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JetBrains Ships WebStorm 2016.2, Adds More TypeScript and React Support

| by David Iffland Follow 4 Followers on Jul 15, 2016. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

JetBrains has released the second 2016 update for their WebStorm JavaScript IDE, keeping up with the rapid changes in the modern JavaScript landscape.

In a blog post announcing the release, Ekaterina Prigara highlighted TypeScript 2.0, improved React support, and Angular CLI integration as the main features for this release.

TypeScript 2.0 Beta was just released and the updated editor can take advantage of it right away.

For React developers, WebStorm 2016.2 can now automatically insert the required PropTypes when working with components. TypeScript developers using Visual Studio Code have had a similar ability for a while, but the WebStorm feature will work on plain JavaScript. David Gilbertson demonstrated how this works:

Animated GIF showing how the required proptypes are added to a JSX component in WebStorm 2016.2

Notice how the property names are automatically inserted into the component's JSX tag.

The Angular CLI integration is an interesting addition. While it doesn't include all of the CLI tool's features, such as scaffolding and testing, Mike Brocchi told InfoQ he thinks it'll help:

I think that it breaks down the barrier to entry for developers who are not comfortable using the command line.

Brocchi, who is one of the Angular CLI team members, said that they didn't work with JetBrains and that Visual Studio Code could likely offer a similar feature through its extension strategy.

WebStorm also introduced a new "Convert to arrow" code intention that lets developers convert traditional function definitions into ES6-style arrow functions. For example:

const searchTerms = ["InfoQ", "JavaScript", ES6"];
const lowerTerms = searchTerms.map(function (term) { return term.toLowerCase()});

can be quickly converted to:

const searchTerms = ["InfoQ", "JavaScript", ES6"];
const lowerTerms = searchTerms.map(term => term.toLowerCase());

Prigara told InfoQ that there will be a third major version of WebStorm later this year:

We have now moved to a shorter release cycle that allows us to ship new features faster. We continue working on improvements in ECMAScript 2015 support as it is becoming widely adopted by developers and supported by browsers. We hope to introduce more features that help automatically upgrade existing code to ECMAScript 2015. Improvements in React and Angular 2 support are also on our roadmap. We are also keeping an eye on the success of React Native.

Individual developers can get WebStorm for a subscription price of $5.90 monthly or $59 yearly (for the first year; discounts apply in subsequent years). Given the rapid rise in functionality of Microsoft's free code editor, Visual Studio Code, JetBrains will need to quickly advance the state-of-the-art to convince JavaScript developers to keep spending money on WebStorm.

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