CodeflowReviewed July 18, 2019
Codeflow is an open-source, node-and-wire IDE built on top of NodeJS. The product was inspired by one of the founder's experiences with "business process workflow" software. He saw companies like Tibco, a visual backend editor a la Zapier but for enterprise, make millions of dollars just for the license, let alone $100k per server. Founded in 2013, Codeflow bootstraps by using the tool in their consulting work.
- 👍Slick Electron app: solid logo, colors, little details
- 👍Close to production-ready: few glitches and many libraries
- 👎Feels similar to text-based NodeJS
- 👎Java-inspired (“isInterface”, “annotationSchema”, “inherits”)
The above video demonstrates:
- creating an HTTP server
- creating two route patterns via conditionals
- accessing query params via the structured editor
- text concatenation via the structured editor
Nodes-and-wires are for asynchronous or side-effectful computations, but with a synchronous-like arrow-based interface, avoiding “callback hell.” The inside of nodes are for pure, functional, and synchronous expressions. Most node-and-wire languages suffer from information overload, but this model hides much inside nodes, keeping the node-and-wire interface as a high-level overview of the asynchronous and side-effectful code.
You can join asynchronous computations like so:
And handle asynchronous errors like so:
Fluid Structured Editor
The structured editor has a unique tree menu for searching for functions:
Once you select a function, it pulls up its documentation with examples inline:
You can drag & drop and delete expressions:
The following video demonstrates adding parameters, accessor properties, and detecting and a type error:
It’s a bit clunky, but it definitely beats console.log’s everywhere.
However step-debugging isn't as necessary because it saves every HTTP request and intermediate value since the start of the server in debug mode.
It automatically generates Swagger documentation.
The tool features a special structured editor for constructing schemas for objects.
Codeflow is free and open-source.
- Import npm libraries without building a Codeflow wrapper
- Automatic hosting and deployment
- Edit via web browser
- Not have to worry about files and just live in their node-and-wire world