Prettier Code

If you care about code formatting, you might want to take a look at Prettier. It changed the way I think about coding styles quite a bit.

So I used to spend a lot of time fiddling with code styles. From debating spaces vs. tabs to comparing Symfony’s Coding Standards and Google’s Styleguides. With JavaScript starting to be the language of choice for most new projects, I settled on the Airbnb JS Style Guide and with the matching linter rules the topic was settled for quite some time.

But half a year ago, we decided at work to use Prettier for a new project. And this has changed how I think about code styleguides in a pretty fundamental way: I just don’t care anymore.

What prettier does: Instead of looking at the code style as it was written and applying rules on it, Prettier parses the code and prints it in its own format. So the leeway classic styleguides give every developer isn’t a topic to ponder on anymore.

Like many linters, it automatically reformats the files on saving. At first it felt like a heavy intrusion in my work. After all I – at least pretended – to put some effort and pride into the styling of the code I wrote. But a few days later I almost completely stopped thinking about code formatting. Months later I’m on the other end: I write code and am always heavily confused, if it doesn’t automatically get reformated in the now familiar Prettier-style.

So if you happen to start a fresh project, just give Prettier a try for a couple of days.