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I am working on a code editor application. The app will be web based and currently I am trying to investigate different best practices and value add to give the developers a reason to use the app.

If anyone of you have ever worked on any such app do let me know what you think can be a good value add as well as best practice that we can follow for the job.

Some of the feature I have listed are

  1. Code Folding
  2. Code hint (a panel on right which changes context based on the control in use and gives available attributes and parameters)
  3. Drag and Drop functionality like WYSIWYG

Do let me know if you can recommend some more

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my opinion: if it's web-based you have to implement nice collaborative features (like google drive). If it offers only same functionality like other tools, but is web-based (== not always available) there will probably be no real reason for developers to abandon there current IDE. –  L. Möller Dec 6 '13 at 8:29
    
but anyhow. I suggest you start by defining the goals you want to archive with your product (for you and your users) and then start thinking about features. –  L. Möller Dec 6 '13 at 8:31
    
for me, the killer feature is vi keybindings. Without them I just won't touch a new editor. –  Racheet Jan 6 at 12:16
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1 Answer 1

These are some personal requests that hit my mind while reading your question and might or mightn't be liked by every other coder. Keep in mind what kind of coder will use your product esp. what code language and for what s/he is programming for (target).

  • Navigation. Provide some sort of keyboard-only navigation in general. But especially when jumping between files. Maybe a keyboard shortcut to a search field which searches file names and their content (as in nvALT)

  • Visuals. Provide a mini browser displaying code in a holistic manner as does sublime text on the right. I got an extension for eclipse the other day and find it extremely helpful especially in files with >5,000 lines

  • Themes. At night I tend to use a dark theme (dark background with light pastel colored code) and little light in my office.

  • Plugins. Depending on who is using your product some will want this-and-that feature, others will want as little as possible in their setup. Keep your IDE lightweight by default but have the ability to make it full blown ;-)

  • Live preview. Adobes Brackets lets programmers interact with code while instantly seeing what their output is.

  • Full/Splitscreen. Try providing a decent full-screen view (hiding taskbars, menu bars, buttons etc.) Let the programmer focus on code and nothing else. Splitscreens for working on two or more files simultaneously (on one or more screens) is a big plus also. Switch between them with a keyboard shortcut.

  • Collaboration. Provide the ability of including repository systems as GIT which provide you with versioning and conflict control.

Again: These are my personal preferences. I would recommend you to ask more coders for the domain they will be using your product in and priories specific features. Implement them one by one and let them get tested by your future users.

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