March 31, 2014

Three Great JavaScript Tools

JavaScript has been an important part of developing for the web for some time now, but with Microsoft now encouraging more client-side development for SharePoint, it's especially helpful for us to become knowledgeable and efficient JavaScript developers. Here are three of my favorite tools to help with writing and testing JavaScript applications:

JSHint is a static code-checking tool, similar to FxCop for .NET. It can be run online, or downloaded and included in a test project (where it can run as part of a build process). Originally derived from JSLint, JSHint is a better and more flexible tool than its predecessor.

When it comes to optimizing JavaScript code for performance, JSPerf is my go-to tool. Simply write (or paste) your functions on the site to create a test, and watch it run. You can easily compare the performance of two similar functions (to determine which is better to use in your app), and by sharing the generated URL you can gather and compare test results across browsers. Browsing through the most popular tests will teach you things.

I'd been a loyal user of JSFiddle for a long time until a colleague turned me onto this alternative, which boasts a debugging console, allowing you step through your code as you work on it. CodePen is another popular option. These sites can save a lot of time when compared to developing locally and having to deploy your code each time you want to see it run.

If any of these tools/sites are new to you, I strongly encourage you to give them a shot!

Are there any other JavaScript development tools you can't live without?

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