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What's your favorite tool or library that few others have heard of?

ben profile image Ben Halpern Updated on ・1 min read

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Jan van Brügge

Markdown Doctest

It runs code examples in your README/all other markdown files, so you never forget to update your documentation

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Mike 🤘

Instead of harping on a popular framework, I want to highlight some niche web-based tools I find myself going back to far too often. It's usually for things I don’t do often enough or when I get stuck on a particularly niche aspect of something.

Crontab time formatter: crontab.guru/
CSS entity conversion calculator: evotech.net/articles/testjsentitie...
Regex tool: regexr.com/
Testing website readiness: varvy.com/ (previously feedthebot.com)
The “what the hell does this command do?” for command line: explainshell.com/
htaccess tester: htaccess.madewithlove.be/
Free online lossless image compressor: kraken.io/
Parse your css (for fun?): cssstats.com/
Collect a user’s browser info: yourbrowser.is/

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Michael Lee 🍕

Crontab.guru is a really good one.

Whoa, Varvy looks pretty sweet!

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Ross Creighton

Vimium (vimium.github.io/) - chrome extension for navigating the web w/o a mouse.

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jorgecedi

I prefer cVim, I found it faster for link annotation rendering :) but both are awesome utils for mouseless interaction.

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Kris Siegel

I have a few that I find handy.

tohtml.com/
Take code samples and generate highlighted HTML for blog entries and documentation

hapijs.com/
Hapi.js is a great alternative to express.js for creating web servers in node. Using this with joi.js and Swagger means you can write your endpoints once, supply the code for validation and swagger reads all of this in and generates documentation. Never have stale comments again!

purecss.io/
Pure CSS is a super, super small CSS library that helps you do a lot of what Bootstrap does just more bare bones. It's run my Yahoo and hasn't been frequently updated but they're working on turning it over to the community. Great little library that's 3.8kb when gzipped.

msngrjs.com/
A JavaScript messaging library that includes handy utilities for type validation (#ShamelessPlug, this is my library)

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Michael Lee 🍕

I've been using Hapi.js for all my recent projects. Been liking it since. Haven't looked into Swagger, but sounds pretty sweet!

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ricardoe

github.com/ggreer/the_silver_searcher

and/or

github.com/monochromegane/the_plat...

Both allow me to navigate my code bases very efficiently.

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lizzae pittae

Why are you hacking all of my accounts mxcoder

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mxcoder profile image
ricardoe

Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about, if you're serious please describe the situation, what accounts, on what services? If you can't provide that, I'll have to report you as harassment.

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lizzae13 profile image
lizzae pittae

Mxcoder.my@gmail is brute forcing my accounts. They are in Plano tx and using an iPhone. Not you?

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lizzae13 profile image
lizzae pittae

Accounts are Reddit, Spotify, Instagram, and others

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mxcoder profile image
ricardoe

Sorry, not me, I go by mxcoder only in github, I think, I don't have that email address. I'm sorry I cannot help you, I think you could try by reporting the address here: support.google.com/mail/contact/abuse

If there's anything else you think I can help you with, feel free to ask.

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lizzae13 profile image
lizzae pittae

Ah well guess I'm happy it's not you and also sad to hit a dead end. Forgive my transgressions as I try to save my various online identities!

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mxcoder profile image
ricardoe

I know the feeling, I'm sorry I could not help more.

Hope you get them!

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

What an odd little interaction. Hope you get this sorted out lizzae, if you need the community's technical help understanding and getting to the bottom of this, feel free to make a post with the help tag and ask

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Charles Francoise

FlyCut: A clipboard manager for macOS. Keep your copy buffer history. Never lose that URL or code snippet you copied a few seconds ago and haven't pasted. Copy all you need from one file before moving to the next, no need to back-and-forth. This is literally the first thing I install on a new computer.

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phillpafford

this is one of my must have apps as well

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ajf

Yubnub.org - the command line for the web/browser, best to be installed as default search engine in the browser, allows commands to directly search/go to specific pages, e.g. "wp search-term" to search Wikipedia, "gm place" to look up a place in Google maps...

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Casen

NuclearJS

It's popularity is dwarfed by redux and other flux libraries used in conjunction with React, but I find it absolutely flawless. I have nothing but good things to say about it. If you're planning on build a large, complex React app, do give it a try.

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Ben Halpern Author

Awesome. The dev.to client is completely vanilla JS and I'm casually shopping around for the future. It's always great to find more options for comparison when you're not in a hurry to implement.

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Zac Anger

+1 for Vimium. Also VimFx for Firefox, and Qutebrowser (QtWebkit-based vimmy browser).
Also, Bash functions. A good set of useful Bash functions can replace a lot of extra command-line tools, like autojump, a simple calculator, making and working in a scratch directory, and moving around quickly (eg replacing parts of a path with other things).
DirtyMarkup.com as well. It's not as full-featured as other autoformatters, but handles HTML, CSS, and JS well enough in a jiffy, and has an API so you can send stuff to it with CURL or whatever.

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Ghost

This is a tool that should be in any developer's toolkit: HTTPie. It makes working with REST APIs from the CLI dead simple. Seeing people use curl to debug REST APIs is just painful.

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Nathan Flurry

Deepstream is a great open source alternative to services like Firebase with far more extensibility and ease of use.

Paws for Trello integrates Trello with macOS and gives a native-feeling experience (even though it's still an Electron application).

devRant is a great place to go when looking for programmer jokes or feeling the need to rant about something.

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Joshua Bemenderfer

I tried Deepstream in a production app.

Nothing but regret all over the place. I don't think it's production-ready yet.

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Scott E. Russell

Chocolatey (chocolatey.org/) is a Windows package manager. Great for provisioning and maintaining development environments, both virtual and physical, at my job. apt or yum for Windows, sorta.

Along with that, anything else that brings some familiar *nix-iness to Windows is my friend. Babun (babun.github.io/) is a pretty shell wrapper - runs on top of cygwin, but does everything for you, including pact, its own package manager for installing the cygwin bits you want with one command ($ pact install tmux).

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Shi Ling

ImageMagick (imagemagick.org)

It's a CLI tool for most of your image processing needs. I use it in my apps a few times, and for the random times I need to resize or convert jpg to PNG, so that I can do stuff like upload a passport-sized photo in a really specific size and format for government e-sevices......

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Antony Courtney

Tabli - A Free, Powerful Tab Manager Extension for Google Chrome: gettabli.com

This is a Shameless Plug (I wrote Tabli). But I wrote it because, as a developer, I really needed it, and now it's a tool I can't live without. And, much to my chagrin, few others have heard of it. :)

Tabli's best feature is the ability to save collections of tabs as a "Saved Window" and easily restore that saved state. This is invaluable when using the web as a source of reference material; the "quick tour" video on the web site shows how this works for (for example) CSS reference docs.

Tabli's other killer feature is the Tabli popout window. This provides a quick at-a-glance real-time updating view of all the windows and tabs you currently have open in Chrome, essential on the giant 4K+ monitors many of us use nowadays.

Finally, Tabli has extensive keyboard shortcuts so you can accomplish most navigation tasks without your fingers ever leaving the keyboard.

Hope you find Tabli useful as a developer tool -- feedback always welcome!

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Tim Birkett

I'm a fan of Goss - github.com/aelsabbahy/goss for server validation and use it in my provisioning and monitoring tools.

Jenkins Job Builder - docs.openstack.org/infra/jenkins-j... is an absolute must have for sensible Jenkins management.

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Adam Brandizzi

I don't use anything really obscure but here is a bunch of tools that are not that known. (Most are for Linux, but I believe their features are universally useful)

  • clipit - a clipboard manager. Everyone needs one.

  • screen - a terminal multiplexer. Many people prefer tmux, but the important thing is the concept. It is like having tons of open terminals but without the tons of windows and no risk of killing processes by closing the window. I also scripted it to set up environment variables when starting different profiles. Quite useful!

  • GreaseMonkey, to run whatever JS I need to run automatically on any page. It used to be way more popular, I believe it deserve more attention!

  • NoScript to prevent JavaScript on my browser. A lot of JS running out there is totally unnecessary. NoScript can be annoying but is deeply instructive and helpful to save performance and ensure security.

  • The Silver Searcher - I rarely user grep (or ack!) those days in the interactive terminal.

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Tyler Warnock

jframe (jframe.io)

I'm partial to this one because I'm on the team, but it's a really simple way to use all kinds of web components (content blocks, carousels, etc). It's great to be working on a tool that makes the job of working on the tool even easier!

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Julien Bourdeau

I personally love codemod for refactoring large pieces of code. It allows me to write loose regex and make sure every replacement is perfect.
github.com/facebook/codemod

As the author puts it:

Codemod is a tool/library to assist you with large-scale codebase refactors that can be partially automated but still require human oversight and occasional intervention. Codemod was developed at Facebook and released as open source.

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Milan Chheda

json.parser.online.fr/ - An Online JSON Parser
chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/... - An excellent JSON Viewer Chrome Extension
crontab.guru/ - Crontab time formatter

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K

I like LiveScript, and the devs seem to be working on 2.0 that will work with future JavaScript.

Styletron is a nice CSS lib, inspired by styled-components.

React-most is a cool way to integrate most.js streams with React. It's a bit like Cycle.js, but you can use the React ecosystem.

Cycle.js is a stream/observable framework, it's less concept loaded than Angular2 but you still get all the RxJS goodness.

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Charles Reace

Not sure how well-known it is, but I quite like ScreenHero for remote pair programming. (I guess they've recently joined Slack, so probably are gaining visibility?)

screenhero.com/

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Bent Cardan

screenhero is the shit, i use it almost every day

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tbodt

Sure, just send me your email address. You could either use Twitter DM or use my email off my GitHub profile.

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Bent Cardan

dsock protocols:
• a CSP style revamp of UNIX/BSD socket APIs

github.com/sustrik/dsock

The CSP stuff "concurrency by message passing" is built on libdill, another great library for doing more general structured concurrency in c: github.com/sustrik/libdill

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Paul J. Lucas

I've been using my own text reformatter wrap(1) github.com/paul-j-lucas/wrap to reformat comments in source code (for 40+ languages) while using vim. It even reformats Markdown within comments. I started hacking on it more than 20 years ago to scratch a personal itch.

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Michael Lee 🍕

GitUp - Open source and pretty minimal macOS Git app

Git Standup - I think it's been mentioned here, but I'll mention it again since I've used it ever since I heard about it. Easily grab a list of your git commits from the previous work day. And when I say work day, it's smart enough to determine, if you're running the command on a Monday than grab Friday's commits.

Goyo - I write on my blog about things I'm constantly learning and when I do, I enjoy writing in Vim. Goyo is a sweet plugin that makes Vim a really nice writing experience.

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Thamaraiselvam

I use some packages in Sublime Text,

SFTP (Upload local changes to cloud on every save) - packagecontrol.io/packages/SFTP

Super Calculator - packagecontrol.io/packages/Super%2...

Trailing​Spaces - packagecontrol.io/packages/Trailin...

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Bruno Heridet

Kakoune: A modal editor with multiple selections and orthogonal design.

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maxdevjs

I see you do create a lot of plugins for it :)

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Brian Dean Jennings

VRTK for getting your Unity VR projects up and running fast.

vrtoolkit.readme.io/

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Santiago Palladino

github.com/alecthomas/ondir

Small bash lib to easily register commands when cd'ing into a directory, such as setting the terminal's title :-)

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Arseniy ✌️ Ivanov

github.com/wting/autojump — a tool that allows you to shorten your cd paths.

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Michael Lee 🍕

Spectacle is a good one. i've been using it for some time now.

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Tom Randolph

Ractive.js: all the efficiency of a virtual DOM, but all the grace of separate HTML & JS and no opinions.

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Gonzalo

WakaTime for tracking how much time I actually code.

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Ross Creighton

ooooo cool. i'm going to try this.

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Timothy Paetz

TouchCursor for Windows - martin-stone.github.io/touchcursor/ - allows you to use the space bar as a Ctrl or Alt button for different key bindings

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Sava Chankov

Karabiner: keyboard remapping for Mac OS. I use it to remap right option key to delete (really, fn+backspace is totally inconvenient).

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Tony Gray

ANTLR
Like the guy, like the philosophy, like the tool. Text is dead, long live text.

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Marcelo Ruiz

LLBL Gen Pro -> Entity Modeling solution & ORM framework for .NET (llblgen.com/)

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Jay Pick

lostgrid.org/ - PostCSS grid system

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Tomasz Różański

"Inspect" from Windows 8/10 SDK Toolkit. It lets me inspect every single GUI element of any currently running application. Essential tool for all winapi developers.

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tux0r

Listary, pretty much adding a quick launcher and a number of Folder History functionalities to Windows.

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lizzae pittae

Mxcoder.my@gmail is brute forcing my accounts. They are in Plano, tx and have an iphone. Is that not you?

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StoneFox

VRTK - Virtual Reality Toolkit for Unity3D - vrtk.io

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Alistair

Maybe not that uncommon, but GLM for any and all 3D maths in C++. It's lightweight, simple and fast.

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Bogdan Galiceanu

github.com/Recognos/Metrics.NET for measuring things such as the duration of operations and the number of various things of interest

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Mantas

Gridly — a super tiny and simple but awesome Flexbox grid

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Sebas

Page Object Pattern, a simple pattern to write sane and maintainable automated tests:
docs.seleniumhq.org/docs/06_test_d...

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Amazing Vanish

A tool I've used extensively on some old legacy sites I maintained to encode HTML entities visually. mothereff.in/html-entities

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Mark Shields

Most. Picks up where more and less left off.