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Review: 10 JavaScript editors and IDEs put to the test

Martin Heller | Feb. 7, 2014
WebStorm and Sublime Text lead a field of diverse and capable tools for JavaScript programming

There's a lot here, and it can be very valuable and productive when you use Alpha Anywhere as intended, for end-to-end Web and mobile Web application development. On the other hand, Alpha Anywhere JavaScript editing per se is nothing special. If that's all you want, then WebStorm or Sublime Text might better serve your needs.

[Disclosure: I was an Alpha Software employee from 2010 to 2012, and I have a small equity stake in the company.]

Alpha Anywhere minimizes the amount of JavaScript you need to write by generating most of a Web or mobile application from a user interface design. Here we see three short custom JavaScript functions required for a fairly complex mobile Web application that browses a sales database from iPads and iPhones. (Click the image for the complete view.)

Komodo Edit.
Komodo Edit, ActiveState's free reduced-functionality version of Komodo IDE, is a pretty good multilanguage editor. Everything I had to say about Komodo IDE as an editor applies to Komodo Edit.

If you like Komodo IDE but can't afford it, Komodo Edit is likely to make you happy. But Komodo Edit is not an IDE, so you should understand what you'll have to work around. You'll need to do your source code control outside the editor. That probably isn't a big problem if you have a GUI client — such as the GitHub client or TortoiseSVN — for your version control system.

You're also giving up real-time code collaboration. If you work alone, that isn't a loss. If you work closely with other developers who are remote from you, then you're giving up some productivity when you pass up this feature. And you're giving up the HTTP inspector. If you have another tool to look at headers and responses, such as Firefox with Firebug, then you're only losing some convenience.

You're giving up publishing from your editor, though you can fill that gap with FileZilla. You're giving up the nice Komodo Rx toolkit, though you can partially fill that gap with this site, for free. Or you could pay $39.95 for Regex Buddy or Regex Magic if you're a Windows user. Of course, once you start buying a bunch of individual utilities, you'll quickly rack up a bill that approaches the cost of Komodo IDE.

I could go on, but this comparison table for Komodo IDE and Komodo Edit has all the vitals. In any case, Komodo Edit may well satisfy your JavaScript editing needs for free — and give you editing of HTML, CSS, Python, Perl, Ruby, Tcl, and a whole bunch of other programming and markup languages.

Komodo Edit is the free, stripped-down sibling of Komodo IDE. Komodo Edit has the same editing features as its big brother, but lacks code refactoring, debugging, unit testing, source code control integration, and other features that properly belong to an IDE. (Click the image for the complete view.)


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