After watching the Tools of the Trade episode I noticed most of the software cost money. This might be OK for people who make a living at this stuff but what about people who can’t afford dropping $$$ on tools.
Some tools for the mac I have fond:
Smultron â€” awesome text editor with a live preview window.
TextWrangler â€” stripped down free version of BBEdit.
Cyberduck â€” single view style FTP client (like Fetch)
Fugu â€” dual view style FTP client (like Transmit)
Good list, I am using smultron, textwrangler and cyberduck too. Another free alternative for coding on mac is ‘Taco html edit’. On windows in the past (years ago) I used ‘php edit’, but that became commercial now, you can try to download the early version that still works fine. I think notepad++ is also very good for coding on windows.
Although I love free software – and there is some great free software around – if an application (such as TextMate) only costs around Â£20 and is arguably the best in its field, then I have no problems in paying for it. Given that a Music CD in the UK costs Â£13-ish, a Nintendo DS game is on average Â£25, then it puts the cost of a useful app into perspective.
The free app world comes into its own when it takes on the Mighty MS Office (Neo, Open office etc.) and PhotoShop (Gimp). These free versions are often rough around the edges and lack some of the usability of the the major (and majorly expensive) apps – but when a budget is tight, they’re brilliant.
Having said all that, rather than focus on totally free apps, I think we could also include apps which offer extra-ordinary functionality for very little money.