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Rookout 2023 Predictions: 12 Essential Plugins for IntelliJ IDEA in 2023


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12 Essential Plugins for IntelliJ IDEA in 2023

By Gedalyah Reback, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Rookout

Have you ever gone to your spice cabinet and thought, "Dang...I really could flavor this and make it even better.." Well, that's kind of what it feels like when you enter a ‘library' or ‘marketplace' of extensions. You're not some plain old cook. You're not some bland coder. The difference here is that you, a seasoned developer, actually (probably) know what you're doing!

It's not about sprinkling every kind of paprika you can find in the pantry - that's ridiculous. You just need one or two. All the same, you don't need to install every single metrics module and every productivity plugin.

But there are quite a few to choose from. If the best code kind of code is the clearest and most concise code, shouldn't the best plugins also make your code clear to you while you're working on it? That's the approach I took when curating this list. Everything here is immediately useful.

There's a blend of extension varieties: language and superset support, adept live debuggers and editors, brilliant syntax highlighting, toolkits, and the like.

Here are 12 plugins you should include in your IntelliJ tool chest, plus a few honorable mentions.

1. Spring Boot Helper

This plugging supports Java, Kotlin, application configuration, metadata documentation, bootstrap properties, and the start initializr (among other things). It also includes configuration templates, feature flags, and auto-completion for things like tokens and hints (a favorite for users). The drawback can be that the plugin might run behind in Spring Boot updates (a common theme you might find with any plugin in any IDE, to be fair).

Related Plugins:

-        Kotlin Support

-        Scala Support

-        Spring Boot Assistant (alternative to Helper)

-        JBoss Forge

2. Rookout IDE Plugin

The Rookout IDE Plugin brings live debugging to IntelliJ and the rest of the JetBrains IDE family. The plugin lets you set non-breaking breakpoints to debug code without stopping an application, even in production.

The plugin's major features are...

  1. Debugging within IntelliJ without stopping your app
  2. Bridging a single debug workflow between IntelliJ & the Rookout Web-IDE
  3. Debugging across multiple repositories, instances, and namespaces
  4. Building a pipeline for new debug data to other observability tools

Rookout's debugging data stands out because it contains real-time data from the running app, such as variables, process, full stack trace, and distributed tracing information. Data here will also show up in Rookout's own Web-IDE, where you can work on serverless debug sessions and get visualized insights. It works for more than half a dozen major languages and frameworks.

The plugin is compatible with every JetBrains IDE, so you can debug any of the available languages in any JetBrains IDE that supports it. For example, you can debug JavaScript in PhpStorm or Python in GoLand.

Here is a thorough list of languages the plugin covers:

  1. Python (PyPy & CPython implementations)
  2. Go
  3. Ruby, Ruby on Rails
  4. .NET, C#, F#, VB.NET
  5. Java, Kotlin, Scala, Clojure, ColdFusion, Groovy, JRuby
  6. Node.js, JavaScript, TypeScript, CoffeeScript

You just need a Rookout account to make it work. Sign up for a free Rookout account, then download the plugin in the JetBrains Marketplace.

3. Rainbow Brackets

This takes syntax highlighting to the next level. Some would call Rainbow Brackets THE essential tool for keeping your code straight in your own mind. Every code section gets its own bracket color, alternating with each new internal function or external bracket set. It includes support for over 30 programming languages and frameworks. That group includes the major ones, derivatives, and niche langs like Apex, Vue.js, Go Template (and Go itself), C# Razor Pages, and more.


Related Plugins:

-        Indent Rainbow

-        Rainbow CSV

4. GitHub CoPilot

This is GitHub's official plugin. GitHub CoPilot uses the OpenAI Codex to auto-suggest code snippets or functions while you work. It also can automatically generate comments and code suggestions based on natural language prompts (not just code prompts).


5. MetricsReloaded

First off, nice name. Secondly, the MetricsReloaded plugin makes producing and viewing metrics related to your code automatic. It fits into all of JetBrain's IDEs. It will work on any language your IDE supports (for example, C++ and Rust in CLion, Python & R in PyCharm, etc., etc.).

Either Run the following from the command line:

idea metrics -h

Or, go to the menu and select:

Analyze | Calculate Metrics...

Related Plugins:

6. Grazie

For your aspiring polyglots, actual multilinguals, and natural language programmers, this tool is the perfect smorgasbord for you. Grazie supports over 20 naturally spoken languages (plus Esperanto 😏) for spelling and grammar checks, so you can be crystally clear in your //notes when you're coding. It depends on LanguageTool as a proofreading engine, which has support for multiple dialects of particular languages, too. You can also add support for others.


Here's the full list (while impressive, it's very Euro-centric, so any Indian readers should both continue their search and send a message out to LanguageTool and Grazie to not forget about them):

West Europe: English (US, UK, CA, AUS, NZ, ZAF), German (DEU, AUT, CHE), ⋅ Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Breton

South Europe: Portuguese (PRT, MOZ, AGO, BRA), French, Spanish, Galician, Italian⋅ Asturian, Catalan, Valencian, Greek, Esperanto

East Europe: Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Belarusian, Slovak, Slovenian

Asian: Japanese, Khmer, Persian, Tagalog, Tamil, Arabic, Chinese Mandarin

Related Plugins:

-        Translation

7. GitToolBox

GitToolBox extends your capabilities to include these features: display git status, not committed commit dialog gitmoji completion, commit dialog branch completion, changes tracker, inline blame, automatic fetch, recent branches switcher, behind tracker, branch cleanup, plus integrations for both Issue Navigation and Git Extender. It's packaged with IntelliJ's Go bundle and Productivity bundle of tools.

Related Plugins:

-        Gitlab integration

-        Git Flow Integration

8. Randomness

Need some variables for testing or demos? Randomness fills in random strings, numbers, and UUIDs into your code. It gets pretty detailed, allowing for prefix and suffix options and using quick keyboard shortcuts for repeating values and inserting an array of values.

Related Plugins

-        Edutools

-        IDE Features Trainer

9. Multirun

You can group and simultaneously run multiple run configurations with Multirun. It comes with its own window where you can select each config to include. It's great for batch testing and simultaneous application or server starts.


Related Plugins:

-        Gradle

-        Gradle/Maven Navigation

-        Tomcat Runner

-        SBT - Simple Build Tool (for Scala)

10. AWS Toolkit for IntelliJ

Written by Amazon itself, the AWS Toolkit lets you manage cloud activities from inside the IDE. It contains the code-suggesting feature CodeWhisperer, serverless deployment, S3 bucket management, CloudWatch logs, resource explorers, and authentication.

It has some shortcomings - its lack of cloud debugging for ECS services (a beta feature AWS removed in July 2022), for instance. If you generally seek a little bit more from your internal AWS tools, you should still shop around for other companion plugins for logging, monitoring, debugging, and other actions.

Related Plugins:

-        Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ

-        Cloud Code (Google Cloud Platform)

11. Quokka.js

Quokka.s (or just Quokka) is an in-editor "rapid" prototyping tool for JavaScript and TypeScript, built by Wallaby.js. It uses access to project files to produce rich output and inline reporting. One of its criticisms is verbosity, especially if it's not a tool you'll use often.

It has a free community edition and paid pro version. It's also available for JetBrains' VSCode, Sublime, and JetBrains' WebStorm. You can check Quokka's docs for more info. 


12. CamelCase

The idea here is simple. CamelCase adds a keyboard or menu shortcut to changing typing cases in your dev environment. It includes kebab-case, space case, camelCase (obviously), PascalCase, and others.

Related Plugins

-        String Manipulation

-        Codota AI for Java and JavaScript

Your Case is Unique

Are all these plugins essential for you? Probably not. Different projects and developer skill sets mean you might be better at managing some of these tasks yourself. There are also other options for some of these tools. These plugins offer an alternative to your current extensions or a way to cut development time where you didn't realize it could be.

Some plugins will fall short in remotely managing resources, testing, or debugging code from within the IDE. That's where other tools that emulate the IDE environment but overcome remote debugging limitations come into play. Take Rookout Live Debugging for a test run yourself with a free trial.



Gedalyah Reback, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Rookout


Gedalyah Reback is Senior Product Marketing Manager at Rookout and an experienced writer on debugging, observability, logging, machine learning, startups.

Published Friday, November 11, 2022 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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