Best 4 IDEs for Javascript to use in 2022: pros and cons

What is an IDE?

An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software that allows you to code with many extra features instead of just typing lines of code. With IDEs, you can edit, modify, debug, execute and test your code.

Differences between IDEs and code editors

Using an IDE is preferred over code editors because of the IDE’s ability to debug the code. Furthermore, IDEs have support for ALM systems (Application Lifecycle Management).

  • A code editor (that shows you syntax errors while typing)
  • Debugger (to find errors in the code)
  • Compiler and interpreter
  • Automatic compilation (creating script to automate many tasks, like documentation for example)
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Quick access to class or function definition
  • Shortcuts to execute commands
  • Easy-to-use user interface
  • Many code libraries
  • Automatic code completion
  • Support to different programming languages
  • Cloud development
  • Mobile development

How to choose a Javascript IDE

To make a good choice, you need to be clear about what is important to you and to the project you will be working on.

Visual Studio Code

  • Company: Microsoft
  • Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Open source: Yes
  • Languages: more than 30 languages, like Java, JavaScript, C#, C++, PHP, SQL, R, Python, TypeScript, JSON, XML etc.
  • ASP.NET 5 and Node.js, plus great WSL integration
  • Good debugger
  • Support for a terminal inside the window
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Works directly with Github
  • Good auto-completion (IntelliSense)
  • Comes practically zeroed when downloaded, which makes it lightweight!
  • Minimalist, may not be suitable for very large projects
  • To support a language not supported natively, you have to look for extensions in the store and configure them manually
  • Debugging tools could be better
  • Interface can scare beginners.

Eclipse

  • Company: IBM/Eclipse Foundation
  • Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris
  • Open source: Yes
  • Languages: initially it was built for Java only, but today it works well with JavaScript, C, C++, PHP, Python, Kotlin, and more.
  • Great project management (Application Lifecycle Management)
  • Almost all packages support Git integration
  • Editable syntax highlighting
  • High-level debugging
  • Good auto-completion
  • Programming in several languages like Java, JavaScript, PHP, C, C++, C#, Ruby, Phyton, Haskel, Cobol, and many others
  • Flexible environment because it is modular
  • Ability to integrate JUnit
  • Remote debugging (when using JVM)
  • Some beginners may be scared by the amount of possibilities
  • Some plugins will not always work very well, so choose the most well established ones in the community
  • Many of the changes need a reboot to work

Atom

  • Company: Github
  • Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Open source: Yes
  • Languages: JavaScript
  • Highly integrated with Github
  • Great for large, complex projects
  • Automatic error search
  • Easy to install new plugins
  • Permanent display of all project files
  • Fast code window splitting
  • Has more than 2000 packages and 600 themes for customization (the search can be done inside the IDE)
  • Good auto-completion
  • Accepts collaborative work on a project’s files
  • It takes some time getting your plugins and configuration sorted
  • It’s a browser-based app (runs on Electron), and is a bit slow to load and sometimes to respond

NetBeans

  • Company: Oracle
  • Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, BSD, Solaris
  • Open source: Yes
  • Languages: initially built for Java only, but today it works well with JavaScript, PHP, Python, HTML5, CSS3 and more.
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Optimal refactoring
  • Automatic error search
  • Intuitive interface (drag and drop function)
  • Dynamic and static libraries
  • Remote development capability
  • Supports multiple compilers, including CLang / LLVM, Cygwin, GNU, MinGW and Oracle Solaris Studio
  • Integrated issue tracking with Jira and Bugzilla
  • Ability to search for tasks, save searches, update and resolve tasks in its log repository
  • Needs a lot of memory, so can get slow on some machines or large projects
  • Annoying pop-ups

Conclusion

That’s it for today. Now we know some of the most popular IDEs for Javascript! I hope this article helped you start your journey with programming.

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Justin Graysen

Justin Graysen

👨‍💻 Web Developer 🖋 Tech Content Writer 📚Follow me for Javascript and web dev content daily