JS Bin has become essential to me

February 24th, 2013

Something that has really helped me improve my workflow over the last year or so has been JS Bin. The ability to just test some small snippets of code without having to create a new file the leads to me ending up having a full desktop has really helped me out. And I have to admit, I’m really surprised at how many developers I’ve talked to that haven’t heard of it or any of the similar web apps out there. So what does JS Bin do for you and why do I love using it?

JS Bin really does two things that I find make it indispensable. The first is, while working on a large JavaScript file, I usually come up with a little snippet that I want to test, but I don’t want to start writing test inside that file. As I mentioned earlier, it can become a pain when you’re creating new JS files that have 10 lines of code just to test something. So, if I have an idea, I can just open JS Bin and take a quick look at if my idea will work. Or I can take some code that’s not working and just concentrate on it without have the 500 other lines of code there to distract me. Which leads me to the second reason I really like using it.

Everything thing you create has it’s own unique URL, so if you’re having a problem with some code, you can create a JS Bin for it and send it to someone to take a look at. A few times, I’ve had someone at work show me a problem they’re having, so I create a JS Bin and when I figure out a solution, I can just send them the URL and they can take a look at what I came up with. Plus, it has the feature of saving all your bins if you’re logged in, so you can always come back later and take another look.

JS Bin isn’t the only one of these out there. There’s JS Fiddle which is good but I’ve found it to be a bit buggy when you’re using Firefox. And I find the four set panels can be a bit annoying sometimes, especially when you just want to write some JavaScript and see what it spits out in the console. JS Bin allows you to open and close panels so you only see the ones you need.

There’s also Codepen but because it shows all your pens publicly unless you have the pro version, I feel it’s more for showing stuff off than for writing little tests. It is the best looking one, I’ll give it that.

If you need to test HTML, CSS or JavaScript then definitely use one of these. It’s a great way to test code and share code. And thank Remy Sharp for creating such a useful tool and letting us all use it for free.

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