The Lat­est Open Source Tools for Web De­vel­op­ers

This ar­ti­cle aims to ac­quaint read­ers with the trendy new open source tools for Web devel­op­ment. These are dif­fer­ent from web­site builders and IDEs as they do not di­rectly as­sist in the cre­ation of web­sites. Rather, they are browser add-ons or built into

OpenSource For You - - Contents - By: Roopen­dra Vish­wakarma The au­thor cur­rently works at Cog­nizant Tech­nol­ogy So­lu­tions as a projects associate. He has writ­ten many ar­ti­cles on var­i­ous tech­nolo­gies, open source soft­ware, etc. He can be reached at roopen­

The Web is grow­ing ex­po­nen­tially nowa­days. We have lots of new tools and tech­nolo­gies for rapid Web devel­op­ment, but since we can't in­clude every­thing in this ar­ti­cle, I have put to­gether a set of the lat­est tools in this do­main.

Hope­fully, you will find a new tool or re­source that will aid you in your Web devel­op­ment work­flow.


An­gu­larJS is a JavaScript-based open source

Web ap­pli­ca­tion frame­work for dy­namic Web app devel­op­ment. It's mainly main­tained by Google, and by a com­mu­nity of in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­ra­tions to ad­dress many of the chal­lenges en­coun­tered in de­vel­op­ing sin­gle-page ap­pli­ca­tions. It was orig­i­nally cre­ated by Google and open sourced un­der the MIT li­cence. De­vel­oped by Brat Tech LLC, Google and the com­mu­nity, its ini­tial re­lease was in 2009.

An­gu­lar 2 was re­leased on Septem­ber 14, 2016. This is not a ver­sion up­grade, but a com­plete re­write of An­gu­lar 1.

An­gu­lar 2 is a devel­op­ment plat­form for build­ing mo­bile and desk­top Web ap­pli­ca­tions. It fo­cuses on data-bind­ing, ex­ten­si­ble HTML and ap­pli­ca­tion test abil­ity, but it is still in the de­sign and pro­to­typ­ing stage.

Its fea­tures and ben­e­fits are:

Speed and per­for­mance

Mo­bile ori­ented

Flex­i­ble devel­op­ment

Sup­ports server-side pre-ren­der­ing Sim­ple and ex­pres­sive Com­pre­hen­sive rout­ing An­i­ma­tions

Hi­er­ar­chi­cal de­pen­dency in­jec­tion Sup­port for Web com­po­nents In­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, lo­cal­i­sa­tion (i18n) and ac­ces­si­bil­ity


Node.js is an open source, cross­plat­form JavaScript run­time en­vi­ron­ment for de­vel­op­ing a di­verse va­ri­ety of tools and ap­pli­ca­tions. It was de­vel­oped by Ryan Dahl in 2009 and its cur­rent sta­ble ver­sion is 7.4.0. It’s built on Google Chrome's JavaScript En­gine (V8 En­gine). Node.js uses an event­driven, non-block­ing I/O model that makes it light­weight and ef­fi­cient. Its pack­age ecosys­tem, npm, is the largest ecosys­tem of open source li­braries in

the world.

Some of the well known users of Node.js are GoDaddy, Groupon, IBM, LinkedIn, Mi­crosoft, Net­flix, PayPal, Rakuten, SAP, Voxer, Wal­mart, Ya­hoo! and Cisco Sys­tems.


SASS (syn­tac­ti­cally awe­some style sheets) is an open source styling lan­guage that helps re­duce a lot of the repet­i­tive work and main­tain­abil­ity chal­lenges of tra­di­tional CSS. It is per­haps the most ma­ture, sta­ble and pow­er­ful pro­fes­sional grade CSS ex­ten­sion lan­guage in the world.

SASS was ini­tially de­signed by Hamp­ton Catlin and de­vel­oped by Natalie Weizen­baum. Af­ter its ini­tial ver­sions, Weizen­baum and Chris Epp­stein con­tin­ued to ex­tend SASS with SassScript, a sim­ple script­ing lan­guage used in SASS files.

SASS is an ex­ten­sion of CSS, adding nested rules, vari­ables, mix­ins, se­lec­tor in­her­i­tance and more. It is trans­lated to well-for­mat­ted, stan­dard CSS us­ing the com­mand line tool or a Web-frame­work plugin.


Boot­strap is a free, open source tool well known for the fast devel­op­ment of re­spon­sive de­sign. It has a set of its own classes and grids, but­tons, forms, nav­i­ga­tion, con­tain­ers, me­dia queries and JavaScript ex­ten­sions. Boot­strap is the most­starred project on GitHub, with over 91K stars and more than 38K forks.


GitLab is an open source tool used by de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate and man­age code bases col­lab­o­ra­tively. Built on Git, which is a very pop­u­lar and ef­fi­cient dis­trib­uted ver­sion con­trol sys­tem, GitLab gives you all the tools needed for

Git repos­i­tory man­age­ment — from code re­views to is­sue track­ing and more. It is de­vel­oped by GitLab Inc. The soft­ware was writ­ten by Dmitriy Za­porozhets and Valery Si­zov from Ukraine. Well known users of GitLab are IBM, Sony, Jülich Re­search Cen­ter, NASA, Alibaba, In­vincea, O’Reilly Me­dia, Leib­nizRechen­zen­trum (LRZ) and CERN.

Its key fea­tures are:

Ac­cess to the source code

Fully mod­i­fi­able

Long-term vi­a­bil­ity

New sta­ble ver­sion re­leased ev­ery month

Built with com­mu­nity sup­port


Elas­tic­search is one of the most pop­u­lar, fastest­grow­ing open source search tech­nolo­gies and de­liv­ers pow­er­ful search. Elas­tic­search is a search en­gine based on Lucene. It pro­vides a dis­trib­uted, mul­ti­tenant-ca­pa­ble full-text search en­gine with an HTTP Web in­ter­face and schema-free JSON doc­u­ments. It is de­vel­oped in Java and is re­leased as open source un­der the Apache Li­cence. Elas­tic­search is the most pop­u­lar en­ter­prise search en­gine fol­lowed by Apache Solr (as per the DB-En­gines Rank­ing of Search En­gines).

Elas­tic­search uses stan­dard REST­ful APIs and JSON. It also has built-in clients in many lan­guages such as Java, Python, .NET and Groovy, and a few more con­trib­uted by the com­mu­nity.

Elas­tic­search was orig­i­nally de­vel­oped by Shay Banon. The first ver­sion of it was re­leased in Fe­bru­ary 2010. In March 2015, the com­pany changed its name to Elas­tic.

Some well-known users of Elas­tic­search are Wiki­me­dia, Adobe Sys­tems, Face­book, Stum­bleUpon, Mozilla, Quora, Foursquare, SoundCloud, GitHub, Stack Ex­change, Net­flix and many more.


XAMPP is an open source, cross-plat­form tool which is one of the most favoured by Web de­vel­op­ers. The full form of XAMPP is X-Cross plat­form, Apache, Mari­aDB, PHP and PERL. Ear­lier, it used MySQL in­stead of Mari­aDB. XAMPP is a com­plete pack­age of these li­braries, so de­vel­op­ers don't need to worry about in­stalling and con­fig­ur­ing PHP, Mari­aDB and Apache. It’s the sim­plest way to set up a lo­cal Web server.


Notepad++ is an open source text and source code ed­i­tor for Mi­crosoft Win­dows. It was de­vel­oped by Don Ho in Septem­ber 2003. Notepad++ pro­vides tabbed edit­ing, syn­tax high­light­ing and code fold­ing for more than 50 pro­gram­ming, script­ing and markup lan­guages. It is dis­trib­uted as free soft­ware. Ini­tially, Notepad++ was hosted on Source­Forge. net, from where it has been down­loaded over 28 mil­lion times. It has twice won the Source­Forge Com­mu­nity Choice Award for Best De­vel­oper Tool. Since 2015, Notepad++ has been hosted on GitHub. It has wide com­mu­nity sup­port and plug­ins. Notepad++ also sup­ports Macro record­ing and play­back, Book­mark and PCRE (Perl Com­pat­i­ble Reg­u­lar Ex­pres­sions) Search/Re­place.


Grunt is a JavaScript task run­ner. It is built on Node.js and is avail­able as a pack­age via the Node pack­age man­ager (npm).

When you are work­ing on a JavaScript project, there are some tasks that you’ll do reg­u­larly, like mini­fy­ing your scripts, com­pi­la­tion, unit test­ing, run­ning JSHint on your code, etc.

You can de­fine this set of tasks in Grunt­file and run a sin­gle com­mand from a com­mand line in­ter­face to do

these tasks. The Grunt ecosys­tem is huge and it's grow­ing ev­ery day. Presently, there are more than five thou­sand plug­ins avail­able in the Grunt ecosys­tem to choose from. You can use Grunt to au­to­mate just about any­thing with min­i­mum ef­fort.


Re­ac­tJS is an open source JavaScript li­brary for build­ing user in­ter­faces. It is de­vel­oped by Face­book, In­sta­gram and a com­mu­nity of in­di­vid­ual de­vel­op­ers and cor­po­ra­tions. It's used for han­dling the view layer for Web and mo­bile apps. Re­ac­tJS al­lows us to cre­ate re­us­able UI com­po­nents.

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