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Top 10 Open Source Tools for Web Developers

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Every Web developer needs to be armed with a set of tools that aid and assist in building better and more complex websites. From the wide range of Web development tools available, we present a set of 10 that in the author’s opinion are a must for any Web development tool kit.

At a time when websites are getting more complex, we need more sophisticated and advanced Web development tools. There are plenty of tools available and new ones are constantly being introduced. It’s up to you to choose the best options to meet your requirements.

This article lists 10 open source Web development tools that I feel every Web developer should be aware of.

1. Node.js
Node is an open source, multi-platform, JavaScript runtime built around a Chrome V8 engine for developing a variety of Web applications. The Chrome V8 engine was designed to run JavaScript in the browser. Node has an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, which makes it lightweight and efficient. Node.js was initially written by Ryan Dahl in 2009. The initial release supported only Linux.

Version: 7.3.0
GitHub repository:

Figure 1: Node.js

2. Bootstrap
Bootstrap is an open source framework based on HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It is the most popular and widely used framework for developing responsive Web applications, and is designed to produce faster and simpler websites. Bootstrap was first designed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton in 2011.

Version: 3.3.7
GitHub repository:

Figure 2: Bootstrap

3. AngularJS
AngularJS is an open source, structural framework for designing dynamic Web applications. It is one of the most popular JavaScript based frameworks available today. Angular is designed to work well with data driven applications for which you need to keep updating your site, depending on the changes in data. AngularJS was designed by a Google employee, Misko Hevery, in June 2012.

Version: 1.6.1
GitHub repository:

Figure 3: AngularJS

4. Brackets
Brackets is an open source, lightweight and modern text editor. It is a platform-independent editor with a focus on Web development. It was designed by Adobe Systems, and is licensed under the MIT licence. It is written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Version: 1.8
GitHub repository:

Figure 4: Brackets

5. Bower
Bower is an open source package manager for Web applications. We need to install a lot of packages while building a website, which Bower helps in automatically fetching and installing. The main objective of Bower is not to minimise code, but to install the right version of the packages and their dependencies required for a project.

Version: 1.8.0
GitHub repository:

Figure 5: Bower

6. Gulp.js
Gulp is an open source, powerful and extensible JavaScript automation library, which prefers code over configuration. It is a streaming build tool built on Node.js. Gulp.js is used to automate Web development workflows like bundling, CSS pre-processors, compilation, testing, optimisation, etc.

Version: 4.0.0
GitHub repository:

Figure 6: Gulp

7. MongoDB
MongoDB is a free and open source database written in C++. It is a document-oriented database that stores documents in a collection. It is one of the leading NoSQL databases and uses JSON-like documents. It is an open format, schema less database, ideal for object-oriented programming. MongoDB was designed by a company called 10gen in 2007.

Version: 3.4.1
GitHub repository:

Figure 7: MongoDB

8. Syntactically Awesome Style Sheets (Sass)
Sass is a CSS pre-processor that helps in writing reusable, extensible and maintainable code. Sass contains features that include variables, mixins, and nesting of selectors, functions and expressions. Using Sass, we can make large and complex style sheets easier to understand and maintain. It is an open source style sheet language designed by Hampton Catlin.

Version: 3.4.22
GitHub repository:

Figure 8: Sass

9. GitLab
GitLab is an open source, Web based Git repository manager. It provides features like code reviews, access controls, issue tracking, activity feeds and wikis. GitLab has continuous integration and deployment built in, to help you test, build and deploy code. GitLab was originally developed by GitLab Inc. It was written by Dmitry Zaporozhets and Valery Sizov.

Version: 8.15.2

Figure 9: GitLab

Figure 10: ReactJS

10. ReactJS
ReactJS is an open source, declarative and efficient JavaScript library for designing user interfaces. React has a data binding feature that makes it one of the most popular JavaScript libraries. ReactJS was developed by Facebook and written by software engineer, Jordan Walke. It is maintained by Facebook’s product infrastructure and Instagram’s user interface teams.

Version: 15.4.0
GitHub repository: