If you are a web developer, you have most likely thought to yourself occasionally, “I really wish I didn’t have to hit refresh a million times a day to see my changes take effect…”. Well, finally there is an answer: LiveReload comes to the rescue with a tool which automatically refreshes the browser whenever some of the files used by it are changed.
The 2.0 version is a nice Mac App, which I am using at home, but I also tried out version 1.x which is distributed as a RubyGem, and it worked fine on Ubuntu… and it apparently works fine on Windows too (after you have installed Ruby… see instructions on the GitHub readme).
The other thing you need to do is tell LiveReload which folders to watch for changes. On the Mac App, you can use the Finder to select the folders, while with the RubyGem you need to give the folders as command line arguments.. or just type ‘livereload’ in the folder you want to watch, if there is only one.
Another benefit of LiveReload is that you can hitch multiple browsers up at once, to verify that your code behaves consistently across browsers. Great for cross-browser testing while you work.
Furthermore, when you are writing specs or unit tests for your code, you can have the tests running in another browser, and watch as they pass or fail, all without leaving your editor.
I think LiveReload is going to make my experience as a web developer much less annoying and more Zen-like :)
ps. I am not being paid by LiveReload to say any of this.. If you know of any other solutions to this perennial problem, I would certainly be interested to hear of them!