WebStorm integrates with Node.js to allow for running, debugging, and unit testing of Node.js apps.
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Pro Free, open source and cross-platform
Brackets is entirely free and open source.
Pro Built-in browser live-updating
Brackets will automatically refresh the browser and load the latest saved version of a file open in the browser. This works with php as well. Editing a css will even highlight the tag that's currently being worked on. However, it only works with Chrome.
Pro Built-in extension manager
The functionality of Brackets can be extended via a simple-to-use extension manager. The extension manager also has a considerable number of extensions and themes.
Pro Can style a tag without switching over to the stylesheet
A feature called "Quick Edit" allows the user to select a tag in (a html file, for example) and edit the associated style without switching over to the css document. It also supports SASS and LESS pre-processors.
Pro Actively developed
Brackets is being actively maintained and developed.
Pro Popup previews
Hovering over colors hex codes or image paths will pop up previews of corresponding colors and images.
Brackets is easy on memory usage and it starts up quickly.
Pro Drag and drop support
Brackets supports drag and drop of text, as well as multi / rectangular selection.
Pro Can be hacked by any front-end developer
Pro Multi-line (multi-query) editing
You can have your cursor independently on multiple lines and so creating templates and/or editing multiple things at once is really fast and easy.
Pro Vim mode
Vim-style editing is already built in the text editor.
Pro Support for Adobe PSD content
A default extension allows for the extraction of PSD resources, such as images and styles. There's good integration for placing extracted resources into source.
Pro Node.js integration
WebStorm integrates with Node.js to allow for running, debugging, and unit testing of Node.js apps.
Pro Code refactoring support
To make sure your code can be easily maintained, you must first be sure to make it clean and tidy. This is the part where WebStorm really helps you. It automatically refactors your code by performing functions on it, such as extraction of variables, moving files, inline variable extraction, etc.
Pro Integrated code quality tools
WebStorm comes bundled with JSHint and JSLint. JSCS, ESLint, and Closure Linter can be installed via npm. They register as inspections and are customizable through IDE settings. They run automatically and will highlight potential issues. Pressing alt+enter on an issue will allow the user to view suggested fixes.
Pro Intelligent code completion
WebStorm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion.
Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
Pro Built-in web server
WebStorm has a built-in webserver that allows you to run projects from
Pro Typescript support
Pro Maintains a local history
The local history feature in Webstorm tracks all your local changes in the source code that you are making. You can use it to view changes that you've made to your code and roll back whenever necessary.
Pro Supports a wide range of plug-ins
WebStorm includes support for Meteor, Angular, and React.
Pro Reduces the amount of repetitive code that has to be written with code snippets
WebStorm includes a feature called Live Templates. Live Templates are predefined code snippets that can include variables. They're intended to increase productivity by reducing the amount of repetitive code that has to be written.
Pro Ability to base hot keys on previously used IDEs
When you install WebStorm, it allows you to choose from other IDE's for it to base it's hot keys on. So if you are switching from another IDE, it makes it a very easy transition and productivity is not adversely affected by having to learn new hot keys.
WebStorm has built-in support for CoffeeScript and Dart.
Pro Support for Karma test runner
Karma allows you to execute unit tests and monitor code coverage. You can read more about using Karma with WebStorm here.
Pro Powerful git and GitHub integration
WebStorm has a powerful visual git tool, allowing for easy commits, visual diffing, merging, push/pull, rebasing, and inspecting the VCS history of a project. GitHub is supported natively - you can check out a project directly from GitHub.
Pro CSS pre-processor support
WebStorm has built-in support for Sass which is one of the most stable and powerful CSS extension languages.
WebStorm has support for Grunt and Gulp task runners.
Pro Built-in terminal/run tools
WebStorm (and really all of the IntelliJ IDEs) support the plugins throughout their plugin ecosystem which leaves you with 100s of tools to handle your automation tasks. There is a wide range of build-related plugins that help you by having pre-defined commands to execute with the click of a button. Out of any other IDE, WebStorm has by far the most coverage when it comes to tools for your development workflow.
Pro Server and client-side debugger
WebStorm has a powerful debugger, with support for conditional breakpoints.
Pro Theme support / tweaking
The theme is very easy to customize to your liking. You can change font-size, colors, highlighting colors, and more.
Pro Support for all major VCS systems
Webstorm supports not just Git and Mercurial, but Subversion, CVS, and Perforce as well.
Pro Multi-line select and editing
Pro Really good configurable code formatting
This integrates with other community tools like ESLint and editorconfig.
Pro Powerful Code Templates
Code Templates are powered by Apache VTL (Velocity Template Language) and allow for includes, custom variables, conditional blocks, iterators, and live templates.
Pro Free for open-source development, students, and teacher
Non-commercial open source projects, and students and teachers (including classroom licenses) may qualify for a free license. There is a 50% off license for startups (under 3 years old). You can read more about it here.
Pro Special icons for most filetypes in project list
Webstorm comes with icons for many filetypes which makes it easier to find what you're looking for in the project list.
Pro Has a built-in terminal
The IDE comes with a built-in terminal, a feature lacking in some lighter editors.
Pro Webpack support
Assists with configuration and understands module resolution.
Pro Cordova support
Pro Dart language support
Autocompletion, syntax-highlighting, refactoring, and pub integration for Dart are supported in WebStorm.
Pro Coffeescript support
Pro Auto sync settings across team / machines / platforms
With the settings repository, you can easily enforce your development standards.
Pro Different configurations for different projects
It is able to specify for example node versions, which will be used to run task for current project.
Pro Low memory use
It may seem like a complex IDE and it does have a lot of functionality, yet it uses way less RAM than barebones-looking, Electron-based IDEs.
Pro Gulp support
Pro Interactive theme (color scheme) editor
Makes adjusting an existing or creating new themes a breeze. Especially due to things like inheritance, as well as easily exporting/distributing/importing the color settings which really only store where on deviates from the defaults (thus the resulting files are very small and relatively human-readable).
Pro Efficient and effective
Con Still missing some elementary text editor commands
Some gaps have to be filled by plugins, while these features should be built in.
- Jump to matching brace (bracket / parenthesis);
- Gutter selection of lines;
- Recall previous searches / replacements;
- Autofill of search field with text under caret (text has to be selected);
- Show whitespace / end of lines / indentation guides / right margin;
- Selection to upper / lower case;
and some more.
Con Problematic updater
Though the website says there is an update available, the updater in Brackets may give you an error, resulting in you having to download updates manually.
Con Supports only web languages by default <but>
Brackets is built for web development and that's where it excels at out of the box. Other languages that have a CodeMirror mode can be added as well.
<and language support plugins can be added>
Con Occasional slow performance
WebStorm can sometimes choke all cores of the CPU. There are numerous reports of high CPU usage.
Con Not free for commercial use
A paid license is required to use WebStorm for commercial use. The license terms changed in November 2015 and currently require a subscription (per year: $59 personal, $129 for companies). Students can obtain a free non-commercial, educational license good for one year. There is also an option to pay on a monthly basis in addition to perks, such as a fallback commercial license that can be used for free.
Con Not open source
This application is proprietary, and thus cannot be modified, freely distributed, or trusted for security.
Con You may have to fiddle with the JVM memory settings in configuration files
To get it to run properly, you have to edit the JVM memory settings when you use Node.js. Node.js makes the small JS project you have into a "large" project that requires more memory.
Con Plug-in ecosystem isn't robust
Every framework or extension with any popularity whatsoever will have a plugin for VS Code. Sometimes they'll still support Atom. Only one in twenty will have native support for WebStorm.
If you want support for the latest libraries, you won't get it in WebStorm.
Con Non-native filesystem causes issues
The Java wrapper around the filesystem doesn't actively watch for file changes (by, for example, using the fsevents api on OS X), and as a result can become easily desynchronised from the actual filesystem.
It should be noted though that this is easily remedied by going to File/Settings/System Settings and checking the "Synchronize Files on frame or editor tab activation" option. It's also recommended to more explicitly represent your workflow within WebStorm itself. Most external tools/tasks can be handled with WebStorm. And if it's not in a plug-in, then you can handle it with the File Watchers.
Con Proprietary file dialogs
Webstorm doesn't use the native Windows and OSX file dialogs, which makes it more of a hassle to open projects.
For instance, you don't have access to your favorite folders on the left-hand side in their custom file dialogs.
Con Can't open multiple projects in a single instance
The only way to open multiple projects is to run a new instance of WebStorm which is not ideal. WebStorm can use up to 1-1.5 GB of memory.
Con Poor usability on option and menu navigation
You need to press a combination of keys or navigate through different menu levels to carry out the two most common things a developer does. For example, to run your code, the default is Shift+F10. To go to definition, you need to click on "Navigation" first. There is no sense to this: being forced to press a combination of keys hundreds of times or navigating through different menus can be a waste of time.
Con Bad default options compared to the competition
Examples are an unreasonably low number of undo steps and automatic saving (which causes webpack dev server to bundle VERY frequently).
Con Constantly trailing behind on support for its main features
The Jetbrains team do an admirable job attempting to keep up with support for the features they wrap, but they are running an un-winnable race. For example, WebStorm 11.0.2 hangs when trying to debug NodeJS 5.0+ projects (30+ seconds before hitting breakpoint). By the time they fix it, 5.1 will be out and something else will break.
Con Newer versions are increasingly unstable
This only happens when it's not a major version.