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« Coming up May 22-23 - AngularJS Training at Chariot Solutions | Main | Javascript's new Development Tools »

Eclipse (or STS), Javascript, SPA and me... An open rant

Ok, I just sent out a tweet I'll probably regret. But let me state my case: there is only one traditional editing company that 'gets' Javascript IDEs right now in the world of Single Page WebApps - and that's JetBrains. The other option is VIM for me... Or Brackets (AWESOME tool). But I want my CTRL-SPACE code fill-in.

I've been running a training course that involves a JavaScript Single Page Web Application (SPA) in AngularJS. Like many of these platforms, it involves mounting a number of other JavaScript libraries, and they are generally mounted in a minified way unless you need to debug into them (long debate I'm side-stepping here).

My tweet about 30 minutes ago seems to have gotten legs, and I'm about to duck under an earthen barrier to avoid the flack:

Whomever has power over STS and Javascript tooling, can you play nice or integrate with JSHint and ignore my minified SPA libs?

Here is my challenge:

Given a Javascript-fronted single page Web Application, I want:

  • Ability to run my SPA in a simple HTTP server quickly
  • Instant editing of my application scripts with JSHint right there in the problems panel, without redeploying or caching issues
  • Strongly integrated maven-based tools for hinting with JSHint
  • Strong integration with GruntJS - it's the Javascript ANT tool now
  • Integration with Bower to index the source of repositories that we've downloaded
  • Integration with NodeJS's dependencies to install tools, etc...
  • Native integration of Jasmine and Karma (if I have NodeJS integration) to run the tests, or maybe a test generator plugin to generate the test runner on the fly

Is anyone in Eclipse-land working on this? The closest I've gotten to Javascript happiness is using WebStorm. But it doesn't support these tools directly (I have to execute them from a command prompt panel). I love WebStorm for its strong tooling, but even that one is missing Grunt as a plugin.

For clients who need to stay on Java-based build tools (because they're not switching their backend to Node/Express) but who are moving into SPA + RESTful Spring/Java EE apps, I think we'd see good adoption of a forward-leaning Eclipse (since it is kind of the enterprise developer's lingua franca).

Am I off the mark here? Tell me so in the comments...



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