May 2, 2001

Web browsers become enhanced productivity tools

Author: JT Smith

Craig Richards writes: "Los Angeles, CA - Web designers and developers must be masters of a variety of desktop applications in the course of daily website design, production and administration. With each upgrade, however, each of those applications often consume increasingly greater quantities of RAM and many folks must often "quit" one essential tool to "launch" another midway in the edit/upload/test cycle.

For example, let's say you've just created a masterpiece Flash presentation, fine-tuned your parent HTML document, modified a Perl script and are ready to upload to your remote web server. But you can't launch your usual FTP software because you're too low on RAM. Between your web browser, Flash and your text editor, there's not enough RAM remaining and you must now exit one program to launch your FTP client of choice, upload and view it in your web browser.

What if your favorite web browser could be enhanced to perform upload, open, edit, save, download and other routine file-management functions? Streamlined production with greater time and labor efficiencies could surely result.

Craig Richards Design has created server-side applications that, once uploaded to your domain, will permit developers to point and click to perform daily content management tasks. Built-in CGI debugging also makes it simple to diagnose those pesky "server 500" errors that, as scripts are modified, invariably creep in!

Craig Richards has released version 2.0 of a couple of web development productivity tools, AdminFTP and AdminPro. New features, functions and greater stability on a wider variety of web server configurations are among the noteworthy enhancements.

AdminFTP 2.0 and AdminPro 2.0 features:

Version 2.0 of these server applications boast the full suite of expected FTP functions such as file open, edit, save, upload, download, delete, chmod (Unix & Linux) and directory creation and deletion. The interface also reports each file's name, file size, modification date/time and permissions. Point-and-click CGI debugging are also among the functions available - all from within a standard web browser.

Most web developers are familiar with this common edit/upload/test cycle:
1. Launch a desktop text editor and write or edit a CGI script .
2. Launch a desktop FTP application, login, upload the file to the server.
3. Launch a web browser and attempt to run the script.
4. If you encounter an error, you point your browser to the server's error logs, scroll down to the most recent entries and find the entry relevant to the errant script. You then read a cryptic line that hopefully describes a reason or general location of the syntax error.
5. Or you might launch Telnet, login, run a command-line CGI debugger and diagnose the error.
6. Now armed with enough clues, you then switch to the text editor, fix (you hope) the error, switch to your FTP software, upload to the server again, switch to your browser and attempt to see the successful end of your efforts.

With AdminFTP or AdminPro, you can perform all those tasks within your standard web browser - a real help for those with limited RAM - and limited time!

AdminFTP vs. AdminPro: What's the difference?
Both AdminFTP and AdminPro are nearly identical tools that run in a standard web browser to let web designers, developers and administrators test their CGI scripts for errors and perform file management functions from your local desktop on a remote server. But there are some important differences:

AdminFTP permits navigation through the user's own domain. AdminFTP runs on Unix, Linux and Windows NT/2K and is the one many virtual hosting firms use and recommend to their clients because it represents a much lower risk of malicious use because it confines the user to their own domain structure on the server.

AdminPro permits navigation throughout the server.
AdminPro will run on the Mac OS X Server as well as Unix, Linux and Windows NT/2K and is designed to function in server environments that employ directory/file aliasing or symbolic links and CGIWrap - technologies that can otherwise make browser-based file management and CGI testing impossible.

These tools both have clean, well-organized and compact interfaces and may be invoked from any remote platform, any operating system and any current browser - they have already become essential tools for more than 40,000 website developers and designers, CGI programmers and site administrators worldwide.

Created by designer/developer Craig Richards, the AdminFTP Perl script runs on Unix, Linux, Windows NT/2K while AdminPro also runs on Mac OS X servers. Download and use either free for up to 10 days by going to http://www.CraigRichards.com/software/.

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