Monday, March 7, 2016

8 Underrated Javascript Tools You May Not Know About

I thought I would share a few tools that I have found helpful for working with JS, that I wish someone would have shared with me earlier.

  1. Google's Closure Compiler - http://closure-compiler.appspot.com/home
    • This is a tool to compress and optimize your Javascript code. Accessible via an easy to use user interface, as well as through an API.
  2. Visual Event - http://www.sprymedia.co.uk/article/Visual+Event+2
    • A bookmarklet tool for visually exploring where events have been attached to DOM elements and how they are handled. Very useful, especially since event handling can be such a confusing part of Javascript.
  3. CDNJS - https://cdnjs.com
    • CDN'ified links for popular javascript libraries. This gives you an easy way to add libraries to projects without requiring that you host them yourself, plus, since it is through a CDN, it means a faster loading time for the end-user, regardless of location.
  4. Adobe Brackets - http://brackets.io/
    • A very powerful and easy to use editor/IDE for working with Javascript. Made by Adobe, but surprisingly both free AND open source! It has really good code completion and code hinting, which is making me strongly consider moving to it and away from my long-time favorite Notepad++.
  5. David Walsh's Blog - https://davidwalsh.name/
  6. The "Bookmarkleter" - http://chriszarate.github.io/bookmarkleter/
    • Easily convert your Javascript into an executable bookmark (aka a "bookmarklet").
  7. Postman - https://www.getpostman.com/
    • If you use/write Javascript, chances are that at some point you have run into AJAX and the world of web requests. Postman is my go-to for debugging web requests, manually creating and sending GET/POST requests, and API testing. Really great tool.
  8. Google Apps Scripts - https://www.google.com/script/start/
    • If you are rather comfortable using Javascript, Google Apps Scripts is a great place to try out creating your own web applications written entirely in Javascript. Google has very powerful APIs that you can easily add to your scripting to access various google services. For example, you could use Google Apps scripts to create your own API based on a Google Sheets document. Best of all, it is free to use, unlike Google App Engine.

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