Top 25 Javascript Plugins for Webstorm

Top 25 Javascript Plugins for Webstorm

The challenge is finding the best plugins for JavaScript development on Jetbrains IDEs. Who wants to sit there and go over hundreds of plugins to pick the best? In this article, you'll see best and most useful plugins for JavaScript development in WebStorm and Intellij

The challenge is finding the best plugins for JavaScript development on Jetbrains IDEs. Who wants to sit there and go over hundreds of plugins to pick the best? In this article, you'll see best and most useful plugins for JavaScript development in WebStorm and Intellij

A long time has passed since JavaScript on the web was mainly used for popups and animations that made your Netscape browser cough. Today, JavaScript is the most popular language for the development of websites and web-based applications, and it will continue to rule the web stack in 2020 and beyond.

If you’re a JavaScript developer working with one of the JetBrains IDEs (WebStorm or Intellij Ultimate Edition), you are in luck. Both JetBrains and the community offer a plethora of free and premium plugins to make your JS programming work faster, easier, and more fun.

It’s worth noting that not all the plugins in this list are necessary for your daily development work. So before you hurry and install everything, be sure to read the description and install only the plugins you see having a real contribution to your productivity. After all, it is well known that overloading one’s IDE with unnecessary plugins will only slow it down.

General Coding Tools & IDE Tweaks

The tools in this category are not JavaScript-exclusive but are useful and recommended for any developer coding on Intellij IDEs in any language.

1.Rainbow Brackets

This neat and colorful plugin adds Rainbow Brackets / Rainbow Parentheses to your IntelliJ based IDE, that are always helpful with nested elements.

**2. **Codota (now supporting node.js)

Our own AI assistant for Java development now supports node.js as well. So if you want a plugin that draws from millions of open source Java and node.js programs and your context to help you code faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors? We’re here with a plugin and service to give you just that.

**3. **WakaTime

Ever saved your work at the end of the day without having a clue how your day was actually spent coding? Well, this little plugin will surely help you get a grasp on where your time goes. It measures the time spent working on different projects, in different editors, and languages.

JavaScript Tools

Adapting your Intellij IDEA for JavaScript development isn’t hard, especially with plugins that add JS development specific tools and shortcuts to your IDE.

**4. **JS Toolbox

This useful plugin is a collection of shortcuts, tools and commands intended to save time and add efficiency when developing JavaScript on Intellij IDEs.

**5. **Assets Compressor

Size matters and when it comes to CSS and JS assets, smaller is better. This plugin puts compression of those assets a menu item click away.

**6. **JSON Parser

JSON Parser is a lightweight plugin for validating and formatting JSON strings in your IDE without having to constantly switch over to the browser.

**7. **Google Chrome JetBrain IDE Support

This extension for the Chrome browser lets you see changes you make in HTML or CSS files in the browser right away, without reloading the page. To enable it, you will also need to install its counterpart – LiveEdit by JetBrains.

Frameworks & Beyond

One of the main strengths of JavaScript is its adaptability to different products, requirements and development tasks.** JavaScript frameworks, libraries and runtime environments come in many shapes, colors and flavors**, and we’ve included a few must-have Intellij or Webstorm plugins for each.

Node.js

Every JavaScript developer out there is familiar with Node.js, the open source server-side JavaScript runtime environment. So even if you don’t currently write server-side JavaScript, you’ve probably come across it and will come across it again.

**8. **NodeJS

To run Node.js applications from the IDE and debug them using the built-in visual debugger you will need to install this handy plugin from JetBrains themselves.

**9. **Node.​js Remote Interpreter

Another helpful Node.js plugin by JetBrains that lets you run and debug Node.js applications in remote environments.

Vue.js

A framework made popular through both its adoptability and adaptability, Vue is one of the frameworks most commonly used for building web UIs and is easy to learn for anyone familiar with CSS and HTML.

**10. **Vue.js

To add Vue.js support to your Intellij IDE or Webstorm, you’ll need to install this plugin by JetBrains. It will add the features normally included in a framework or language plugin such as code completion and component navigation.

To add Vue.js support to your IDE, you’ll need to install this plugin by JetBrains. It will add the features normally included in a framework or language plugin such as code completion and component navigation.

**11. **Quasar Framework

Based on Vue.js, Quasar is an open source framework enabling web developers to quickly create responsive websites and apps with full Material Design 2.0 Support. Even though this framework in not included in the JetBrains plugins marketplace, it’s worth checking out, and there’s even a guide to adding Quasar to your WebStorm IDE.

React

Developed and maintained by Facebook, React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces for websites and applications. If you’re developing React in your Intellij IDEA or Webstorm, these plugins can come of use.

**12. **React CSS Modules

This plugin adds React CSS Modules support for components written in JavaScript and TypeScript. It features completion and error highlighting for CSS classes used, intention to create missing CSS class from usage in React, and Integrates React references to CSS class names with ‘Find Usages’, ‘Rename’, and ‘Go to Declaration’.

**13. **Styled Components

According to its developers, this plugin brings you “visual primitives for the component age” and can be useful if you’re looking to make visually pleasing interfaces at record speeds directly from your IDE.

**14. **React Snippets

Exactly what it says on the box – a handy collection of React snippets for your Intellij IDEA or WebStorm IDE.

Angular & AngularJS

Angular is a cross platform development framework developed by Google. It started out as AngularJS, but has since grown and expanded its capabilities.

15. Angular and AngularJS for Intellij

To integrate the framework in your Intellij IDEA or Webstorm IDE, you’ll need to download and install this plugin. It adds code completion, component navigation, a snippet library and more directly into your IDE.

**16. **Angular Component Folding

Want neater, cleaner source trees? Then this is the plugin for you. It quickly groups files that have the same name and different extensions into a virtual folder by the same name.

Other Plugins

17. Pug

Previously known as Jade, this plugin by JetBrains adds support for the Pug template language to your Intellij IDE of choice. Also, their logo is cute.

**18. **Ember.js

Another framework with an adorable mascot is Ember.js, an open source web development framework loved by brands like Netflix and Heroku. This plugin adds support for it in Intellij IDEs.

**19. **JS GraphQL

GraphQL is an open-source data query and manipulation language for APIs, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data. This plugin adds support for GraphQL language to your Intellij IDE including tagged template literals in JavaScript and TypeScript.

**20. **PostCSS

Adds support for PostCSS to your IDE of choice so it will recognize .pcss files and enable code completion and syntax highlighting.

Databases

Apps and websites store information in databases and access it all the time. So even if you swear you’re never touching backend, knowing your way around a database schema is necessary for any web developer. These tools will help you get it all done from your IDE.

**21. **Database Navigator

This extensive and advanced database development, scripting, and navigation tool lets you develop and maintain various types of databases including Oracle, MySQL and others.

**22. **Mongo Plugin

MongoDB is a popular database for JavaScript applications, and this tool will let you access Mongo databases and perform CRUD operations on Mongo collections directly from your Intellij or Webstorm IDEs.

Testing & Linting

If you build it, they will come. The bugs and build errors, that is. You know well that your job isn’t over when the code is typed in, and now comes the hardest part of development: testing and debugging. Luckily, these plugins can save you time by integrating popular testing frameworks and debugging tools into your IDE and adding helpful tools and shortcuts to them.

**23. **Karma

Dubbing itself “a spectacular test runner for JavaScript”, Karma is a productive testing environment for developers. If that’s your test runner of choice, this plugin will integrate it into your Intellij IDE.

**24. **JSTestDriver

Developed by Google and JetBrains, this plugin brings JavaScript unit testing support by the means of JsTestDriver integration into your Intellij IDEA or WebStorm.

**25. **ESLint

ESLint is an open source JavaScript linting utility and this plugin will add integration for it to WebStorm and other Idea family IDE with JavaScript development support. Once installed, it will show errors and warnings inside the editor.

Oh no! How could we list so many plugins and forget <your favorite plugin / tool here>? Well, that’s only because we wanted to leave room for you to grab all the glory for introducing it in the comment section, of course.

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JavaScript developers should you be using Web Workers?

JavaScript developers should you be using Web Workers?

Do you think JavaScript developers should be making more use of Web Workers to shift execution off of the main thread?

Originally published by David Gilbertson at https://medium.com

So, Web Workers. Those wonderful little critters that allow us to execute JavaScript off the main thread.

Also known as “no, you’re thinking of Service Workers”.

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Before I get into the meat of the article, please sit for a lesson in how computers work:

Understood? Good.

For the red/green colourblind, let me explain. While a CPU is doing one thing, it can’t be doing another thing, which means you can’t sort a big array while a user scrolls the screen.

This is bad, if you have a big array and users with fingers.

Enter, Web Workers. These split open the atomic concept of a ‘CPU’ and allow us to think in terms of threads. We can use one thread to handle user-facing work like touch events and rendering the UI, and different threads to carry out all other work.

Check that out, the main thread is green the whole way through, ready to receive and respond to the gentle caress of a user.

You’re excited (I can tell), if we only have UI code on the main thread and all other code can go in a worker, things are going to be amazing (said the way Oprah would say it).

But cool your jets for just a moment, because websites are mostly about the UI — it’s why we have screens. And a lot of a user’s interactions with your site will be tapping on the screen, waiting for a response, reading, tapping, looking, reading, and so on.

So we can’t just say “here’s some JS that takes 20ms to run, chuck it on a thread”, we must think about where that execution time exists in the user’s world of tap, read, look, read, tap…

I like to boil this down to one specific question:

Is the user waiting anyway?

Imagine we have created some sort of git-repository-hosting website that shows all sorts of things about a repository. We have a cool feature called ‘issues’. A user can even click an ‘issues’ tab in our website to see a list of all issues relating to the repository. Groundbreaking!

When our users click this issues tab, the site is going to fetch the issue data, process it in some way — perhaps sort, or format dates, or work out which icon to show — then render the UI.

Inside the user’s computer, that’ll look exactly like this.

Look at that processing stage, locking up the main thread even though it has nothing to do with the UI! That’s terrible, in theory.

But think about what the human is actually doing at this point. They’re waiting for the common trio of network/process/render; just sittin’ around with less to do than the Bolivian Navy.

Because we care about our users, we show a loading indicator to let them know we’ve received their request and are working on it — putting the human in a ‘waiting’ state. Let’s add that to the diagram.

Now that we have a human in the picture, we can mix in a Web Worker and think about the impact it will have on their life:

Hmmm.

First thing to note is that we’re not doing anything in parallel. We need the data from the network before we process it, and we need to process the data before we can render the UI. The elapsed time doesn’t change.

(BTW, the time involved in moving data to a Web Worker and back is negligible: 1ms per 100 KB is a decent rule of thumb.)

So we can move work off the main thread and have a page that is responsive during that time, but to what end? If our user is sitting there looking at a spinner for 600ms, have we enriched their experience by having a responsive screen for the middle third?

No.

I’ve fudged these diagrams a little bit to make them the gorgeous specimens of graphic design that they are, but they’re not really to scale.

When responding to a user request, you’ll find that the network and DOM-manipulating part of any given task take much, much longer than the pure-JS data processing part.

I saw an article recently making the case that updating a Redux store was a good candidate for Web Workers because it’s not UI work (and non-UI work doesn’t belong on the main thread).

Chucking the data processing over to a worker thread sounds sensible, but the idea struck me as a little, umm, academic.

First, let’s split instances of ‘updating a store’ into two categories:

  1. Updating a store in response to a user interaction, then updating the UI in response to the data change
  2. Not that first one

If the first scenario, a user taps a button on the screen — perhaps to change the sort order of a list. The store updates, and this results in a re-rendering of the DOM (since that’s the point of a store).

Let me just delete one thing from the previous diagram:

In my experience, it is rare that the store-updating step goes beyond a few dozen milliseconds, and is generally followed by ten times that in DOM updating, layout, and paint. If I’ve got a site that’s taking longer than this, I’d be asking questions about why I have so much data in the browser and so much DOM, rather than on which thread I should do my processing.

So the question we’re faced with is the same one from above: the user tapped something on the screen, we’re going to work on that request for hopefully less than a second, why would we want to make the screen responsive during that time?

OK what about the second scenario, where a store update isn’t in response to a user interaction? Performing an auto-save, for example — there’s nothing more annoying than an app becoming unresponsive doing something you didn’t ask it to do.

Actually there’s heaps of things more annoying than that. Teens, for example.

Anyhoo, if you’re doing an auto-save and taking 100ms to process data client-side before sending it off to a server, then you should absolutely use a Web Worker.

In fact, any ‘background’ task that the user hasn’t asked for, or isn’t waiting for, is a good candidate for moving to a Web Worker.

The matter of value

Complexity is expensive, and implementing Web Workers ain’t cheap.

If you’re using a bundler — and you are — you’ll have a lot of reading to do, and probably npm packages to install. If you’ve got a create-react-app app, prepare to eject (and put aside two days twice a year to update 30 different packages when the next version of Babel/Redux/React/ESLint comes out).

Also, if you want to share anything fancier than plain data between a worker and the main thread you’ve got some more reading to do (comlink is your friend).

What I’m getting at is this: if the benefit is real, but minimal, then you’ve gotta ask if there’s something else you could spend a day or two on with a greater benefit to your users.

This thinking is true of everything, of course, but I’ve found that Web Workers have a particularly poor benefit-to-effort ratio.

Hey David, why you hate Web Workers so bad?

Good question.

This is a doweling jig:

I own a doweling jig. I love my doweling jig. If I need to drill a hole into the end of a piece of wood and ensure that it’s perfectly perpendicular to the surface, I use my doweling jig.

But I don’t use it to eat breakfast. For that I use a spoon.

Four years ago I was working on some fancy animations. They looked slick on a fast device, but janky on a slow one. So I wrote fireball-js, which executes a rudimentary performance benchmark on the user’s device and returns a score, allowing me to run my animations only on devices that would render them smoothly.

Where’s the best spot to run some CPU intensive code that the user didn’t request? On a different thread, of course. A Web Worker was the correct tool for the job.

Fast forward to 2019 and you’ll find me writing a routing algorithm for a mapping application. This requires parsing a big fat GeoJSON map into a collection of nodes and edges, to be used when a user asks for directions. The processing isn’t in response to a user request and the user isn’t waiting on it. And so, a Web Worker is the correct tool for the job.

It was only when doing this that it dawned on me: in the intervening quartet of years, I have seen exactly zero other instances where Web Workers would have improved the user experience.

Contrast this with a recent resurgence in Web Worker wonderment, and combine that contrast with the fact that I couldn’t think of anything else to write about, then concatenate that combined contrast with my contrarian character and you’ve got yourself a blog post telling you that maybe Web Workers are a teeny-tiny bit overhyped.

Thanks for reading

If you liked this post, share it with all of your programming buddies!

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Further reading

An Introduction to Web Workers

JavaScript Web Workers: A Beginner’s Guide

Using Web Workers to Real-time Processing

How to use Web Workers in Angular app

Using Web Workers with Angular CLI


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