When I develop web-apps I sometimes have to hard-code full URLs into my generated markup. Even though one can generally get by using relative URLs a la
things can get more complicated when I have to point to another server or protocol like
<a href="https://www.example.com/path/to/something">Something Secure</a>
This makes it harder to run development versions of my webapp on Windows because I am constantly modifying my hosts file to override DNS.
My question is simply, are there any better tools to modifying the hosts file to override what I might get through DNS. I was thinking a simple DNS server designed for local web app development. I've searched around and have not been able to find anything good.
Even though it doesn't matter, just FYI I develop with Ruby (though not necessarily Rails) and deploy the production versions on CentOS. My development machine must remain Windows.