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What is an IDE?
Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a development environment which is used to edit code, debug, automate and app development. It is more suitable for small and big businesses to save time and money because most of the features including testing and debugging are already added. Different IDEs are used to simplify the developers’ task and allow many programmers to work on a single project simultaneously. Every good IDE has the following functionalities:
I have decided to discuss 20 IDEs with their advantages and disadvantages, so you can select the right tool whenever you need to develop any application. After reading this article, you will be able to choose the best JS IDE according to your ideal style of coding.
1. Visual Studio
Type: General IDE
Initial Release: February 1997
Official Website: https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/
Microsoft Visual Studio is a general IDE having advanced functionality with a range of development tasks and intuitive interface. Visual studio is primarily used for developing different computer programs for windows and come up with screen splitting and different automation tools for the ease of use.
- Impressive Functionality
- Easy to use with convenient automation tools
- Customization and Quick debugging
- Accurate coding with team collaboration
- Needs a lot of machine resources to run
2. Visual Studio Code
Type: Source Code Editor
Initial Release: April 2015
Official Website: https://code.visualstudio.com/
According to a report published by State of JS, Visual Studio Code is a popular and widely used JS Code Editor. Why it is the first choice of developers? VS code don’t consume more power of machine resources and you can easily customize to the setup development environment of more than 30 programming languages including PHP, C# and Ruby. It is based on Electron platform and created by Microsoft, but you can also use on your Linux or macOS.
- Open-Source cross-platform
- Fast, Lightweight and powerful
- Built-in debugging, Easy Customization and extendable with plugins
- Lack of advanced IDE features
Initial Release: May 2010
Official Website: https://www.jetbrains.com/webstorm/
It is an IDE created by JetBrains that supports Windows, Linux and macOS. It is packed with refactoring, Intelligent code completion, in-built debugger, and hundreds of other exceptional features with a modern user interface. Webstorm allows developers to keep track of their code changes for review at any time. Spy-js is an excellent feature that distinguishes Webstorm from other competitors, which is used to give suggestions for preventing actions.
It is a paid tool with the $59 per year for individual users and $129 per year for companies. However, you can get 59% discount for non-profit and educational purposes. Webstorm also has a good User Interface, customization feature and themes to give a comfortable look and feel.
- Code refactoring, autocomplete and good navigation feature
- Built-in tools and support for many plug-ins
- Easiest error reports with great customization
- Paid & uses high memory
Type: Open-Source Code Editor
Initial Release: February 2014
Official Website: https://atom.io/
Atom is built with the help of Electron Framework and support real-time debugging, multiline selection, highlighting and auto-close HTML tags. There are also pre-installed four UI and eight syntax themes.
- Flexible in use with multiple panes
- Built-in Package Manager
- GitHub integration and Smart Auto-completion
- Low performance
- Limited functionality and lack of user support
Type: Open Source Code Editor
Initial Release: November 2014
Official Website: http://brackets.io/
Every web developer can enhance the functionality by installing different extensions including Smart Highlighting, Autoprefixer and Snippets. Live Preview is a wonderful feature supported by Brackets that allows to observe the code output by automatically opening browser. Brackets has focused on making visual tools and deliver an exceptional feature to change CSS that applies to a specific ID without opening the CSS files.
- Lightweight and fast
- Made for web development
- Real-time preview
- Lack of advanced IDE functionalities
- Gets slower after the plugins installation
6. Komodo IDE
Type: IDE for Dynamic Languages
Initial Release: May 2000
Official Website: https://www.activestate.com/products/komodo-ide/
- Workflow Management and Extensibility
- Enterprise-Grade Support with customizable User Interface
- Support Dynamic Programming Languages with multi-user editing
- Limited functionality in free version
7. Komodo Edit
Type: Text Editor
Initial Release: November 2007
Official Website: https://www.activestate.com/products/komodo-edit/
Komodo Edit is a free and open source version of Paid Komodo IDE. It lakes many features of its paid version, like Unit Testing, In-Line tools, Custom workspaces, shell scope, code refactoring, Database Explorer, Live preview, dependency detector, version control system integration, Real-time code collaboration and many others.
- Ease of use and Simplicity
- Minimap and track changes
- Autocomplete and calltips, multi-selection and Kopy.io Integration
- Limited functionality
8. Sublime Text
Type: Code Editor
Initial Release: January 2008
Official Website: https://www.sublimetext.com/
Sublime is an ergonomically convenient multilingual open-source text editor created by Jon Skinner and Will Bond. It has significant speed boost, advanced pane-management, clutter-free interface, Go to symbol and Go to definition features.
- Multi-cursor and multi-select functionality
- Lightweight and highly customizable
- Efficient development environment with unique features
- Absences of advanced functionality
Initial Release: November 2001
Official Website: https://www.eclipse.org/ide/
- Support for Multiple languages
- A wide range of plugins are available
- Fast compiler
- Complex for beginners
- Absences of advanced functionality
10. Light Table
Initial Release: April 2012
Official Website: http://lighttable.com/
LightTable is an opensource and cross-platform development environment that provides feedback, code execution and assists the developers in quick abstraction creation. It allows the multiuser editing on the same code simultaneously. There are different interfaces are available including file tree, command pane, and the navigation pane with an exceptional feature of checking the code real-time, line by line.
It is a best open source code editor that includes Customizable keymaps and Behavior-Object Tag Engines, so that you can easily shape the IDE according to the work requirements.
- Open Source Cross-platform
- Used to embed anything
- Absence of advanced functionality
Initial Release: September 2016
Official Website: http://codelobsteride.com/
You can get a free trial of 30 days; if you are interested to get more functionality then buy a Lite version with limited upgrades or Professional membership plan to access all the features. Codelobster has ten multilingual interfaces and support Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
- PHP debugger
- Class View, SQL manager, and FTP/SFTP support
- Commands for pair, tags and attributes selections
12. RJ TextEd
Type: Unicode and Source Code Editor
Initial Release: October 2019
Official Website: https://www.rj-texted.se/
- Open-source and Freeware
- Handle ASCII & Binary files
- Requires a lot of memory
Type: Dedicated Java IDE
Initial Release: 1997
Official Website: https://netbeans.org/
There are many useful features are available including debugger, user settings customization, Visual Library integration, storage monitoring, syntax highlighting, Step by step dialog support and project management tools.
- Powerful debugging options
- Open-source and Cross-platform
- Custom plugins support
- Sometimes slows down
Version 9.0 Release: 2016
Official Website: https://codelite.org/
- Open source
- Rapid code completion based on the in-house parser
- Absence of eye-catching UI
15. AWS Cloud9
Initial Release: 2010
Official Website: https://aws.amazon.com/cloud9/
It is possible to extend the functionality by using different plugins and variety of themes to set up your desired development environment. You are also able to deploy your applications on different platforms such as Google App Engine, Joyent or Microsoft Azure using AWS Cloud9.
- Run configurations
- Integrated tools for serverless development
- Fully-featured Editor
- File Revision History and Built-in Image Editor
Type: Cloud IDE (Free/Premium)
Initial Release: May 2013
Official Website: https://codeanywhere.com/
Codeanywhere has an in-built terminal for the supports of basic Unix commands as well as npm. It is based on CodeMirror and utilizes OpenVZ containers known as DevBoxes for development environments.
- Remote connection
- Terminal console
- Platform Agnostic
17. IntelliJ IDEA
Type: Java-Specific IDE (Free/Commercial)
Initial Release: January 2001
Official Website: https://www.jetbrains.com/idea/
- Instant and clever code completion with deep intelligence
- Support JVM languages and Enterprise Frameworks
- Built-in decompiler and terminal
- Lack of advanced features in free version
Type: PHP-Specific IDE for Commercial use only
Initial Release: 2009
Official Website: https://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/
It is a closed-source IDE best suitable for frontend projects and developed by JetBrains. Developers can get automated refactoring, zero-configuration debugging, syntax highlighting, on-the-fly and code analysis. There are also different useful built-in tools for profiling, testing and other tools to work with databases and SQL projects. Using PhpStorm, you can navigate the code with smart code navigator and able to work on all major frameworks including Symfony and WordPress.
- Fully-functional IDE
- Major Frameworks support
- Commercial software
Type: Web-based Online IDE (Trial/Commercial)
Initial Release: January 2011
Official Website: https://www.sourcelair.com/
It a web-based IDE developed using a framework of python known as Django. SourceLair allows you to share the project with clients or other team members by sharing the public URL of the project with them. In some special cases when you are working on a project that is using a separate database server then you can simply add it to the project with the help of a few clicks.
- web-based online IDE
- Publicly accessible project URLs
Type: Open-Source Text Editor (Charityware)
Initial Release: 1991
Official Website: https://www.vim.org/
Vim is favorite of many developers; it is a highly configurable program and specially designed to be used as a standalone application with a GUI as well as directly from the Command Line Interface (CLI).
It has a comprehensive integrated system for help, mouse interaction support, and able to edit archived files over FTP, SSH and HTTP protocols. It also offers keyboard-based interface, spell checking, syntax highlights, and undo/redo history.
- Excellent performance
- Fast & Lightweight
- Increases productivity
- Difficult learning curve