AI-assisted code completion Kite gets JavaScript support

There are now quite a few tools out there that aim to make your coding outsourcing workflows more productive. Kite, a tool that uses AI to provide entire snippets of code to complete Python code, now supports JavaScript. We’ll tell you what the tool can do.

One of the pioneers in the market for developer tools that complete your code with intelligent suggestions was Kite, a startup from San Francisco in 2014, whose tool of the same name complements your Python code – and is very popular among Pythonistas. According to its own information, the startup has now recorded 250,000 active users for the AI-supported tool. Now the company is launching support for another programming language. We spoke to founder Adam Smith beforehand.

In a conversation with Smith last year, the startup CEO had already revealed that JavaScript had been considered as a possible first supported programming language in the early days of the startup, but in the end the choice fell on Python. However, the idea of ​​adding support for JavaScript has been in the air ever since. Almost six years have passed between the initial launch of Kite as a tool for Python developers and the launch of support for JavaScript. When asked about this, Smith says they made a conscious decision to take the time to work out a recipe for success using the Python tool before moving on to other programming languages.

Support for popular JS frameworks

The AI ​​was trained with 22 million open source code files. This guarantees support for all known frameworks, such as Vue, React or Node, explains Smith. He describes the recognition of the framework used and the provision of suitable code snippets as fairly reliable and accurate. However, the tool does not yet offer support for so-called “compile-to-JS languages” – languages ​​such as TypeScript, Clojure or Reason that are compiled to JavaScript. Support for HTML and CSS code, at least in its pure form, is still pending, says Smith. But it is able to understand CSS-in-JS.

Not a Docs co-pilot for JavaScript developers

One feature of the tool is particularly popular among Pythonistas: the Python Docs copilot. Unfortunately, the tool lacks an equivalent for JavaScript users at the moment. When asked, Smith said: The copilot feature for Python was created in the early days of the startup, when many of the AI ​​technologies available today were not yet fully developed. The product idea at the time was to provide developers with an extended Docs experience with the co-pilot, which should help them develop. Super-fancy machine learning models simply did not exist in their current form in 2014. When they came up, the product focus at Kite shifted accordingly. However, it is quite conceivable that the feature will also be implemented for JavaScript afterwards, admits Smith.

Free for JS users, Pro version for Python users

Similar to other AI-powered code completion tools, Kite is now launching a subscription model. In the future, Python users will be able to choose between a free version and a pro version with extended functionality for USD 16.60 per month. Another payment model for teams is already being planned. For the time being, the tool is only available in a free version for JavaScript users – after all, the feature is only just leaving the beta phase.

Suitable for this: JavaScript: These were the most popular tools and frameworks in 2019

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