Let’s do Cloud Programming!
Part 1: Introduction
Imagine the useful and famous Google Docs exists for software developers. Instead of writing texts, you can program in a document together. One developer codes and the other one has a look at it (remotely), corrects and comments the code lines. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? And everything works just in a web browser. The application would provide a version control system, a terminal, a project browser and a complete project management including debugging, compiling, deployment and everything the developer’s heart desires. You would no longer need a local IDE and you can access your complete development environment from anywhere, via the Internet – every time! Are these dreams of the future or do intelligent solutions already exist?
Actually there are online IDEs which take these approaches. Though many important features that make an IDE workable are missing. In my opinion, for professional work an IDE needs the following features:
- syntax highlighting,
- code completion,
- error reporting,
- integrated version control system,
- project browser,
- terminal and
- a search.
In addition to these features the IDE has to work efficiently and be stable. If I use code completion, the suggestions should appear within a minimal latency time: I don’t want to wait as long as it would take to clean my keyboard (even though my keyboard needs to be cleaned badly). I had a look through the Internet and I have found some online IDEs that I will present to you in the next few articles about Cloud Programming. In particular, the online IDEs Cloud9, Koding and ScalaIDE will be reviewed. Last but not least, I will sum up the blog series and give a final conclusion. Let’s do Cloud Programming!
Let’s do Cloud Programming!
Part 2: Cloud9
I present you Cloud9 as the first online IDE in the blog series “Let’s do Cloud Programming!”.
Many nice features complement the IDE. The user interface is very modern and I can imagine working productively with it. But some typical IDE functions are still missing, like code completion over other classes or error reporting with error signs and appropriate error message in the editor.
I can recommend Cloud9 to developers interested in a flexible and independent solution. All you need is a computer and Internet connection – so you can access your projects at home, work, or even in an Internet cafe on the other side of the world. The complete IDE is web based and provides many features which an IDE should have. It is a pity that the IDE feels sometimes laggy and some features are still missing. Unfortunately loading a huge project was not possible. I am curious what the next steps of Cloud9 will be. In the next article I will present you the online IDE Koding, which has a different concept than Cloud9.
(This blog post is also available in German)