IDE for large-scale Javascript / WebGL development

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by holmesf, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. holmesf macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2001

    For my Master's project I am looking to develop a WebGL application. The project will likely end up involving a huge amount of Javascript, and a small number of simple web pages (mostly to just act as containers for the WebGL). The Javascript will probably have an AJAX component.

    My background, however, is mostly in the realm of strongly typed and compiled languages such as C/C++/Objective-C. Normally I use XCode to develop. I am a n00b when it comes to Javascript, though I do have some basic competence when it comes to web development.

    So my question is ... what is the best (or what are the best) IDEs to use for such a project?

    It would be helpful to have integrated debugging, but I imagine this might not be possible since I am going to be using WebGL. In the least I would want syntax coloring, as strong error checking as possible prior to runtime, good facilities to manage lots of files and revisions, and some facilities to speed up workflow. Any advice?
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory

    Debugging is mainly handled within the browser. Chrome and Firefox are especially good at this (Firefox has Firebug which is useful and the standard Chrome dev tools are top notch too).
  3. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    The Chrome dev tools are just the standard webkit developer tools.
  4. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    NetBeans is pretty good, but is a bit of bloat. It will show warnings and errors in your files while editing them just like when programming Java. Personally though I just use a text editor (BBEdit), then as mentioned browser tools like Firebug can be great for debugging things.
  5. emiljan macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2010
    PHPStorm from JetBrains has integrated JavaScript debugging. It comes with a web browser plugin for debugging on top of the visual debugger already built in.
  6. duggram macrumors 6502


    Apr 17, 2008
    Old school. The best editor for working close to the metal.

    When I first started programming in the early 90's I was a Windows dev in a Solaris shop. The unix guys could cut code many times faster than any Windows dev. You don't need a mouse. You just need your keys. In fact I'm just getting back to programming after a 9 year absence and I'm using vi with Tcl, Java and Javascript.
  7. SabinMarcu macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2011

    I know this is a pretty old thread, but i hope i might help a bit, even though you probably solved your problems by now.

    I've been working on a WebGL Project myself, for a few months now. I don't know how much this will help you, but this is how i managed to do my coding.
    I have worked mostly with interpreted languages such as javascript and php, but for my current project i wanted an iOS app as well, and i hit a snag. XCode has really poor Javascript support, not even the indentation was right.

    I've been working for some time with an IDE called WebStorm. It's written in Java, so it will not be as smooth and silky as a native IDE like XCode, but from everything i tried out there seemed to run the smoothest (most Javascript IDE's are Java-based). It has great integration with variables, pseudo-singleton objects, methods, objects, and so forth. The suggestion engine is excellent, it keeps track of anything i write down. As for syntax coloring, it works pretty well, but i wouldn't count it as a plus just yet. Debugging, as stated before is far better done in the browser via Firebug or WebKit dev tools, and there is an open-source library called WebGL Inspector to show a bit of an insight into what's happening in the WebGL side of the application.
    It has GIT and SVN (as far as i know, i only used GIT) integration, and good error checking. It has refractoring capabilities, so for me that was a bit of a plus, and so forth. You should check it out.
    As a bonus, being a Java-based IDE (the only plus of being written in Java, if you ask me), makes it highly portable. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, you name it.

    On the other hand, if you just want a fast-and-dirty editor, you might want to look into BBEdit, Textmate, the classics.
    However, if you really want to code pro-style, ignoring the error checking, refractoring, and the rest of the IDE-centric items, i must agree with the VIM variant. It's *the one*, the almighty editor.

    Hope some of what i just wrote can help someone :)
    Have a nice day :)
  8. vky84 macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2012


    Thankyou for such a wonderfull analysis. Its very helpful, i am going to start work on Web GL as well and it is very helpfull.

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