Monday, March 14, 2011

The IDE must move onto the server

Here is a video of my prototype online IDE (watch it in 720p if possible):

It's basically a subset of how I think a browser-based IDE should look like and where we should get, pretty soon.

I've just focused on some essential parts in my prototype:

  • The IDE must be accessed via a standard browser and should be installable (ie. your own startup should be able put it on a dedicated server).
  • Project/user timeline with commits, bug reports, code reviews, etc.
  • Good editor: syntactic and semantic highlighting, project-based code completion, code folding.
  • Running tests locally (a signed applet gets disk access if needed) or remote. I guess the local part is just for reassurance and, perhaps, offline fallback.
  • Some form of chat for internal communications.
  • Integrated metrics and reports from various sources (FindBugs, build server, project planning tools, etc).

The most important thing is the editor: I still don't see a good Javascript-based editor and certainly not one for Java, which is what I would need.

The next thing is the proper integration of the various external tools. You could hook the build server test results and findbugs warnings straight into editor hints or error stripe, for example.

I also think nobody is focusing on the kind of automated learning we could apply to projects once everything is in one place. Nothing says progress like a browser Clippy saying Hey, it looks like you're solving almost the same threading problem as John did on this other bug 3 months ago.

All in all, my work is just a prototype. But I do hope that in the near future I wouldn't need a workstation to do my job -- just a humble device with a decent network connection.


Unknown said...

Late to the game?

Emilian Bold said...

I don't think cloud9's editor is yet usable for Java for example.

Unknown said...

What's about for example Clojure, Scala, Erlang or Haskell?

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