React JavaScript library gets an IDE

The Reactide tool works with a Node server to manage state across components

React JavaScript library gets an IDE
Credit: Iwan Gabovitch

React, Facebook's JavaScript library for building UIs, is getting a dedicated IDE for web development, called Reactide.

Offered by developers calling themselves Team Reactide, the IDE serves as a cross-platform desktop application that provides a custom browser simulator; build tool and server configuration become unnecessary, the project description said. Team Reactide said the IDE, offered under an MIT license, was the first ever for dedicated React web development.

Reactide is build tool-agnostic and runs an integrated Node server along with the browser simulator. The IDE helps manage state across React components, visualizing state flow. Developers can navigate through a live representation of a project architecture and edit components, and the process of having to transpile every minor edit to a project becomes instant. "By cross-utilizing Reactide's tools, properties and styles can be edited through straightforward GUI controls that provide immediate feedback in the browser simulator," Team Reactide said.

Also known as React.js, open source React is declarative and component-based, and it provides the ability to develop new features without having to rewrite existing code. Facebook has offered its own tooling for React, called React Developer Tools, serving as a Chrome DevTools extension for inspecting React component hierarchies.

Meanwhile, other tools in the JavaScript vein have been positioned as rivals to React, including Vue.js and Inferno. A companion framework, React Native, lets developers build native mobile apps using React, with server-side rendering via Node. React Native has attracted development of a React Native-specific IDE, Deco, as well as Facebook and Expo's own CRNA (Create React Native App) tool.