Pie can help browser to render CSS3 decorative features like drop shadows, rounded corners, linear-gradient, etc.
Let’s face it – marketing and presence is shifting from desktop to mobile, but have you ever thought how much efforts and investments are required to have presence on major mobile platforms - iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile? PhoneGap is here and using standards-based web technologies to bridge web applications and mobile devices, the only framework that supports 7 platforms and it is mostly HTML5. PhoneGap was developed by Nitobi recently acquired by Adobe.
PhoneGap eve provides access to native features and even phone hardware, like the camera, network, geo-location, contacts, accelerometer and notifications.
All this tools debuted during 2011, there are many other tools, frameworks and programs, which were improved a lot, but this is definitely my top 7 for 2011. What is yours?