Sandboxes for ideas and experiments

How do you check you ideas? I’m using sandboxes a long time to check my ideas, knowledge or play with them. Most of the time I’m working with JavaScript so I’ll point JavaScript sandboxes but idea of using sandbox to check something without fear could is more general. The main purpose is to create minimal required environment to play with idea/code without fear to break something.

  • The first popular example of using such sandboxes is to try new technology/library.
  • The second is to recreate minimal environment for some task/problem. For example you want to debug how behave your flexboxe layout for diffirent screens.
  • The third for create/refine API design. You may create sandbox and try to call API which you think is suitable. When you think that this is what you want you can try to fast implement it.
  • Teaching. You could open some interesting project and try to play with its code.

I have used long time JSBin because it was simple and fast. But sometimes you want more complex setup which require setup of Weback, babel, React(jsx). So last year I have switched on Codesandbox which use parcel by default. Now you even could create a whole container sandbox where you have access to virtual machine. So you could play with nodejs, webpack etc. But for this tasks I use Gitpod + Github. I have playground project which is a template from which I could start and modify if for my purpose.

I use this sandboxes even in my day-to-day job. If I found some strange behavior I try to reproduce it in a sandbox without and play with it. In this case I don’t bothered project’s code and could easy concentrate on the problem or idea.

Also it very powerful tool to learn something. If you want undestand how some library or its aspects works you can easly clone it and play with it using debugger.

Both Gitpod and Codesandbox give you posibility to develop in cloud. You could use your iPad for developing. It’s very handy if you are on the go.

Software Developer @ JetBrains