It will be really worth your time to set you computer up for class. The tools you need are discussed at Tools for 559.

Here are some steps that I used to set up a new Windows laptop for working on class projects. This can give you a sense of how to get the things on the Tools for 559 page setup on your machine. It will probably be different for you. If you have a Mac or are running Linux, I can’t provide as much help (but other Course Staff can). This is a bit old.

  1. Make sure that you’ve already installed Firefox and/or Chrome.

    • We will Chrome to grade your assignments. You will want to have it available to test things, even if you prefer Firefox.
    • I generally use Firefox as my web browser, and Chrome for programming (just to keep the two separate).
  2. Install GIT for Windows

    • other systems have it installed already
    • you might get this when you install other tools
    • You need the command line GIT tools even if you use GUI tools.
  3. Set up private keys for GitHub in GIT.

    • See Git Setup and SSH configuration
    • This will save you a lot of time
    • It can be tricky to get right, which is why we made a whole page about it. Ask for help if you need it.
  4. Install Node from

    • We won’t use node directly, but it is handy to have becuase it allows you to install other things.
    • Use this to install useful Node services. Note that you need to use the -g option so that the programs are available everywhere on your computer.
      • npm install -g http-server - This is the web server we will use to test your programs.
      • npm install -g jshint
        • I picked jshint, but could have used eslint the TAs have convinced me to switch to eslint
        • eslint is fancier and more flexible, jshint works out of the box
  5. Install Visual Studio Code

    • We strongly recommend using Visual Studio Code for class. See the Visual Studio Code (VSCode) for CS559 page for more thoughts on this. You are welcome to use other tools,
    • add JavaScript support (by clicking on “JavaScript” on the Customize screen)
    • I recommend going through the “Interactive Playground” (under the Help menu)
    • If you open up the extensions page (File/Preferences/Extensions), you can add other Extensions
      • Debugger for Chrome (or Firefox, or both) the debugger is now built in
      • live server
      • jshint (eslint seems to come by default)
      • add “Shader Languages Support for VS Code”