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JetBrains reworks WebStorm, complements new AI Assistant options

JetBrains is talking up an experimental WebStorm@next build released just before new year in the wake of three December updates of the JavaScript-related integrated development environment (IDE) including expanded capabilities for JetBrains AI Assistant users.

According to Vladislav Minaev, writing on the JetBrains release blog, the WebStorm@next build, introduces improved type inference for enhanced performance and accuracy – users are invited to send feedback, as always, with a 2024.1 early access programme (EAP) scheduled.

“The WebStorm team is currently undertaking a significant rework of the TypeScript language support,” Minaev explained. “The new TypeScript engine will power future versions of WebStorm and other JetBrains IDEs with TypeScript support.”

The TypeScript engine rework targets compatibility issues to reduce miscalculated types as well as performance improvements such as reduced CPU consumption, Minaev noted.

Since introducing TypeScript support, WebStorm, available in the JetBrains All Products Pack, has operated with its own TypeScript engine but there had been “subtle bugs”, he said.

WebStorm 2023.3.2 launched 21 December as the second bug-fix update for WebStorm 23.3 and the third in that calendar month.

JetBrains’ David Watson said that “notable fixes” included added support for Angular 17 new control flow block syntax (WEB-63164); loss of file names in file templates (IDEA-279811); several HTTP Client related issues (IDEA-332986, IDEA-224825, IDEA-296844); and more – detailed here and in full release notes.

The first December update included a hot fix of a bug preventing users from logging in to JetBrains AI Assistant. Users can now also check the access status for WebStorm users with corporate IDE licenses from the JetBrains AI Assistant tool window.

“In the latest 2023.3 release, AI features are turned off by default for corporate IDE licences. While the plugin is already bundled, we want to let companies make their own decision about whether to use JetBrains AI Assistant or not,” Watson wrote via the blog.

“Enabling AI Assistant for developers with a corporate licence might take up to one hour, so we’ve implemented the ability to refresh the access status from the AI Assistant tool window immediately by clicking the Check access link.”

WebStorm 2023.3 incorporated Angular, Vue, and Svelte improvements, new testing functionality, AI Assistant in general availability, improvements for TypeScript imports with type modifier, an all-in-one diff viewer, support for GitLab snippets, HTTP Client improvements, a new product icon for macOS, among other updates.

JetBrains AI Assistant in WebStorm was offered as a supplemental feature with a JetBrains AI subscription, offering in-editor code generation and context-aware smart chat that can answer questions on a project without copy-paste of relevant code fragments, the company said.

“Explain Code, Suggest Refactoring, Find Potential Problems, Write Documentation, and other custom prompts from the prompt library now take into account an extended context,” according to JetBrains. “For example, if you use Explain Code on a method, the containing class, its usages, and relevant references from the function body will be added to the query.”

( Screenshot copyright © JetBrains 2024 )

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