Once upon a time I mini-ranted about the cloud not really being ready for all of us to move in. And only a week ago Google’s mail service once again went down taking a couple thousand (now restored) email accounts with it in the process…
There are more cloud based services out there, but since two days one in particular has caught my eye. Cloud coding. Just about two years ago, the mozilla foundation created Bespin. I have to admit, I never heard of it, not conciously anyways. Bespin has since then now moved on to a third name, but more on that later. Back then I was (and still am) perfectly happy with Eclipse. Eclipse extended by PDT, FDT and (the recently aquired) Aptana all hooked into an SVN let me code in full comfort.
But that bliss was kind of blown wide open on March 4th. A simple poll that has led to some frenetic searchning, reading and trying. It turns out that the browser based coding environment is already quite crowded. No FDT substitute is to be found yet, but I am sure that will come to fruition sooner rather then later as well. As a matter of fact I don’t think I have seen mention of any browser based coding environment that allows developers to compile something. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Given life, and the life that fills my own walls, I have to admit, that my exposure to the platforms I am about to link to is rather limited. But still I did install or run all of them and I have chosen a front runner, for myself that is, already.
Formally known as Bespin, then Skywriter and now ACE – this open source editor has a most intriguing installment over at Cloud9. It has one thing going for it, it is indredibly slick. It seems to have an impressive user base and it hooks directly into your GIThub. Finally the very impressive backers make it clear for why this platform is the front runner on the poll, the backers are non other then the before mentioned Mozilla foundation as well as ajax.org. Two names that undeniably have a lot of weight.
Slick, clean and hassle free, are the first words that come to mind. This program takes some setting up on your end. This might also be a draw-back, especially having just been over at the Ace, where a simple sign up to Cloud9 gave me what I came for. But most developers, like myself are not afraid of a little tinkering to make things work I guess, so not all that bad again I guess. Also CodeMirror has one very impressive list of supported languages…I do personally have one issue with this platform, and I don’t know if it is reasonable or not, but as such, it seems to be a one man show. Surely not on the development front, but there is one name only that is fronted on the site, and one name alone. Much like with Ruby I like the product, but there is just something wrong…but again that might just be me , oh no wait, the poll result says otherwise for now.
SourceKit is an implementation of the before mentioned Ace platform. It is directly integrated into Chrome (or Chromium for myself). And those of you that read me, know that I have a soft spot for this browser (though I have to admit that Firefox 4 Beta is looking incredibly promising). What really got me exited about this platform, and transfer a project to it, is how it ties in with Dropbox.com. So this allows you to work on your projects from one computer to the other. I think the user could be given the choice on which cloud space to use, UbuntuOne come to mind, but at any rate this truly looks powerful, and will, for now, be the tool I will play around with. There is one problem I do have with source-kit, it’s dropbox linkup and the whole cloud computing concept in general (yes I am looking at you Chrome OS). What happens if you are, god-forbid, in a net-less place. I did try myself, I unplugged my network cable and fired up source-kit, no error, not nothing, just a never ending attempt to connect to my drop-box. Why does the program not simply store my work in the local Dropbox folder that will synch as soon as I come back online, just a thought.As long the 100% up global spanning wireless network is not accessible by you and me, cloud OSes are just not the way that I see us going yet.
So while I am waiting for Eclipse to eclipse them all…Ace is the platform, and SourceKit is my favored flavor of it.But as of yet, not having any auto completion, no extending of my own classing and intelligent importing just does not make this a viable solution yet. But I am sure there is more to come…
So there you have it, the cloud is growing and growing. Exiting times indeed…
Tags: idea, technology, thoughts, web