1. AWS Cloud9
Initial Release – 2010
Type – Cloud IDE (Proprietary)
Anyone looking to use AWS Cloud9 must have an AWS account. The online IDE comes with an inbuilt terminal that provides support for npm and basic Unix commands. Code completion, real-time language analysis, and simultaneous editing are some of its notable features.
AWS Cloud9 comes with variable/function name refactoring and syntax highlighting for JS. Code reformatting is possible via JSBeautify and CSSLint. Customizable key bindings are also available, which includes presets for Emacs, Sublime Text, and Vim.
The functionality of AWS Cloud9 can be extended by using plugins. Moreover, a variety of themes are available to give the IDE a look of your choice. In addition to offering a debugger, the IDE offers tabbed file management.
Initial Release – November 2014
Type – Source Code Editor (Open-Source)
One of the most interesting features supported by Brackets is Live Preview. It allows seeing how the changes in code work in real-time by automatically opening a new Chrome window. The JSLint feature is responsible for verifying the JS file while it is being saved using Brackets.
Like its contemporaries, Brackets comes with an automatic code-completion feature. However, it is way faster than what competitors offer. In order to debug JS apps built using Brackets, the Theseus extension is there. It works with both Google Chrome as well as NodeJS.
The ability of Brackets can be enhanced by means of installing extensions. Brackets offer a crystal clear interface for searching and adding extensions. Some useful extensions to add to Brackets are Autoprefixer, Code-folding, Markdown Preview, Smart Highlighting, and Snippets.
Initial Release – May 2013
Type – Cloud IDE (Free/Premium)
The editor offered by Codeanywhere is based on the CodeMirror and utilizes OpenVZ containers for development environments, known as DevBoxes. In addition to allowing the user to run code in DevBoxes, the IDE enables connecting with one’s own VMs via FTP or SSH.
Codeanywhere comes with an inbuilt terminal that supports basic Unix commands as well as npm. It has a built-in debugger, offers tabbed file management, and supports deployment to Heroku.
It is possible to connect to Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive with Codeanywhere. The cloud IDE provides support for Bitbucket, Git, and GitHub code repositories.
Initial Release – November 2001
Type – Java-specific IDE (Open-source)
Eclipse was one of the first IDEs to run under GNU Classpath. The integrated development environment offers a remarkable combination of performance, robustness, and stability. Setting up the Oomph Project allows automating and reproducing identical workspaces.
Almost all download packages for Eclipse integrate with Git. One of the amazing feature supported by Eclipse is the automated error reporting. The feature allows the IDE to automatically sent found bugs to eclipse.org.
After processing, these bugs are converted into Bugzilla entries. Hence, it allows troubleshooting via crowdsourcing in place of relying on a few people or a small community.
Initial Release – January 2001
Type – Java-specific IDE (Free edition/Commercial edition)
With a primary focus on maximizing developer productivity, IntelliJ IDEA is one of the most beloved IDEs. In addition to providing support for a number of programming languages other than Java and JS, the ergonomic design supported by the IDE offers ease-of-use.
IntelliJ IDEA is capable to automate repetitive programming tasks to cut development time. The IDE offers advanced code completion, built-in static code analyzer, and integrated version control.
Initial Release – 1997
Type – Dedicated IDE for Java
There is a smaller time gap between installing NetBeans and using the same for building applications. Smart code completion, syntactically and semantically highlighting code, built-in support for Git, Mercurial, and Subversion are some of the major highlights of the IDE.
It is very easy to modify the NetBeans workspace. You can drag and reposition tabs in the application frame or customize the buttons in the toolbar to suit your application development style. You can also set your own keyboard shortcuts.
Initial Release – 2009
Type – PHP-specific IDE (Commercial)
Like the IntelliJ IDEA, the functionality of PhpStorm can be extended by means of plugins. PhpStorm supports zero-configuration debugging in addition to automated refactorings, error prevention, syntax highlighting, and on-the-fly code analysis.
In order to enhance the code quality, PhpStorm comes with hundreds of code inspections. These verify the code as it is written and offer quick-fixes for improving the code quality. Pressing Alt and Enter together will display various options available for each inspection.
PhpStorm comes with inbuilt tools for testing and profiling. It offers a unified UI in order to work with numerous popular Version Control Systems, including Git, Mercurial, and Perforce. Moreover, the IDE offers tools to work with databases and SQL in a project.
Initial Release – January 2011
Type – Web-based online IDE (30-day free trial/Commercial)
Written in Django, a leading Python framework, SourceLair is an online IDE. For every project created, SourceLair offers an isolated development environment. Each of the development environment is built as per the typical requirements and comes with several tools.
One of the most interesting features of SourceLair is that all projects come with a dedicated development server that is publicly accessible. This means that it is possible to share the project with clients and co-workers by simply sharing the project’s Public URL with them.
If you are working on a project that uses a separate database server then you can simply add it to the project in a few clicks. Automatic indentation, code folding, smart autocompletion, and syntax highlighting are some of the desirable features supported by the SourceLair editor.
Other noteworthy highlights of SourceLair includes browsersync, drag and drop support, Git integration, inbuilt pip and npm support, single-click app deployment to Heroku, split view, and Sublime Text key bindings.
9. Sublime Text
Initial Release – January 2008
Type – Source Code Editor
The latest version of Sublime Text is SBT3, which transforms the tool from being a source code editor into a pseudo-IDE. Sublime Text is cross-platform and offers a high degree of customization.
Sublime Text flaunts a clutter-free interface and significant speed boost. Enhanced pane-management, Go to definition, and Go to Symbol are some of the out-of-the-box features. For enabling syntax highlight for ES6 and ReactJS code, the Babel plugin is available.
Some important plugins that anyone using Sublime Text for JS development must use are DocBlockr, JSFormat, SideBar Enhancements, and SublimeLinter.
Initial Release – 1991
Type – Text Editor (Open-source/Charityware)
According to Stack Overflow developer survey 2018, Vim is the 5th most-popular development environment for all respondents and the top-choice for system administrators and DevOps personnel. Vim is a contraction for Vi IMproved.
Vim is designed to be used as a standalone application with a GUI as well as directly from the CLI. Though initially released for Amiga, the free and open-source text editor is now available for a wide variety of platforms.
One of the most desirable aspects of Vim is that it is heavily customizable. It is possible via the available plugins, written in vimscript or VimL. The source code editor also allows for defining personalized key mappings, known as macros.
Vim has a comprehensive integrated help system, limited IDE-like features, mouse interaction support, and ability to edit archived files over FTP, HTTP, and SSH network protocols. It also offers tabbed windows, spell checking, syntax highlights, and persisting undo/redo history.
2. Visual Studio
Initial Release – February 1997
Type – General IDE
Class designer, code profiler, database schema designer, forms designer, and web designer are available as inbuilt tools with Visual Studio. To further extend its capability, a number of plugins are readily available. The latest version, Visual Studio 2019, is expected to land sometime soon.
3. Visual Studio Code
Initial Release – April 2015
Type – Source Code Editor
According to the 2018 survey conducted by the State of JS, Visual Studio Code is the most widely used JS text editor with over 14k users out of the 20k survey participants. Based on the Electron platform, Visual Studio Code is specifically created by Microsoft for web development.
Like Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code comes with the IntelliSense feature. It assists the developers by listing out code suggestions, hints, and parameter descriptions. For debugging JS and NodeJS-based apps, the source code editor comes with a first-rate debugger.
The developer can either start the application in the debug mode or manually add the debugger at runtime. Notable features of the built-in debugger of Visual Studio Code include call stack, setting breakpoints, and watch variables.
Visual Studio Code offers a useful feature called Peek. It allows expanding the definition of any function in an inline popup. Another useful feature boasted by the source code editor is TaskRunner. It allows creating and configuring tasks to use Grunt, Gulp, or MSBuild.
In addition to monitoring all the changes made to a file, Visual Studio Code allows running commands such as commit, publish, pull, push, and rebase thanks to built-in Git support. Exploring the current project or a directory is possible with the inbuilt CLI.
Initial Release – 2010
WebStorm supports code completion, error identification, and refactoring. Thanks to the inbuilt debugger, JS developers are able to evaluate the code without even exiting the IDE. The built-in testing tool generates one of the easiest-to-read error reports.
Probably the most distinguishing feature that sets WebStorm apart from the competitors is the spy-js feature. It traces the code all for preventing actions that can create havoc later.
Initial Release – February 2014
Type – Source Code Editor (Open-source)
The ability of Atom could be extended by means of adding packages, such as Auto-close HTML tags, Minimap, and Linter. Atom had an inbuilt package manager that simplifies searching available packages and installing them on priority. Now that Atom has been sunsetted, it no longer ranks on our list.
There is no single JS source code editor or IDE that is a one-stop solution for everything. Instead, each one of them has their own strengths and weaknesses. Hence, before opting for one, you need to precisely underline all your requirements. Hope the listing above will help you make a favorable decision.
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