Stack OverflowJavaScript IDEs
[+56] [20] Michael Stum
[2008-09-03 15:06:02]
[ javascript ide ]

Yay, another "What is the Best IDE"-Question, but this time it's for a language that does not seem to have any really popular yet: JavaScript.

With an IDE, I mean the full set: Writing Code with Syntax Highlighting and possibly "IntelliSense" Code Completion Helper, but also debugging including Breakpoint and Watches (also for AJAX Stuff), possibly even with support to run the code in multiple Browsers.

My current approach of "Writing JS in Notepad and using Firefox' Error Console and Firebug" is not really statisfying...

[+26] [2008-09-03 15:09:45] David McLaughlin

There is no IDE that is quite as feature-complete as you require, but Aptana Studio [1] is one that constantly comes up on sites like Ajaxian [2] as being one of the better JavaScript IDEs.

I believe they also have code completion support for jQuery 1.2.6 as well.


(3) Although different browsers support different JavaScript functions and properties (i.e. document.all), Aptana's code assist feature has little browser icons beside each option that tell whether a browser supports it or not. - Chris MacDonald
@Chris +1 Thanks for that info mate. I'm sure it will come in handy. - Russell Dias
(2) Aptana isn't too bad. I used it in a big project I worked on for about 2 years. Be warned: It's SUPER slow and buggy and doesn't have any passionate people developing it further. Eclipse native JavaScript support has come a long way and I can't stand the bloat in Aptana anymore. - Sembiance
[+24] [2008-10-09 10:05:53] Bas Leijdekkers

IntelliJ IDEA has fantastic JavaScript support [1] in my opinion. Steve Yegge calls it "the gold standard for JavaScript editing today". And a JavaScript debugger is coming in version 8.0.


and there's a free license[1] for open source projects. [1]: - PanCrit
The best indeed. - infinity
[+19] [2010-06-11 12:53:42] Alexey Korsun [ACCEPTED]

At JetBrains we've just developed lightweight web IDE WebStorm [1] that includes very smart JavaScript Editor with DOM-based autocompletion and HTML5 API support.

Javascript Editor in fact is the same as in IntelliJ IDEA but the IDE itself is much easier and much cheaper too ;) Only features you need when you work with plain HTML/JS/CSS.


(1) I love WebStorm, but hate to pay money for it, so my editor of choice is Aptana Studio. - Michael
Just bought a license in the Spring sale. Webstorm is amazing indeed, it's the first IDE that actually understood JavaScript to give code completion even when using the module pattern. A lot better than the abysmal JavaScript support in Visual Studio. - Michael Stum
[+8] [2008-09-03 15:21:55] 17 of 26

Visual Studio 2008 is excellent for developing Javascript. Intellisense works occassionally, but it's difficult because Javascript is a dynamically typed language.

The downside is that you can only debug with IE, but you get full fledged debugger functionality - breakpoints, watch windows, ability to modify variable values on the fly, etc.

For debugging in Firefox, I use a combination of Firebug and the Venkman debugger [1].

If you're just looking for a lightweight text editor, Notepad++ [2] had syntax highlighting for most languages, including HTML and Javascript.


[+5] [2008-09-03 23:06:05] Evil Andy

I would also add Netbeans 6.1. Although it's primarily for Java it does have quite decent JavaScript syntax highlighting, code complete, etc. along with debugging in Firefox with Firebug.

Have a check of the features here [1]


[+4] [2008-09-03 16:20:16] IceHeat

JavaScript Development Tools for Eclipse

It's definitely the most advanced tooling among the other solutions mentioned here, at some places on par with JDT's features. - thSoft
[+3] [2008-10-09 12:54:53] Danita

Am I the only one who uses Eclipse + JSEclipse? I just finished a 40+ module front-end project and it worked like a charm :) I'm using Firefox 2 + Firebug, Firecookie, Web Developer Toolbar for debugging. I tried Aptana but it seemed a bit slow for me. I'll try JSDT and see what happens.

[+2] [2009-03-25 15:16:34] Aaron

I've used Microsoft Script Editor [1] for a year and it's been a very satisfactory experience. The trick is finding it, buried as it is within MS Office. Instead of simply launching it when an runtime error occures in IE, I use it as a standalone javascript IDE. It has partial intellisense, but unfortunately isn't smart enough to provide intellisense for js classes that you create yourself. Debugging is great and has watch and quickwatch windows. Primarily I've used it for writing financial calculators, so the debugging has been a godsend when tracking down bugs. (Of course, if there's a FF-specific bug, I switch to Firebug).

I'm still always looking for a better javascript IDE, so I'm going to investigate the ones mentioned previously in this post.


(1) MS Script Editor is what I used to use as a primary javascript debugger for IE before I found SplineTech javascript debugger. ( ). Saved me a ton of time and tears. - Art Aroustamoff
[+2] [2009-11-28 19:10:30] JBsurveyer

Take a look at; very ambitious Ajax based IDE so its supports both ends. Then take a gander at what 128north people have under wraps ... and finally, if you can do some timetravelling - see what Borland had avaiable with its IntraBuilder IDE - JavasCript on both sides of the wire, client and server. Very, very nice but too far ahead of its time

[+2] [2011-05-09 09:21:52] dsree

context and Komodo Edit are small and cute ideĀ“s for developement

[+1] [2008-09-03 15:08:16] bdukes

Aptana [1]'s the best I've come across. It's free, open-source, includes highlighting, code completion, debugging, and a number of other tools.


[+1] [2008-10-10 19:38:30] Chris Pietschmann

Visual Studio 2008 has Intellisense support for JavaScript, and there is a method of adding your own files to define your own intellisense (code completion) support for any JavaScript APIs you need. It all works quite well.

Here's some info on getting jQuery Intellisense support working in VS'08:

[0] [2008-09-03 15:07:11] Thomas Owens

I'm not entirely sure if it has all the features you mentioned, but Aptana Studio is good for web development (including JavaScript).

[0] [2008-09-03 15:09:44] David Basarab

Notepad2 [1] supports JavaScript syntax highlighting.

Intellisense is offered in VS2008, however since JavaScript is so open you will never be able to have the same intellisense as a strongly typed language.


[0] [2008-09-03 15:09:48] Rob Cooper

Good question (+1) my thought is, is it really possible to have a good one? I mean, it would need to be really tightly integrated with the web-application.. Which means it would need a lot of investment (i.e. need to be an IDE from one of the "big dogs"!)

We get intellisense in 2008? :)

[0] [2008-09-03 15:13:12] Joel Coehoorn

Visual Studio 2008 is supposed to do a lot better with javascript than in the past, but I haven't been able to try it yet myself.

[0] [2008-09-03 16:16:53] Martin Salias

1+ for VS 2008

You may try VS 2008 Express edition which is free.

As others mentioned, Intellisense is hard in dynamic languages, but VS does a few nice tricks, and it also leverages library annotations to provide Intellisense on 3rd party libraries like jQuery or Dojo.

Highly recommended!

[0] [2008-09-08 12:55:00] username

If you're using Windows... Textpad isn't really an IDE for Javascript, though it does syntax highlighting, but I would highly recommend it, in combination with a debugger web-browser plug-in. Once you get used to using Textpad, all other GUI-based text editors will frustrate you.

[0] [2008-09-22 18:58:57] Vasil

Aptana has the best support for JS from the IDEs I've seen so far + it comes with every major JavaScript prepackaged.

[0] [2008-11-14 22:06:26] Christopher

Has anyone tried 1st JavaScript Editor Pro? It look promising as a JS IDE.