Aptana Pro does IE debugging

by Jon Davis 31. October 2007 10:43

I didn’t see this coming. Aptana (a JavaScript / Adobe AIR / Ruby on Rails / but mostly Javascript IDE based on Eclipse) supports script debugging from Internet Explorer. This is fantastic news; Microsoft has been giving Javascript debugging for Internet Explorer a half-hearted nod for too long. Unfortunately, only the Professional version offers this, which means more $$.

I’m not sure how Aptana is going to compare with Visual Studio 2008 for this -- no doubt VS 2008 will do Silverlight and ASP.NET integration a lot better -- but Aptana as a Javascript IDE is actually really very nice for what little I’ve seen of it, and I think they’ll give Visual Studio 2008, despite VS2008’s serious improvements in JS support, a run for its money.

I hope Microsoft folks are seriously looking at Aptana’s features to see how they can improve the Visual Studio IDE. Some things I like in Aptana over VS:

- Actually turning ON and USING the built-in feature to download community SDKs and prefab projects
- Browser support and DOM versioning described directly in the code completion menus for each Javascript interface
- Respect for, use of, and support for very popular open source APIs such as Prototype.
- SVN support (hello?)
- Warning flags in the margins (not just with red squiggly underlines)
- JSON support (full editor in Pro version)

Obviously I think ultimately VS 2008 (*not* 2005) brings more to the table with regard to being a Javascript IDE but so far *only* for managing home-grown Javascript libs and the ASP.NET AJAX Library, and for integrating with ASP.NET.

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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