Productivity Enhancement Tools - MailCatcher, Vogue, SpriteCow and RailsWizard


July 31, 2011


A super simple SMTP server which catches any messages sent to it to display in a web interface. Configure the app to deliver to smtp://, then check out to see all the mails being sent out of your application.

This really makes it easy to check emails generated by the application in development environment. Additionally configuring this tool in your development environment makes sure that emails are not being sent to actual users unintentionally - very useful when you are trying to reproduce some issue with production environment data.

Rating: Extremely useful


Vogue creates a real-time link between your web browser and your file system. When you save a CSS file, used by the HTML page in your browser, Vogue will make the browser reload the stylesheet. Only the stylesheet is reloaded, not the entire page, making it work even for very dynamic/ajax pages.

A very useful tool, and it does save a lot of time when you are trying to check CSS changes across different browsers.

To make it work, you just have to install node.js and its package management tool - npm.

Node installation instructions npm installation instructions

Vogue installation [Note: This a forked repo]

As of this writing there is a compatibility issue with Vogue and the package it uses, so instead of installing from the official repo use this repo instead [].

Rating: Extremely useful


Helps you get the background-position, width and height of sprits within a sprite sheet. This tools works really well with sprite-sheets which has a transparent background [which is usually the case].

Rating: Useful


Rails Wizard is a tool from Intridea which makes it easy to create application templates just by specifying the gems that you want to use. It is available as a webapp as well as as stand alone tool.

Because of an incompatibility with the latest mysql2 gem and rails (3.0.x) this did not work me as expected.

Rating: Moderately useful