JavaScript Development Environment

JavaScript is pretty easy to develop with, usually only a browser and a text editor is the only thing needed. But seriously, that’s a bit slow going. It helps a lot of have certain tools, editors, debuggers, or other pieces to make the development move along smoothly. So far, over the last few months of doing a little JavaScript here and there I’ve accrued the following tools to help with my JavaScript Development. First a few descriptions of what I’ve been using and and why, then toward the end I’ll provide a full list of tools.

Web Browsers: Primarily there is Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, and Chrome. I’d almost say it doesn’t matter which one you use to view the web in. With Internet Explorer 9 they’re all pretty fast with JavaScript and all render the latest HTML fairly well. Albeit none are 100% complete some are much more complete than others. But since this is about JavaScript I’m focusing on that aspect.

Debugging: Of the web browsers the top two for the last few years have been Firefox with Chrome coming in second. One of the main reasons is because of Firebug in both browsers. It originally came out for Firefox if I recall correctly and then became available for some others. Even though Firebug is mainly a player on Firefox each of the browsers have pretty extensive debugging capabilities now for Javascript. I’ve not tested Opera too much for debugging, but each of the others I know have the ability to set break points, actually pinpoint where real errors in code are, and more.

IDEs: WebStorm by Jetbrains is awesome for JavaScript. Matter of fact many of their IDEs are great for JavaScript. Visual Studio is also pretty decent once you add the various plug ins/add ons for JavaScript to gain more Intellisense support and other features.  Overall these are the primary IDEs that I’ve been using for development of JavaScript and they’ve all served me pretty well. Do I long for more capabilities and options in the IDEs? Sure, but overall the IDEs today are much improved over just the last couple of years.

Integrated Development Environments, Browsers, and Addons

  • Visual Studio 2010 w/ ReSharper 6
  • WebStorm by Jetbrains
  • Rubymine by Jetbrains
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Firebug
Over the next few days I’ll be attending OSCON, picking up a lot more tools, tricks, and other JavaScript goodies, so will post a follow up to this blog entry. Please feel free to add any suggestions or comments and I’ll add those to the “unabridged” list that I put together!

5 thoughts on “JavaScript Development Environment

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  2. WebStorm, YES! My favorite IDE for HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Finally, someone else who likes it…I’ve mentioned it many times to people, and they always say, “what? never heard of it.” It’s such a joy to use, I do all my front-end design work in WebStorm and then port it over to Visual Studio.

    I’m also curious as to what is going to happen with the lead developer of Firebug accepting a job with Google. Chrome support will surely improve, but will the Firefox version lose steam? I hope not.

    1. Ouch, yeah I hope Firebug doesn’t go downhill either. I’m not even sure if it is open source. If it is I’m not too concerned, bit if some governing body runs it that might be a problem.

      I’ve been finding more and more people using WebStorm for their front end web dev stuff. Jetbrains is just top notch when it comes to IDEs. I love that company’s products.

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