Linux Users: Bluefish – the Web Design IDE with FTP Project Management

After a fair amount of frustration, and many forum inquiries unsatisfied, i finally stumbled upon a realization which has greatly boosted my web design / web development productivity while working in Fedora Core 5. As a fairly recent Windows XPatriot, i had yet to find my favorite setup for web development– but now that I have, I want to share this information with any other Linux users who might also be searching for the same oasis (this applies to those using a GUI OS shell such as Gnome or KDE).

If you are Web Developer searching for a Web Design IDE for Linux which will not only give you what you want in terms of programming function, code libs, and desired design shortcuts such as “Insert Image” and other common toolbar tasks in a what you need, where you need it fashion, but which also has the built-in operability for managing the project on a remote server via FTP, then you need to look no further than Bluefish.

When i first “switched over” it took me a while to discover Bluefish. As you may or may not know, Windows users aren’t exactly exposed to, nor do they tend to keep up on what Linux users are using. Therefore, simply realizing that Bluefish comes standard with Fedora Core 5 (so i’m guessing that means also w/ at least Debian and Ubuntu) was exciting enough to me because it is one of the nicest, more intuitive web design / dev IDE’s i’ve used. What i didn’t realize was that, even though there is no FTP Menu, per se, nor is there any real descriptive dialogue which might tend to lead the user to enter FTP information, the FTP function is indeed present.

To access the FTP function in Bluefish, it’s as easy as creating a Bluefish Project file. If you don’t already have a project file created, then make one. Once you’ve done that, go to Project > Edit Project Options and set the “Base Dir” and instead of using a local folder, enter ftp://ftp.your.location/public_htmFilesDir/file.ext . then, in the preview URL, enter the corresponding URL and be sure to include the trailing slash (ie. http://mywebsiteurl.com/ . (i leave template blank to make it easy just skip that step.. you can always set it up later)
Project Dialogue
Fig. 1: the BlueFish Project Dialogue with FTP and web Preview information entered

and there you have it. no need to juggle back and forth between the FTP location in your file manager, monitoring what’s on the server, and what you have in your local directory. Bluefish does it all for you.

NOTE: i wouldn’t recommend this method until you’re confident that your files are ready for publishing; until you have a working remote site such that simple modification of files here and there, or uploading new directories, etc. are not going to cause critical site failure.

I hope this helps somone out there! Good luck, and rock on!


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