Two Useful Server-Side Development Tools

When starting server development, it is best to talk locally with the server without bothering with network ports, permissions, and all this stuff. You are probably familiar with curl, but who wants to sweat at every quote and curly bracket at the command line. Moreover, for a web application, you will get a messy spillover of HTML.

You will find the following two tools a breeze:

  • http-console
  • Lynx

These tools work with any server-side, be it PHP, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, or whatever.

http-console

An interactive tool to send HTTP requests, including POST parameters in the body. Good for API and web services. Works easily with JSON.

You will need to have Node.js installed to install it.

Install with:

 sudo /usr/local/bin/npm install http-console -g

Use as:

 http-console URL:port

For example, to connect to a local server on port 1337, with JSON input/output,

 http-console http://localhost:1337  --json

Now type your commands, line by line, as in this screenshot showing two POST calls:

Lynx

A server-side terminal browser.

Install with:

 sudo yum install lynx

Use as:

 lynx URL

To browse to index.html of a Sails.js project (just at the beginning of development), do:

 lynx http://localhost:1337/index.html

You might see a page like this: