A play.js detour

Even in this age of contagion, I had a situation where it really made sense to fly out on a morning and back that evening. I decided to take the iPad instead of the notebook, and while I was at it, I decided to take a look at what the possibilities for coding on iPad these days.

There are certainly more code options than there used to be (and I suspect we’ll see more and more as Apple slowly overlaps the iOS and MacOS domains. In any case, the tool that seemed closest to the Gatsbyjs stuff I’ve been doing lately was the Play.js app. There are other JavaScript app options and they may be great. Generally, they are free where Play.js costs five bucks. But Play.js is really pretty fascinating.

As you can see in the screen shot above (a view of some sample code that comes with the app), the editor looks a lot like Visual Studio Code, which makes it immediately look friendly (assuming VSC is what you’re using). The app builds in a fairly impressive port of node.js as well as npm, along with support for react native.

I’ve got some catching up to do on react native. I get the basic idea: it lets you write an iOS app in reactjs. So that’s cool, but how does that work? And I thought you still had to have a Mac to build an iOS app, so I guess what Play.js is doing is actually more of an emulated environment?

If nothing else, it looks like Play.js provides a pretty decent editor that looks like VSC. Plus it has support for basic git functions, so you can work with code stored in online repositories. Nice.