Two Exhaustive Free Tools for Web Developers

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 13, 2008

If you're a developer, or would-be developer, working on any type of web-based project, there are a couple of free resources that I recommend for following web application standards, and mastering cutting-edge web development languages. Open source developers and proprietary developers alike can benefit from Opera Web Standards Curriculum and W3 Schools. Both sites are extremely rich in resources for building best-of-breed online applications. Here's what's under the hood.

Opera Web Standards Curriculum was produced by the folks behind the Opera browser in association with the Yahoo! Developer Network. It's designed as a complete course to teach standards-based web development, including HTML, CSS, web design, and JavaScript. It's a work in progress consisting of 23 current articles, with 30 more to come by late September.

The articles are very in-depth, and cover esoteric topics such as beautifying typography and color theory, in addition to more basic articles about web applications should interact users. Check out this detailed lesson on working with images.

W3Schools has a very exhaustive set of free, hands-on tutorials on both mainstream and esoteric web development topics. You can brush up on CSS, publishing your experiments to actual pages, or walk through examples of how to use everything from AJAX to PHP. Take a gander down the left rail of the home page for how complete the lesson coverage is.

Check out this example of an AJAX task being scripted on the left, where you can make edits and see your published results on the right. This beats books any day.

For more useful tools to use during your web development sojourns, see our popular post More Than Five Top, Free Tools for Web Developers and the useful comments from readers there. Finally, copied below is just a short snippet from one of W3Schools' many reference guides to tags, scripting conventions, and more (this one pertains to HTML and XHTML: