Best development tool for JavaScript


web development,

I have been using VS2012 for about 10 months (my coding career) doing most stuff in the code behind using c# and following oop style.  I enjoy the syntax errors it gives.   I also single step through my code a lot watching (and finding bugs) and re architect stuff after I see what is really happening.

Periodically I have to do something on the client side in javascript, then things really slow down..... My experience is if there is a problem it just silently skips the rest of any javascript code.  In my newness and not knowing how to hook up VS to the javascript functions, I just put in a LOT of alerts to show code flow and variable values.  I wish I could use VS.  I could not find anything reliable on google, all seemed to be personal preference or what someone learned on.

Sorry about the book.  Please point me to "How to hook up VS to debug javascript" or recommend a good tool instead of VS.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
I believe VS2015 has improved - the Community version is free.

However, you may have grown out of Javascript and should take a look at TypeScript:

TypeScript is "home" in Visual Studio, and if you like C#, you will enjoy TypeScript and its vast improvement over Javascript.

Julian HansenCommented:
That is what the console is for. In Chrome - Developer Tools - FireFox you can get Firebug,

The console is your one stop shop for debugging a page and figuring out what is going on - not only that you can modify the page - add content, styles and script to test in page the effects of those - nice when debugging someone else's site that you don't have code access to - we do a lot of that here on EE.

You can also debug javascript code - step through it, set break points, add watches and view the stack - pretty much everything you are used to in VS.

You can also use the console to emulate other screen sizes and devices. In IE11 you can do IE emulation back to IE5.

Just hit F12  to see the console window - play around with the various tabs to see what they do.
Rainer JeschorCommented:
if it is client script / HTML then I would recommend Visual Studio Code. It's free, has syntax highlighting and much more.
I would also recommend as the other experts Typescript as well as using console.log for debugging.
Just my 2ct
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käµfm³d 👽Commented:
TypeScript is "home" in Visual Studio, and if you like C#, you will enjoy TypeScript and its vast improvement over Javascript.
That's a tad misleading, I think. Typescript is a superset of Javascript. Typescript gets transpiled into Javascript by Visual Studio. So you're not really getting away from Javascript--you're just approaching it in a different way.

The biggest advantage of Typescript is that you get type safety. This is what you are used to in .NET. As I said, all of this gets transpiled into Javascript by VS, so that doesn't mean that Typescript magically makes Javascript type safe; rather, Typescript is a facade for Javascript which gives you more safety at design time to help avoid issues at run time.

Google Chrome is probably the most mature tool for debugging Javascript issues. Using the Dev Tools of Chrome, you will actually get to see your Typescript files rather than the Javascript files that they get transpiled into. Your application will actually use the Javascript files; but you, as the developer, get to work solely (for the most part) with your Typescript files.

The Console in Chrome functions much the same way that the Immediate Window in VS works. You also have a Watch window the same way that VS does as well as the ability to set breakpoints in your Typescript files (or Javascript files, if you decide not to use Typescript).
Miguel OzSoftware EngineerCommented:
You can use VS 2012 to debug and add breakpoints to JS code, please check:

If you are using IE, please enable script debugging as shown in the above link and rebuild your site in DEBUG configuration.
Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Oh, not going into nit-picking here, but I think you know that what I meant was:

TypeScript is "home" in Visual Studio, and if you like C#, you will enjoy coding TypeScript and the vast improvement over coding in Javascript.

Indeed when you are confident with C# and its level of Intellisense.
Also, the TypeScript site tells all the details and the purpose and functioning of TypeScript quite well.

The produced Javascript files are free to study.


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SamCashAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for the input, hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving.  Sorry for the "neglected". I got last week off, where I went had no computers or cell phones, it was enlightening to be dis-connected for 10 days!

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