The Whats, Whys, and Hows of Remix IDE

5 min readJan 27, 2023

The introduction of smart contracts coincided with the launch of the Ethereum network in 2015. Ethereum allows the deployment of smart contracts due to its Turing-complete characteristic. Several blockchain networks, including 5ireChain, have embraced the use of smart contracts a few years down the line, contributing to its widespread adoption. But what is the relevance of smart contracts to the blockchain world?

Smart contracts are self-executing agreements. They operate similarly to traditional or legacy contracts but digitally — a smart contract is executed automatically when a condition is fulfilled. While there are potentially different reasons to deploy a smart contract, the most common and existing use of smart contracts is found on DeFi protocols — for swap, lending, and borrowing transactions on AMM DEXes.

Developers deploy smart contracts in languages such as Solidity, Rust, and Go across blockchain networks. 5ireChain smart contracts are written in Solidity. Smart contracts are deployed locally or in an integrated development environment (IDE). This article explores Remix as an IDE, why developers use it, and what 5irechain is building using the IDE.

What is an IDE?

According to AWS Cloud, an integrated development environment (IDE) is a software application that helps programmers develop software code efficiently. It increases developer productivity by combining software editing, building, testing, and packaging capabilities in an easy-to-use application. An IDE is similar to a text editor used by writers or spreadsheets used by accountants. Meanwhile, software developers use IDEs to achieve efficiency and ease. Remix IDE, used by 5ireChain, is a good example.

Why are IDEs Relevant?

Developers may use any text editor to write codes. However, most integrated development environments (IDEs) offer features beyond text editing. They provide a centralized interface for popular developer tools, greatly enhancing the effectiveness of the software development process. Rather than painstakingly integrating and configuring various tools, developers can start programming new apps immediately. They can concentrate on just one application rather than learning about all the tools.

Developers use IDEs for various reasons, such as code editing automation, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, refactoring support, local build automation, compilation, testing, and debugging.

What is Remix IDE?

Remix IDE is the most commonly used and trusted compiler for Solidity smart contracts. It offers a development environment within which developers can access plugins necessary for developing smart contracts on Ethereum. Per Moralis, “It serves as a playground for teaching and learning how to use the Ethereum network.” As such, 5ireChain developers can write, compile, test and debug codes within Remix IDE without installing different frameworks.

Remix IDE is an open-source application. It provides flexible access to multiple plugins with the facility of intuitive GUIs, all at no cost. Remix IDE is beneficial for both beginner and expert developers. For the former, they can use Remix IDE to gain expertise in smart contract development. While for the latter, it is a viable environment to test and debug smart contracts before actual deployment on 5ireChain. An already deployed smart contract may be difficult to review for exploits or vulnerabilities, thus leading to loss of funds.

Contrary to common assumption, Remix IDE is only a part of the more significant Remix Project, which features other services such as Remix Libraries and the Remix Plugin Engine. Remix IDE is available as a web (compatible with Chrome, Brave, and Firefox browsers) or desktop application, including as a VS Code extension.

How Remix IDE Works

Remix IDE operates similarly to other development and testing frameworks such as Hardhat and Truffle. However, developing smart contracts on the Remix IDE framework requires knowledge of Solidity — the prerequisite language for scripting EVM-compatible smart contracts.

It is also essential to learn the basics of Remix IDE and its different components. The first step to developing a smart contract is launching the Remix framework in the preferred format — browser, desktop application, or VS code extension. Developers compile and deploy smart contracts after declaring and scripting them. Remix IDE enables developers to select their desired configuration. They can choose the deployment environment from options such as “web3 provider”, “JavaScript VM,” and “injected web3” environments. However, the JavaScript VM is more convenient because it is a blockchain running in the browser.

The basic UI of Remix IDE contains the following;

  • Icon Panel: Helps in changing the plugins that would appear in the Side Panel.
  • Side Panel: Displays the GUI of almost all the plugins on Remix.
  • Main Panel: Featured as the space for file edition in the old layout and showcases plugins or files for compilation in the new layout.
  • Terminal: Space for viewing the results of user interactions with GUIs and running scripts.

5ireChain uses Remix IDE for creating and compiling smart contracts through the following simple steps;

  • Access File Explorer and create a new file.
  • Provide a name for the file and open it in the Editor.
  • Paste the smart contract code in the Editor.
  • Ensure the concerned contract is visible in the active tab on the Editor before compiling the contract.

What 5ireChain is doing with Remix IDE

5ireChain is building a user interface (UI) integration with Remix IDE. The UI traverses logos and themes and other user-friendly customizations. The UI integration will allow users, including developers, to interact with the 5ireChain testnet, enabling them to create assets and deploy tokens on the 5ire chain, which is EVM-compatible.

Leveraging the Remix IDE framework, 5ireChain can easily deploy smart contracts as if they were deployed on the original EVM. As such, 5ireChain-based protocols can interoperate with Ethereum-based protocols. This increases the network value and encourages deep value exchange across both networks.

Remix IDE contains many plugins, presenting multiple features for smart contract codes. One of these features is the debugging plugin, which will allow 5ireChain to deploy non-vulnerable smart contracts. This way, they can altogether avoid cases of exploits.

In addition, 5ireChain developers can also choose their compiler version when using Remix IDE.

Bottom line

Given the increasing popularity of smart contracts, there is likely to be more deployment across existing and upcoming blockchain networks, even for real-world purposes. So long as there is less room for errors or vulnerabilities, smart contracts may replace legacy contracts. Thus, open-source development frameworks like Remix IDE will serve as viable tools for smart contract developers, especially on 5ireChain.

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