Essential tools for web development

As part of my rediscovery of web development, I've kitted myself out with a whole new set of tools. There's some really great tools out there and things have certainly improved since I proudly designed a "Made with Notepad" icon for my garish homepage back at uni.

First Post

I thought I was a C++ developer. That's what it says on my CV and that's mostly what I've been doing at work for the past 5 years. But ever since I discovered the internet on my first day in the computer lab at university I've wanted to do something interesting on the web. Back then I had more than enough resources, and they were free, but I didn't have the time to invest in my freely provided webspace ( IIRC). I had the ideas (mostly based around Countdown) but I was too busy drinking beer, learning "real" programming and drinking beer.

Well, years later and now I'm working which leaves me even less time. But then I do drink less beer which seems to have had some benefits. has been mine for a couple of years now. Not the most imaginative domain name, but everything starts to sound silly after even a few minutes brainstorming. Getting some decent hosting has allowed me to start using PHP as the back end, but the back end is not terribly exciting stuff. What I'm excited about at the moment is AJAX. The various technologies involved in AJAX have been around for years, but I've only just stumbled across it. In fact, as Jesse says in his article:

What's new is the prominent use of these techniques in real-world applications to change the fundamental interaction model of the Web. Ajax is taking hold now because these technologies and the industry's understanding of how to deploy them most effectively have taken time to develop.

This blog is my technical diary that I'll keep updating with my thoughts and discoveries as I play around with some mini Ajax applications. I've got two end products in mind at the moment

  1. A chat application - Ajax instant messaging
  2. An online boardgame - As requested by a mate, to give him something to do at work

Hopefully I'll learn some interesting stuff along the way - and I won't have to write a single line of C++.