IDE support?

Axel Rauschmayer axel at
Tue Sep 13 04:49:08 PDT 2011

For features such as expansion help (e.g. when you type a dot after a parameter name inside a function), you still need static analysis.

But your point stands: JS IDEs can and should go beyond “edit-compile-debug” (which has become so mainstream that many people forget about languages such as Common Lisp and Smalltalk).

On Sep 13, 2011, at 6:44 , Breton Slivka wrote:

> Forgive me if this has already been talked about, but is it possible
> that trying to improve static analysis of javascript is barking up the
> wrong tree? I think a better approach is to write your IDE in
> javascript and have it running inside a context that has access to the
> running JS environment. Think about the precedents set by Smalltalk
> and Self, and even Forth, with hints of this happening in the modern
> browser "debugger" environments which now have some rudimentary code
> completion features.
> A JS IDE should be a running environment that can reflect on changes
> to the environment dynamically and "save" them back out to your source
> files, via some diff like protocol which can be rather
> straightforwardly implemented with proxies, akin to how a self program
> was essentially an in memory image core dump.
> Having your IDE hooked up to a running JS context gets around a lot of
> your problems with static analysis, including even dealing with
> dynamic property access, dynamically constructed objects, prototype
> chains and inheritences, and function name aliases.

Dr. Axel Rauschmayer

axel at


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