Although it’s only been around since 2015, it’s no coincidence that Visual Studio Code is the most popular development environment - over 50% of the developers surveyed by Stack Overflow in 2019 said they used it and active users are now several million. VSCode’s compatibility with practically every platform and programming language makes it a highly versatile tool, especially for web developers where the use of frameworks like NodeJS, REACT, Angular, Vue, etc. has made the use of a powerful tool like VSCode mandatory.
But, when it comes to building extensions to client applications like Prime and the Swing mobile publishing platform, their complexity makes the developer’s job problematic. Especially during the debugging phase, when it’s not easy to distinguish the log traces of your extension from those of the rest of the application.
Cutting through complexity
This is where VSIDE comes in. VSIDE gives you an environment where your extension runs like it would run in Prime or in Swing - but alone, so you can concentrate on your traces and events. Also, any modification you make to the source code is updated in real-time, so you don’t have to refresh or restart the application.
VSIDE also lets us use modern frameworks like NodeJS and React. With NodeJS you can build your extension using small, reusable modules. Many of these are already available from the NodeJS community so you can concentrate on the specific functionality you need for your application, without having to reinvent the wheel for the other functions. Using NodeJS within the VSIDE environment has made Prime and Swing development significantly faster, easier and more reliable.
Next time we’ll look at how React lets us use the same powerful modular approach to creating the user interface.