6 Essential Development Programs Reviewed by IceCreamTruck
The following 6 essential web development program reviews are brought to you by IceCreamTruck, web site creator, developer, and long time web user! Mission: Free, usable development software for those of us that don't like to spend money. If you've spent money to develop your website, then you should have read this first. Click here! For the MS Word Document version of this document!

My Ratings 0-5: "0" is bad. "5" is the best.

All programs here are rated "5 of 5" (why settle for less), but Paint.NET got a rating of "4 of 5" because it is software anyone should have to replace Microsoft Paint, but sadly great for beginners only. There is a better graphic editor for intermediate to advanced users (The GIMP), and it got rated "5 of 5".

I will work to include more programs and they will range on down to "0 of 5," so that you can get a review of even the bad free software available online. for now I've included that which I am currently using for my web development needs. These programs come together after years of research online looking for free alternatives to expensive, popular software packages.

Programs listed in Alphabetical order. Click to go to review for that item

AceFTP 3 Freeware 5 of 5
AceHTML Freeware 5 of 5
ActivePerl 5 of 5
The GIMP 5 of 5
Paint .NET 4 of 5
WinAce Archiver 5 of 5

AceFTP 3 Freeware - My rating: 5 of 5

This is a solid (free) FTP program that I've used for years. It requires registration and validation via email, but it's a good way to organize ftp sites for easy access, and a very user friendly display. Almost no learning curve for anyone who has used FTP software before and a great option for developers or web users that want to get up and running quickly. Comes complete with a list of public FTP servers so you can start downloading some goodies (games, software, updates) right away! Free and usable for users of all levels. >>Back to Top! >> AceFTP 3 Freeware Site!

AceHTML Freeware - My rating: 5 of 5 plus kudos for text coloring many popular web development languages

This is a solid (free) HTML program. It requires registration and validation via email, but it's a great alternative to notepad for website development. Text coloring makes reading code in this editor very easy, and will help you start to read code even if you have never done it before. Although there is a very small learning curve for those that are not experienced in web editing, its a great place to start learning web development and you can't argue them letting you have it for free. This package is also good at managing your entire web project files, and with its counterpart, AceFTP, together they make the definitive ensemble for managing a websites code. Spell-checker/Code-checker included. Free and usable for web developers of all levels. >>Back to Top! >> AceHTML Freeware Site

ActivePerl - My rating: 5 of 5

This is the runtime environment that allows you to run perl scripts on your system or web server. Easy to install. Runs the way you'd expect a perl engine to run. Package management is easy, but it comes with most common packages on install without the need to update. A must for testing perl scripts before putting them live on a web server. Free and usable for intermediate to advanced web developers. >>Back to Top! >> ActivePerl Site

The GIMP - My rating: 5 of 5 plus kudos for saving you the most money!

The GTK+ runtime environment allows you to install The GIMP 2.2.11 which is one of the best open-source graphic arts editors I've ever seen. I was discouraged at first by an article on an un-named website about The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) that said that it was hard to use, and that there was a large learning curve when first getting into this program, but I assure you that this is not the case. How many of us, who have used Adobe Photoshop, went into adobePS knowing where to find everything we wanted to do? No one! How many of us learned what we could do through trial and error? All of us! My advice is to download this amazing software and give it a try. It behaves just a little different than Adobe Photoshop, so if you know Photoshop, then your learning curve will be greatly reduced and I encourage you to try it for a week and see if you still want to spend $500, a $1000, or even $3000 on graphic editing software. Free and usable for intermediate Graphic Artists. >>Back to Top! >> The GIMP

Paint.NET - 4 of 5 plus kudos for blowing MS paint out of the water!

This free software package blows Microsoft paint out of the water, as well it should. Designed in the .NET framework it allows you to edit most default image formats, and create web graphics using layers. It also keeps a robust history so that undoing changes is a breeze. Many people online think that this editor should replace Microsoft Paint as the default in new operating system releases from Microsoft, but sadly it will not. But hey, cheer up, it's free and all you have to do is download it! Free and usable for everyone who wants to edit most basic image formats (Microsoft XP or greater required!). >>Back to Top! >> Paint.NET

WinAce Archiver - My rating: 5 of 5 plus kudos for tons of archive file formats!

Supports zip, tar, rar, gunzip (.gz), and many more. A great little software package that lets you open almost every kind of archive file that you will come across online. Downloaded a file that is an unfamiliar archive format? Give WinAce a whirl and see if it can handle those unknown formats, and I'll bet you'll be pleased. Easily shrink and archive just about anything your little heart desires. Free and usable for everyone. >>Back to Top! >> WinAce Archiver
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