Developer feedback: potential areas of improvements for NEAR

I’ve finished NCD program (which was great, I learned a lot, thanks!) and would like to share some thoughts on Near SDK & tools.

  1. Tooling could be heavily improved: generic syntax highlighting & autocompletion are already here, but if Near-specific plugin for vscode would exist, it could also provide code snippets and Near-specific warnings / optimization hints for inefficient / costly storage uses.
  2. Cost estimation for change methods would be also great.
  3. Debugging. Understood not possible in case of testnet, but should be absolutely possible with locally run node, right?
  4. Cleaning contract storage without introducing dedicated debug functions into contract. Vscode could have a button / menu item for explicit storage cleanup or it could be part of near-cli.
  5. From the other side, prepopulating contract with some data for debugging purposes could be also interesting feature.
  6. Viewing contract state/storage from vscode would be helpful too. Like 'storage-report ’ from near-account-utils can do, but integrated and interactive (allow expanding vectors /sets/maps)
  7. better docs, preferably offline. Something like Qt Assistant (which is the best docs viewer ever imo) & Qt docs… structured by classes, with ‘tutorials’ section & ‘best practices’
  8. highlighting functions which are ‘view methods’ vs ‘change methods’, just based on function content. going through the list of ‘special words’ like Context.predecessor etc
    manually isn’t that fun :slight_smile:
  9. near create-app needs to be fixed for at least angular (doesn’t work out of box atm)
    In general code-generation could provide more options, like creating ‘minimal’ project or fully functional with recommended structure.

Near is already very developer-friendly, with a bit more polishing it might become a golden standard of blockchain & tools made for human and not for robots :slight_smile:

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