Bit side of life

Technical notes of digital heart


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Have you ever dreamed about changing the content displayed by your web browser straight from text editor?

Latest Episode 11 at Emacs Rocks discovers how you may speed up your web development with awesome swank-js. Btw. if you still don’t have Emacs Rocks in your RSS reader, I highly recommend adding this source right now. It’s excellent place of tips & tricks especially helpful during daily work with emacs.

What is swank-js? As description on github says, it provides javascript REPL (read-eval-print loop) attached magically (well, actually through Socket.IO to browser. It simply means, all javascript expressions typed in REPL shell affect immediately page we’re connected to. Moreover, there is no need to use shell, we may send code and CSSes to browser directly from working buffer!

Sounds familiar? No? Take a look at Bret Victor’s presentation Inventing on Principle, one of these tech talks which stay in mind for a long time.

swank-js was a missing part in my web developer’s toolbox which I tried to replace with moz-repl. Unfortunately, moz-repl has some limitations, eg. as name suggests it works only with mozilla-based browsers (like firefox). Yup, no Chrome, no Safari.

Now, I’m extremally happy to have Chrome opened on one monitor, Emacs on the other and immediately visualise changes on my web page just with one C-c C-c.