Response to review of WebStorm 6

Response to review of WebStorm 6

This review of WebStorm 6 is off the mark.

When I was working at Trapeze, we used LESS CSS and Grunt for the frontend of our projects. Grunt was used to run compile the CSS, minify and concatenate the CSS and JavaScript. In WebStorm (and all IntelliJ IDEA-based products) you use File Watchers for this. You don’t need Grunt at all for compilation.

If you need to compile web assets and commit them to the repo, you can add this as a hook to git or run the Grunt command manually.

RE: Concatenated JavaScript….what are you doing trying to work with concatenated JavaScript on your local development machine?? That’s not a problem with WebStorm, it’s a problem with your development process.

RE: latest versions of LessCSS, TypeScript, etc.: JetBrains cannot include the latest version of these with WebStorm because they have no idea which versions are being used by other people.

There are tons of much smaller, indie projects that already do that. Why cant Webstorm, which is made by a huge company like Jetbrains?

JetBrains is a huge company and understands that every company has its own way of doing things. They understand that the latest (a.k.a. possibly unstable) version isn’t always used. At Trapeze, for example, I’m pretty certain we didn’t use the latest version of LESS CSS. If WebStorm shipped with the latest version, I wouldn’t be able to use WebStorm or I would have to point WebStorm to the version we’re using.

A lot of the complaints here are that you have to download things, install them, configure them and things related to JavaScript’s poor support for namespaces and lack of types.

Look, JavaScript might be the hot stuff that everyone’s learning and training up in, but it’s not a great language. It doesn’t have namespaces or packages, it doesn’t have types and has weird variable scoping rules. You can’t expect any mode for a JavaScript framework to have the same support as the modes for Java or even Python.

At this time, Webstorm is really no better than a text editor like Sublime Text. Things like File Watchers make it seem like a 90s editor. It has no real support for modern Javascript build tools and fails to recognize how large Javascript applications are written in real life.

This isn’t the fault of WebStorm, it’s the fault of JavaScript.

2 comments

  1. Re: Re: Concatenated JavaScript

    I subscribe to the theory that your testing environment should be as close to your production environment as possible. To me, that means testing my web pages after a build step with concat/minify. For those who use something like Prepros’ “//@prepros-append” or CodeKit’s equivalent, the IDE won’t perform as the user’s mental model does without understanding concat actions.

    1. I understand that and it makes sense but you shouldn’t make your development so close to production that it hinders debugging.

      There are some asset management libraries that can convert a set of script tags into one minified/concatenated tag. It makes sense to have your build tool have a task for creating a production-ready version of the site.

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