Jono Bacon, Community Manager at Ubuntu, has assembled a nice article about what one needs to write the quick and scratch your own itch applications Linux and FLOSS are known for without a lot of hassle. The concept hearkens back to the good old days of Unix when apps were focused on doing one task and doing it well. His article is a great getting started guide to help you easily find the parts you will need. Check it out.
I support web development for a living and here are my thoughts about what you need to do it right. After almost 15 years of supporting pesky developers I have learned a few things. In this article I try to help you understand what you should plan to have and do. Check out and participate in our discussion about the proper setup of web development environments. Let us know how whether or not you agree with our thoughts in this post. The story is right here.