The Remix IDE

Jul 11, 2022

If you're deploying applications on Ethereum, you might use the web-based Remix IDE. It bundles a working set of the different tools you need to write Solidity code, deploy it to a test environment, debug it, and eventually run it in production.

Remix might be one of the first times a niche IDE has emerged and started browser-first.

Some technicals: First, you can find the open-source code on GitHub here. It is Monaco-based (the same editor that powers VSCode). It uses its own plugin system rather than the VSCode extension framework. There was an effort to ship the entire project as a VSCode extension, but that seems to have fizzled out a year ago.

I could write more about different design decisions that I would have done if I were building the project, but much of this stack is primitive and evolving quickly.

Over the last few years, we've seen the emergence of browser-based and batteries-included IDEs that open up programming to a less technical audience—Fishtown Analytic's dbt IDE for Analytics Engineers and now Remix for web3 engineers.

Vertical IDEs could be the solution to the limitations of low-code/no-code.

From a strategic lens, IDEs are primarily about creating a source of distribution advantage – IDE as a Platform. They are increasingly commoditized, so if you're building one for your product, you want only to build the differentiated portions.