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Ask HN: Is there a reasonable, actually integrated Web IDE out there?
49 points by dakami on May 15, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments
It's kind of silly. There are design tools that don't let you write JavaScript. There are JavaScript tools that don't let you write server side JavaScript (or any other language). There are server aware tools that don't let you run on your own servers. And that's before discussion of collaboration et al.

Is there a reasonable workflow out there?

If you set up a node.js project with Webstorm through the Webstorm UI and deploy with a plugin or built in feature you've pretty much get the most fully integrated IDE there is for node projects. It has testing built in, debugging inside the IDE, dynamic updates your browser, supports a ton of JavaScript libraries and npm as well as React and ES6/ES7 syntax. There's nothing else really like it.

IntelliJ based browsers haven't been slow in a long time, but they're even faster now, just be sure you exclude node_modules and library directories by right clicking them and things will move pretty quickly.

If getting work done in a competent and featureful way matters (i.e. your time and ease of workflow is valuable to you), use a real IDE.

Web IDEs are fun. The IDEs satisfy a subset of users' need to try something new built on technologies they're familiar with. They might feel warm and fuzzy hearing certain buzzwords that describe the project.

But when it comes to getting shit done and having features that developers and companies will pay to use, JetBrains' and Microsoft's IDEs are the only ones to even come close to being real professional grade tools.

Yep, MS Office is still the only choice. No one use Google docs! And MS doesn't try to build web based IDE as well!

Google Docs is buggy and absolutely unusable on a slow or unreliable internet connection. If type-setting and page formatting matter, it is not a good solution. Reliability isn't up to par with their local application counterparts.

Yes, those options exist. They cover basic use-cases well, but come apart at the seams for others.

Also enable zero latency typing. Massive difference.

For those who had never heard of this setting before, there is an interesting blog post about it on the JetBrains blog: http://blog.jetbrains.com/idea/2015/08/experimental-zero-lat...

tl;dr: Add "editor.zero.latency.typing=true" to the "idea.properties" file.

Didnt't know about this option. Thanks

Just wanted to note that every thing you mentioned is also in Cloud9 along with easy sharing of your sites with clients / workmates, collaboration and deploying to production with ssh workspaces.

I switched from WebStorm (was using v9) to Cloud9 2 years ago and haven't looked back, for most Web Development jobs it makes more sense as you don't have to run a staging server to iterate on projects with clients (just send them a link) and you can collaborate in seconds.

I now work at Cloud9 :) after using it a while I was convinced working online where all your tools work together in the cloud is the future. It's way easier to integrate it with the rest of your work flow when you don't have that desktop cloud barrier.

> Cloud 9

I appreciate the work you guys do on Ace, it's amazing technology. I've built things with the Ace editor, but it's ridiculous to suggest than an editor that doesn't even edit the files on my computer has feature parity with Webstorm, an IntelliJ IDEA based editor. The PSI based AST system is smarter and better than Visual Studio and XCode, and IntelliJ IDEA is better technology than Apple or Microsoft was able to come up with for their own platforms. The number of plugins, the built in features, the fact it runs on my own computer make it unquestionably better than an editor that runs in a browser.

You disservice to a great web editor by suggesting it's better than a native editor like IntelliJ. I write front-end code for a living and in no shape or form would I ever want to use the Ace editor when I didn't have to. It works for sites like CodePen, GitHub and jsfiddle when they're needed, it doesn't replace writing code on my own computer.

Cloud9 looks like an awesome product. I haven't seen a such a comprehensive web-based development environment.

However, this exemplifies why I find it hard to use web-based IDEs regularly[0].

[0] http://i.imgur.com/GHPZTEe.jpg

I used Codebox as well, which was nice.

Does Webstorm actually integrate with front end development? I'd like to whip together simple projects that aren't actually hideous, and literally every cloud IDE I'm finding just doesn't have a way to go from HTML5 code to WYSIWYG or even structured output...

You probably mean for web projects. If you mean a browser based IDE instead your options are Koding, Nitrous.io, Cloud9, CodeAnywhere, Codio, and CodeEnvy (that is into Eclipse Che). We're integrating Koding with GitLab to give a very integrated workflow https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues/12759

Visual Studio and Webstorm are the most complete I'd say. Surely you can use Eclipse or IntelliJ (with kotlyn).


Wait, when you say "web ide", do you mean "to make web projects" or do you mean "web-based ide"?

> do you mean "to make web projects" or do you mean "web-based ide"?

That is a really interesting question.

For 1: If you have no money try NetBeans / Eclipse. In my experience eclipse can be a pain in the ass if you need certain plugins etc. Sometimes you have to search the web for repo-adresses that are compatible with your IDE-version and the other plugins and if you don't use a new version you may have trouble installing plugins from the marketplace. NB is pretty good for open source software and I prefer it to Eclipse.

If you have the money / are a student (who don't have to pay), just use WebStorm / IntelliJ Idea. It is a really superior IDE and you don't want to use anything else once you tried the integration / workflow with it, it's just beautiful how things 'just work'.

For 2: I checked out codio, but the price is really expensive and I'd rather use intelliJ etc. Depending on what you want to write something like Firefox Web IDE doesn't look that bad (https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Tools/WebIDE). For the web I think the best thing would be to port atom.io to a webApp. This would be the next awesome thing ;-)

Visual Studio Community is also a free option. It is mostly feature complete, except few centered around enterprises.


Hi dakami,

I think that SourceLair (https://www.sourcelair.com) could fit your needs.

It let's you work on Node.js web applications in your browser and write both client side (including React JSX) and server side JavaScript.

You also get an HTTPS public URL (subdomain) that works out of the box with Node.js, while it integrates with Git and GitHub in order to collaborate and lets you deploy your projects to Heroku with a single click.

You can try it out for free at https://www.sourcelair.com.

Disclaimer: I am one of the people who co-founded and built SourceLair.

I'm one of those who won't sign up to try something. Let me try without any friction. If I like it, I'll sign up to try more advanced features and if those fit my needs I'll probably purchase. If I sign up to try and it doesn't seem to be what was promised, it just feels like you are collecting my email.

Cloud 9? https://c9.io/

I have been using C9 for years now and I found it to be the best of the lot. Its a shame, I cannot afford the premium subscription for now but would love to pay them for their gratitude and awesome product.

Hi Guys, I am the cofounder of Codeanywhere.com , so I can't say we are the best, but I would definitely appreciate it if you tried us out. We use Codeanywhere to actually build Codeanywhere; frontend, backend and even mobile. Also I always love to hear feedback.

I would encourage you to check out Eclipse Che and Eclipse Orion. Eclipse Che will let you set up your own hosted workspace. Eclipse Orion is embedded within Che and provides language extensions for JavaScript and Web development. The technology are platform-centric, so there is a lot of embedded use by vendors packaging new products. They are the platform for SAP Hana, Samsung ARTIK IDE, OpenShift IDE, VSTS. There are various other projects happening within the Cisco, Salesforce, Mongo, Go, C++, SAS communities. Che and Orion have hosted versions run by Codenvy & Eclipse, respectively. Both services are free on the hosted front. I am the project leader for Che & CEO of Codenvy.

If you can overlook the RAM consumption and occasional slowness, Eclipse is actually a pretty amazing tool as an integrated platform. I routinely edit client side, server side, HTML, CSS and multiple back end languages (python, PHP, Groovy) all in a single integrated setup including integrated debugging etc. I think for single language stuff there's nearly always something better, but at pulling it together I don't know anything as good as Eclipse (probably Visual Studio might be but I have not used recent versions in that capacity).

Although their focus has shifted to education, Codio is my favourite Web IDE


Maybe have a look at this Mozilla stuff?


No apparent backend integration.

Sublime Text 3 with a build system ( I simply press cmd+b to run a standalone javascript file there on the spot in ST3 ), and node-debug to debug standalone scripts (from the command line with iTerm). Works amazingly.

Everything else, command line. I used to be the biggest IDE fan ( had my Eclipse kitted out with 4GB allocated, all the hotkeys, etc ), but I don't do Java or AS3 programming anymore and even though sometimes i still find myself missing certain types of autocompletion, I've started to become jaded on the concept of IDEs as the command line is just so much more versatile and memory efficient. Sublime Text and the command line are really all you need these days, unless you're doing C#/C++ ( in which case I'd suggest Visual Studio ) or iphone native (Xcode obvi).

I use XCode to edit JS/HTML/CSS for front-end and Python for back-end, all with Git integration.

This thing? https://hyperdev.com

I once met someone named James Robey who was working on dom algebra, an os that works entirely out of html dom tags (no javascript). I saw him use a working demo of it online, but it may have evaporated.. feel free to google! ;-]

As a free alternative to let's say WebStorm i have been using NetBeans for some time. It integrates HTML, JS, Angular and CSS in a usable way and has many plugins (browser js debugging, nodejs). It is worth a try.

Ditto. I naively ignored netbeans for years, and I regret not using it sooner. Its impressively robust for web development.

Though its not an IDE, you can try using Visual Studio Code. This is free, open source and works in both Windows and Linux and have plugins available.Moreover, it itself is built using Javascript.

Have you used Cloud9? It sounds like exactly what you're looking for. If you have and didn't like it what was it missing? (I work for Cloud9)

Web Storm owns :)

I use Vim for everything, since Web development until server side, actually for Node, Java, Rust and Python.


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