This list contains some of the most exceptional IDEs such as Webstorm, Komodo IDE, and CodeAnywhere that provide complete source code control, intelligent debugging and unit testing.
Although most of them are free, some of these IDEs might require monthly or yearly payments. But rest assured, they are all worth it.
But first, let us understand what precisely an IDE is and how it is different from text editors.
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Today, developers use JS for desktop applications, web applications, and hybrid and native mobile app development.
What is an IDE?
An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a coding environment that helps with web and app development.
IDEs simplify the work of a coder, providing an efficient coding, debugging and testing environment. Some IDEs such as Eclipse and NetBeans also include an interpreter and compiler.
Every language needs a text or code editor for writing the code. Writing codes directly in Notepad or Word docs would be a huge hassle.
With code editors, you have access to code completion, code highlighting, auto-formatting like Bold or Italics for keywords or different colours for variables, files and functions.
IDEs take it one step further, providing intelligent coding assistance. You have access to features such as code debugging (finding errors), refactoring (providing code structure), and testing. IDEs offer a live preview, file management, version control, code navigation, and many more.
IDEs are very useful for large work environments as they provide a way for a whole team to work simultaneously on a project or a code snippet. With an easy-to-navigate UI that is customizable in many IDEs, the software is perfect for developing massive websites and applications.
Some favorite IDEs include Sublime Text, WebStorm, Atom, Microsoft Visual Studio, Eclipse, and PHPStorm.
How is IDE Different From Code Editors?
Most people get confused between IDE and Code editors, using them interchangeably. In fact, they are both different software tools developed for various purposes.
An IDE is a complete software development environment and can include multiple tools and functions to achieve efficient and optimized codes.
A code editor, on the other hand, is an enhanced text editor whose primary purpose is to provide programmers with a tool that can help them in writing code in a quick and simple manner.
Let us look at some more differentiating features of IDE and Code editors.
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WebStorm is backed by a powerful team that keeps the IDE updated with all the latest technologies. All the new trends in web development, such as ‘JSX’ in 2015, are first implemented by WebStorm.
Moreover, it comes integrated with Github and offers support for a vast array of web frameworks such as React, Angular, Vue, Cordova, Ionic, and Node.
It can be used with over 20 other programming languages. It also has a customizable UI that makes it easier for developers to create the most suitable coding environment.
It is not available for free. But edit-as-you-write, easy navigation, innovative templates, version control integration of Git and GitHub, code competition, and unit testing are just some of the fantastic features that make purchasing WebStorm worth it.
It can be slow at times, but you can remove some of the unnecessary components. The whole IDE is customizable, which can sometimes prove to be challenging for beginners.
IntelliJ IDEA also incorporates key features such as advanced code completion, on-the-go code analyzing, refactoring, and an easy-to-use interface.
Another unique feature is its intelligent suggestions of tools and elements to use based on context. It also has an extensible plugin system, thus you can add JS extensions for more utilities.
It also has integrated version control, live previews, debugging and testing features, and multilingual support, making it an ideal choice. Komodo IDE is, unfortunately, a fully paid software with a 21-day free trial. But a free, open-source version called Komodo Edit is available for beginners.
Komodo also offers multiple coding practices such as code folding, indentations, code blocks, and version control.
Sublime Text is a cross-platform code editor software that supports various programming and markup languages. But the latest version of Sublime Text offers multiple new features that can be found in an IDE.
Sublime Text provides a disturbance-free interface that lets developers focus completely on coding. A wide selection of features and menu options can be found in a pragmatically designed drop-down menu.
It provides tools for syntax highlighting, easy navigation to symbols and variables, and multi-editing. In addition, you can create personalized shortcuts and a command palette for frequently used commands.
It also supports external APIs, and thus you can extend its functionalities by adding third-party solutions.
With quick navigation, good code editing practices, handy extensions, and debugging support, Sublime Text is a great JS IDE that provides all the features of a text editor and more.
Visual Studio Code
Suitable for Windows, Mac, and Linux, it provides an extendable ecosystem for C, C++, Python and PHP, among other popular web development languages.
Like other great IDEs on this list, Visual Studio provides syntax highlighting, code auto-complete, refactoring, and GitHub integration.
But the best quality of the Visual Studio Code editor is its ease and efficiency of debugging. It allows you to debug code by launching your app and adding breakpoints.
Developers can edit bugs through code history, diagnose performance issues and a state-of-the-art testing interface.
You can develop desktop apps and games for Windows, develop hybrid apps for Android and iOS and cross-platform web apps using Visual Studio Code Editor with a large variety of tools, extensions and templates offered by Microsoft and an equally active community.
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It also supports many other languages such as XML, Java, Python, JSON and Markdown. It provides inline CSS editing, colour previewer and selector, and live previews of your website, easing the coding process.
Another advantage is that this software allows working on the code without opening multiple windows. It also has a built-in JSLint that checks your code on save.
With support for preprocessors and extensions, you are able to extend its functionalities easily.
It is the best IDE for frontend and backend development because of its code monitoring and exceptional editing features.The main features of NetBeans include code editing, debugging, syntax highlighting, and customizable shortcuts and a multilingual interface.
It is great for project management, providing storage monitoring, and built-in support for Version Control Systems like Git and Mercurial.
CodeAnywhere is a cloud-based cross-platform development environment. It provides a web editor for over 70 programming languages. With cloud IDE, you will be able to deploy your code in a matter of seconds and collaborate with your team.
Apart from the regular IDE features such as intelligent coding, debugging and testing, CodeAnywhere lets you convert your servers into a development environment.
You can connect your servers using standard web protocols like SSH/SFTP, FTP and FTPS, and directly edit on your server.
It has a built-in terminal, with npm packages and basic Unix commands that ease the development process. It also has an inbuilt image editor where you can edit, crop and manipulate images.
Cloud9 IDE inoculates syntax highlighting, multiple cursors, auto code completion, theme selection, search/replace in files, and keyboard shortcuts. But to get access to the IDE, developers need to create an AWS account.
AWS Cloud9 also comes equipped with variable and function name refactoring for JS source code. The code editor is extensible with third-party plugins such as JSBeautify and CSSLint.
The IDE provides support for deployment to a variety of platforms, such as Google App Engine, Heroku, Joyent, and Microsoft Azure.
But even more exciting is the development server that lets you view and test our website in real-time. All SourceLair projects have a dedicated development server that makes it extremely efficient for sharing across your development team.
The integrated development environment of Eclipse provides a very stable work environment.It provides syntax validating, ready-to-use templates, code refactoring, and code editing.
Eclipse has released a new Docker UI, which will enable you to build Docker images, elements and containers using the Docker CLI. Plus, all Eclipse packages have automatic integration with Git.
It has support from a large community of expert developers, and more and more developers are turning to it for JS development projects.
Which IDE is Right For You?
For a lightweight solution, we would suggest using Brackets or Komodo Edit.
If you are looking for a cloud IDE that works on a web browser, CodeAnywhere is the ideal choice for you. You can collaborate with your teammates easily using CodeAnywhere, as it allows simultaneous editing for multiple users on the same code.
SourceLair is a good source code editor for JS apps when you require developing dynamic JS applications with real-time testing.
NetBeans is an ideal choice for developing desktop and mobile applications and the IntelliJ IDEA text editor is one of the best choices for web development.
Finally, Sublime Text is becoming an increasingly preferred IDE for its exceptional features for code, markup and prose.
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Interactive and Responsive
It is perfect for web designers who want to create a seamless user experience. It would be best to use JS for designing user-oriented responsive and progressive web apps with interactive web pages and creative user interface designs that appeal to a large audience.
Frameworks and Libraries
This is the reason most web developers are moving to web tools that simplify JS development process.
- Angular, Vue, EmberJS are some of the best frontend development frameworks for dynamic web applications.
- Node JS is a backend runtime environment for JS that lets you develop server-side web applications.
It is used for developing cross-platform apps, native mobile apps for Android and iOS, content management systems such as WordPress, new technologies like the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), to name a few.
Native to Web Browsers
Smooth Learning Curve
It is also an added advantage to programmers who are used to other object-oriented programming languages such as C++ or Python.
Mobile apps, web servers, web games, progressive web apps, static websites, dynamic single-page applications, eCommerce platforms are all possible due to JS.
Two or more functions can be executed parallelly as it does not require a previous code line to be completed. This saves a lot of processing time and resources, improving performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best IDE to use for HTML?
Almost all of the IDE mentioned above will work great with HTML codes. But if you need an editor specifically for HTML, something lightweight and free like Brackets or Komodo Edit would work great. You can also use an open-source code editor like Notepad++ or Adobe DreamWeaver.
What is an IDE?
An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software environment used to write programs. It comes equipped with tools like an editor, debugger and compiler. Some popular examples of different IDEs include Eclipse, Visual Studios, and NetBeans. IDEs increase the productivity of developers by compiling every aspect of software development into a single platform.
IDE is a one-stop solution for increasing efficiency in the code writing process, providing an extremely supportive environment.
With features such as predictive code completion, Git integration, debug mode, testing feature, easy code navigation and editing, IDE will cut back your development time significantly.