Javascript IDE's

Lately I’ve found myself doing a lot more web application development in JavaScript.  Typically, I always seem to fall back on plain old Notepad++ or Visual Studio.  As a developer, the user experience in either is, IMHO, somewhat lacking.

However, for the past week, I’ve been using RubyMineRubyMine is a Ruby on Rails IDE from Jetbrains, but it seems to work rather well for editing JavaScript and HTML files.  Plus, as an added bonus, it automatically comes with built in support for jQuery.

Curious about RubyMine?  Why not come to the Edmonton Code Camp on November 29th, 2008 and see it in action during my presentation on jQuery?  Or better yet, download your own copy and check it out.

Now this may strike the one or two readers of blog as odd (assuming they haven’t fallen asleep or navigated away by now) – a lot of what I do is ASP.NET Development (WebForms and ASP.NET MVC), so shouldn’t I have been doing a lot of JavaScript up to now?

Well, if you allow me to digress a bit, my answer to that is “No”.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again that, as a web developer relying very heavily on WebForms in the past, nothing has done more to emasculate my JavaScript skills than Microsoft’s ASP.NET WebForms.  ASP.NET Webforms, with it’s emphasis on making development as VB6-like as possible, seems to encourage you do try and do everything server-side.  I know that I’ve sat in on at least one presentation by Microsoft employees who have spoken disparagingly of JavaScript.  This is just plain wrong, IMHO.  Ask me why in person, if you’d like to hear the full rant.

Note:  This is my opinion.  Lots of people are happy with Webforms, and if you are, good for you.  I’m not.  Direct all comments and opinions on my viewpoint to /dev/null. 

Of course, this rant doesn’t apply if you’re using ASP.NET MVC or MonoRail.

Updated August 10, 2010 : A bit of time has passed since I first wrote this post, figured an update couldn’t hurt

These days I seem to use a combination of Notepad++ and Firebug.  Firebug truly rocks.  It would be really nice if it worked for Internet Explorer, but it’s probably more realistic to hope for universal peace or an end to world hunger.  I’m told IE9 is supposed to have some good stuff for JavaScript development, but I somehow doubt that will help me out when I have to debug IE7/IE8 issues.

I’ve had some people in the past suggest Visual Studio 2008 whenever I do an informal poll.  Personally, I’ve found the JavaScript editing experience in VS2008 to be lacklustre at best. 

When WebStorm was in beta, I tried that combined with Firebug.  I rather liked it for my JavaScript editing needs. 

If you have any favourite tools (or IDE’s) to help with your JavaScript/jQuery development, I sure would like to hear about it.