Working on the front end code for a web site or web application has never been the best part of a programmer’s day. Typically User Interface for software moved from text based to a more GUI based approach. As discussed by Myers et al. [Mye00], this pushed tools for UI development to a more GUI and window based approach as well. Web development tools following this GUI based approach sprung up, each having its own merits and demerits. Microsoft FrontPage for example, one of the older more popular web page authoring tools offered the user a WYSIWYG editor [Fra99]. These visual editors, gave users the ability to develop the front end of web applications pretty easily, but one of the major drawbacks was that the architecture these tools supported, dealt with static content, like a group of HTML files . Working with web applications which had front ends which interacted with databases did not benefit majorly from such WYSIWYG tools. These limitations however are slowly disappearing, and the definition of a web-application front end is changing.
As the definition of web front end is changing, the tools used to develop the front end is also constantly evolving. Starting from notepad about a decade ago, we moved to GUI tools, and are now moving to combination of many kinds of tools, starting from a simple text IDE combined with a web debug and testing toolkit like Chrome Developer tools and its competitors like Firebug and F12 Developer tools.
- Brad Myers, Scott E. Hudson, and Randy Pausch. 2000. Past, present, and future of user interface software tools. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 7, 1 (March 2000), 3-28. DOI=10.1145/344949.344959
- Piero Fraternali. 1999. Tools and approaches for developing data-intensive Web applications: a survey. ACM Comput. Surv. 31, 3 (September 1999), 227-263. DOI=10.1145/331499.331502
- Reuven Lerner, At the Forge: Firebug, Linux Journal, v.2007 n.157, p.8, May 2007
Raghav Tripathi & Roopak Venkatakrishnan