I was so happy to see recently that Salesforce was refocusing it’s efforts towards improving the Eclipse Force.com IDE. It has also now gone open source. But I was MOST pleased to see that the beta version now offers support for Lightning components.
Developer Console is “ok”. Well, let’s be honest, as a serious development tool, it still sucks, although it is getting better with every release. There are also a plethora of other development tools that have popped up recently, but most of these are not free. Most developers I know use the freely available and very cool, MavensMate. Although, it’s creator Joe Ferrara has recently suspended development so he can focus on his newborn. Good choice by the way, Joe!!!.
But now, here comes Salesforce with something that not only includes Lightning support, but it also has some pretty nifty features that I think will make it a serious contender in the Salesforce IDE world. I really like the hover over documentation support that you see in the screenshot below. As well, as the outline pane over on the right, that allows you to quickly move back and forth between component bundle files.
But my absolute favorite thing is the auto completion, which is invaluable if you are just learning about Lightning. This missing feature almost made me not use Developer Console for my first Pluralsight course. But, I am so glad because not only can I use a free tool in my next course, I can use one that is fully supported by Salesforce themselves.
Way to go Salesforce! Much appreciated!!!
One big gotcha to keep in mind though is that you cannot run the Beta version of the IDE along with your prior version of the IDE (if you are indeed using it).