Nov 07

Last week, Browserling, world’s leading cross-browser testing company, announced that they’re launching a network of online developer tools that offer simple, free and easy to use utilities for programmers.

They’re starting with four sites in the network and will be expanding their network to thirty websites. Each site in their network covers one specific programming category. There are no ads, popups, blinking download buttons, or other garbage. Just useful utilities that work in your browser. All utilities are created by skilled software engineers and they just do the right thing.

Let’s review first four sites in the network.

#1 Online JSON Tools


Online JSON Tools for Programmers
Online JSON Tools

Online JSON Tools is the first website in Browserling’s online tools network. It’s all about working with JSON data structures and objects. You can perform all the most common operations, such as minify JSON, beautify JSON, validate JSON, escape and unescape JSON, convert JSON to XML, CSV, TSV, and YAML, and encode/decode JSON to/from base64 encoding.

Soon you’ll also be able to syntax highlight JSON and edit it in your browser, display a summary of JSON object statistics, flatten JSON objects, convert JSON to HTML tables and LaTeX tables, compare two JSON structures, and encode and decode JSON to and from percent-encoding.

#2 Online String Tools


Online String Tools for Programmers
Online STRING Tools

Online String Tools is the second and the largest website in Browserling’s online tools network. It’s all about working with strings. There are over 100 tools in this website and many more are getting added every week. Online String Tools allow you to encode, decode, convert, filter, replace, and generate strings right in your browser.

For example, you can URL-encode and URL-decode strings, HTML-encode and HTML-decode strings, base64-encode and base64-decode strings, slash-escape and slash-unescape strings, generate random strings and generate strings from regular expressions. You can split strings, join strings, convert strings to binary and ASCII codes. And much more.

The upcoming tools in Online String Tools website will be a multi-replace string tool that allows you to replace multiple strings at once, online diffing tool that will show changes between two strings, Levenshtein distance calculator, which will also let you view the distance visually, a string rewriting system, Zalgo string generator, and a string typo generator.

#3 Online CSV Tools


Online CSV Tools for Programmers
Online CSV Tools

Online CSV Tools is all about working with Comma Separated Values (CSV) files and data. It currently offers over 20 CSV tools. You can convert CSV to JSON, XML, TSV, and YAML. Encode and decode CSV to and from base64 encoding, and perform various row and column operations, such as swap CSV rows, replace, append, insert, and delete CSV columns and transpose CSV.

Here’s a list of CSV tools that Browserling has planned adding in the next few months. You’ll be able to convert CSV to a PDF document and HTML, Excel, and LaTeX tables, then create images of CSV data, generate SQL queries from CSV files, merge CSV files, change quoting of CSV fields, delete empty CSV rows and columns, minify CSV and also diff two CSV files to find differences.

#4 Online XML Tools


Online XML Tools for Programmers
Online XML Tools

Online XML Tools is a collection of useful XML utilities for working with Extensible Markup Language documents and data structures. You can beautify XML, minify XML, escape and unescape XML, validate XML, and convert XML to various other data formats, such as JSON, CSV, YAML and XML. You can also encode and decode XML that’s been stored in base64 encoding.

Some of the upcoming tools in XML tools collection will be XML syntax highlighter and XML editor, then you’ll be able to view XML document statistics, and compare two XML files for visual differences.

#5 And beyond

Browserling is adding 25 or more sites to their network in the next 2-3 years. Here’s a list of upcoming sites:

  • Online TSV (Tab Separated Values) Tools
  • Online YAML (Yet Another Markup Language) Tools
  • Online PDF Tools
  • Online IMAGE Tools
  • Online AUDIO Tools
  • Online BROWSER Tools
  • Online CSS Tools
  • Online JS (JavaScript) Tools
  • Online CRYPTO Tools
  • Online RANDOM Tools
  • Online FILE Tools
  • Online TIME Tools
  • … and many more!

If you love what Browserling is doing you can follow @browserling on Twitter or follow Browserling on Facebook.

Feb 04

Red Gate has announced that .NET Reflector will no longer be free at the end of February 2011.  According to an open letter by Neil Davidson, Red Gate’s co-CEO:

”Red Gate has announced that it will charge $35 for version 7 of .NET Reflector upon its release in early March.  Version 7 will be sold as a perpetual license, with no time bomb or forced updates.

As many of you know, our original intention was to maintain .NET Reflector as a free tool.  But, after two-and-a-half years of providing it without charge, we realized that we could not make the free model work.  We know that this will cause pain for some people in the .NET community, and we apologize for the change in policy.

As a commercial company, we need to charge at least a nominal amount to keep .NET Reflector up-to-date and relevant.  Without revenue coming in, we cannot dedicate a team of developers to ensure that Reflector remains a valuable part of .NET developers’ toolboxes.”

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Jul 19

DeveloperFusion offers a free .NET code converter.  Simply paste your C# or VB.NET code into this web-based tool, then select your target language: C#, VB.NET, Python or Ruby.  Supports syntax up to .NET 3.5.

Code Converter

Jan 15

I ran across a novel new tool called SharpKit that generates JavaScript code from C#.  I’m not using JavaScript in my current projects, so I haven’t tested this tool yet, but anyone who has worked with JavaScript knows what a hassle it can be compared to the polished managed code environment of C# and Visual Studio.

image SharpKit is a free Web Toolkit that enables you to write and maintain code in C#, then convert it to JavaScript during compilation.  SharpKit enables web development teams to take advantage of C# and Visual Studio benefits such as compile-time syntax verification, code-completion, XML documentation and refactoring.  Many developers prefer this managed code environment versus the expensive and error-prone world of JavaScript programming.

In addition, SharpKit is a nonintrusive, compile-time solution.  SharpKit does not change native JavaScript syntax, require server-side changes, nor affect your existing file structure.  This non-lock-in model enables you to stop using SharpKit at any time and work directly with the JavaScript source code, if desired.

You can also use SharpKit with VB.NET, and use SharpKit to create iPhone and SmartPhone mobile browser applications.

SharpKit Home Page

Jul 17

Microsoft Popfly is a set of online visual tools for novice programmers and end-users to build Web pages, applications and games.  This was Microsoft’s attempt to bring programming to the masses, similar to Hypercard on the Macintosh, or the original Visual Basic on Windows before it became a real (complicated) object-oriented language under .NET.

But this fly lived for only two years.  Microsoft has just announced that on August 24, 2009, the Popfly service will be discontinued and all sites, references, and resources will be taken down.  At that time, access to your Popfly account, including any games and mashups that you have created, will be discontinued.

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Mar 14

An overview of the Silverlight technology and the workflow using Expression Studio:

See more Silverlight videos

Nov 29

Following are some simple but useful FREE tools for software developers.  Each tool is freely distributable and includes the original C# source code so you can modify the tool to your needs.  These tools are not supported.  Enjoy!
 

  Color Gadget

Select a .NET KnownColor or other color, copy RGB and hex values to the clipboard.

Free Download

 

  Guid Generator

Generate a new globally-unique ID and copy it to the clipboard.

Free Download

  

  Hex Converter

Quickly convert between hex and decimal numbers.

Free Download

  

  Shortcut Replace

Search/replace the path and working directory in a collection of shortcut (.lnk) files.

Free Download

  

  Visual Studio Toolbox Installer

Console program that installs/removes tabs and custom controls and components in the Visual Studio .NET Toolbox.

Free Download

  

  Window Watcher

Shows the form and client bounds of the active window.

Free Download

 

Nov 26

Microsoft has released Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework v3.5.  These upgrades enable .NET software developers to rapidly create more secure, manageable, and reliable applications and take advantage of new features found in Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007.

Continue reading »

May 29

The promise of end-user programming has been a fleeting one. 

First there was Hypercard for the Macintosh.  Hypercard was powerful enough to produce commercial applications but simple enough for a child to use.  Unfortunately, Hypercard proved too difficult for Apple to market properly, and besides, most developers don’t care about the Mac anyway.

Microsoft followed in 1991 with Visual Basic, which retained the simplicity of the BASIC programming language while upgrading it for use on the new graphical Windows platform.  VB was such a smash success with both novice and professional programmers that at one time, over 60% of software developers reported using Visual Basic for some of their projects.  But along the way, Visual Basic matured into a real (read: complex) object-oriented programming language, leaving behind its simple roots and unfortunately many of its fans.  As a result, VB use has plummeted 35% in just the past year.

There are also new efforts by IBM and smaller companies such as DabbleDB and Zoho to turn novices into programmers.  But none have the excitement or momentum of Microsoft’s new programming tool for the masses: Popfly.

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May 08

Silverlight is Microsoft’s answer to Adobe Flash. 

Officially, “Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web.  Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.”

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