Why Cloud9 Is worth your Attention

IDEs are a pretty divisive topic among developers – and rightly so. Wij’re creatures of habit, creating our entire workflow around the instruments wij use.

Today, I’d like to talk a bit about Cloud9, the latest entry into this saturated market. If you’ve cemented your feet into your beloved code editor, I’m here to review a few points that I think that may just switch your mind. Ter fact, this isn’t like any editor you’ve everzwijn used before.

What’s Cloud9?

Cloud9 is a browser based IDE. It’s a fresh product from Ajax.org that aspires to be the premium online development environment for JavaScript developers. Spil their developers waterput it, it’s:

The JavaScript IDE for Javascripters by Javascripters.

Cloud9 is written with JavaScript, and JavaScript alone. Yes, I mean both the back and frontends. Knot.JS powers the server side part of the toneel, if you’re nosey, making it self hosting, on some level.

You might be wondering what makes it so special, here are the cliffnotes version of the toneel. But before wij budge forward, a little history.

The Cloud and IDEs

A cloud based IDE has bot on everyone’s minds since the concept of asynchronous web applications commenced taking a hold among developers however I’m pretty sure the idea itself predates the modern web.

Having access to your volmaakt work environment regardless of where you are is a sperzieboon for modern developers and is pretty much on everyone’s wishlist. Imagine being able to fix a elementary, yet voorstelling stopping bug right from your holiday netbook just spil you’re about to houtvezelplaat a flight. Flawed, for the evident reasons, but also volmaakt.

And let’s face it, minimal code editors have bot online te one form or the other for fairly some time now. But they’ve bot just that — code editors, not IDEs. If you’re pondering on the difference here, I typically consider an IDE to be a code editor with at least debugging support thrown ter.

Mozilla’s SkyWriter project, originally called Bespin, wasgoed essentially the very first, well executed foray into this kampplaats. Te that sense, the Cloud9 verhoging isn’t indeed fresh — it has existed under a different umbrella te different stages of genesis for a while now. The current Cloud9 podium is an amalgamation of Skywriter and Ajax.org’s own Ace editor.

What Took so Long?

A number of reasons truly.

  • Spectacle: Very first up, there’s the kwestie of show. The JavaScript engines of yesteryear were severely gimped. And replicating a modern UI requires oodles of power that just wasn’t available.
  • Technology: While AJAX makes for slick practices, it still requires a bunch of back and forward inbetween the browser and the server, most of which has to be done by hand.

Fortunately, the latest years have seen exponential increase te the show of JavaScript engines while the introduction of HTML5’s WebSockets make real time applications exceptionally effortless to make. Well, not amazingly effortless, but lighter when compared to replicating it with mere AJAX. Libraries like socket.io are a massive help spil well.

And with those tidbits of information out of the way, let’s take a look at why I think you’d do well to give Cloud9 a look.

#1 — It’s Open Source

That’s right, you didn’t read it wrong. The source code to the current version is downright open source.

If you’re the kleuter who learns primarily by looking at code written by others or merely wants to poke around to get a feel for the codebase, you can do it! And trust mij, you can learn a loterijlot when perusing their code. There’s some pretty nifty code inwards!

#Two — Hosted or Local – It’s your Choice

Use any machine to loom into your account and boom!, you have the development environment of your choice with zero hassle.

You’re very likely wondering what I mean here. Let mij elaborate.

Ajax.org runs a hosted, development spil a service version overheen at c9.io. If you’re the kleintje of person who’s permanently on the budge and would like the plasticity of a cloud solution, this is the reaction for you. Use any machine to loom into your account and boom: you have the development environment of your choice with zero hassle.

On the other arm, if you’re uncertain about the entire cloud situation and would like to run a private cloud or more traditionally, just use it spil a standalone browser based IDE. Reminisce how the code is entirely open source? There’s nothing stopping you from doing any of the options listed above. Set up a private cloud for your colleagues and code away!

#Three — The Pricing is Superb

Open source projects get to use it for free!

The hosted version of Cloud9 goes after Github’s pricing monster.

If a project is free and open source, you get to use Cloud9 for free — there are no limitations whatsoever. Your project will be universally findable and users can fork overheen your code if they want.

If you’re working on a commercial project or would otherwise like to keep your projects private, however, you’ll need to opt for one of the paid plans embarking at $15 a month.

Of course, all of this applies only if you want to use the cloud hosted version. You’re more than welcome to setup Cloud9 locally and love the IDE without having to pay a cent.

#Four — Usable and Slick

Many of the IDEs I’ve used overheen the years have bot pretty. eccentric. No, Textmate doesn’t count! It’s merely a text editor. Most IDEs on the Windows toneelpodium tend to be rather eccentric. They can be lumbering brutes with a myriad of panels and toolbars with inscrutable icons and such. Unnecessary to say, most IDEs [shoo, Apple users] are neither usable strafgevangenis good looking.

If, by some off chance, a usable IDE does come out, it almost always is going to be ugly spil sin. Call mij shallow but I’m going to be looking at an IDE all day, every day. I request some eye candy, goshdarnit!

Cloud9 is undoubtedly an fresh breath of air for mij. The UI is minimalist, polished and utterly usable. Subtle gradients, useful iconography and an almost McGyver need to unclutter things are everywhere.

#Five — Extensible and Customizable

Thanks to Skywriter’s influence, Cloud9 features a very plain yet powerful plugin system.

Extensibility and customizability are very significant facets of the IDE picture. Often, you’re going to include plugins or extensions to either boost the functionalities an IDE provides or to merely tweak the practice to your liking. Almost all of us do this, to differing extents. Just ask Jeffrey about his .vimrc opstopping!

Thanks to Skywriter’s influence, Cloud9 features a very ordinary yet powerful plugin system. Are you missing support for your beloved language? Want to modify the interface to better suit your workflow? You can, and should, extend the IDE through the plugin system.

#6 — Git Integration

Cloud9 linksaf to Github for version control and integrates downright with the toneelpodium.

Revision control is an significant opzicht of modern development paradigms and Cloud9 accounts for this right out of the opbergruimte.

Cloud9 linksaf to Github for version control and integrates totally with the toneelpodium. It’s amazingly ordinary to edit and update your repos, all from within the IDE. Jeffrey’s latest premium tutorial is something you should check out if you’re even marginally interested ter this topic.

#7 — Makes Knot.JS Development Lighter

Cloud9 is the only IDE for Knot.JS.

Knot.JS is one of the rising starlets of the web development industry. It enables JavaScript to be used end to end thus simplifying the entire workflow.

So far, Knot.JS support has bot nascent, even te desktop IDEs, not to speak of testing or debugging. Cloud9 entirely switches the picture. It’s essentially the only option if you’re serious about Knot.JS development and need a sturdy editor to match. You’re able to play around to your heart’s content. A unique app URL to play around at and integrated debugging instruments are some highlights if Knot.JS development are your primary concern.

#8 — Extensive Language and Debugging Support

Cloud9 supports all the most popular programming languages.

From all my talk about JavaScript and Knot.JS, you may be inclined to believe that this is an IDE only for JavaScript. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While the marketing tends to concentrate on the JavaScript part of the equation, Cloud9 supports all the most popular programming languages: Python, PHP, CSS and, of course, HTML. Keep te mind that, since this is under active development, you can count on more esoteric languages being added down the line. Just druppel the friendly devs a line and let them know!

And spil a modern IDE, it features almost all of the niceties you’d be expecting. Real time validation, pauze points and other forms of code analysis and inspection are all covered.

#9 — Co-developing and Collaboration is a Cinch

Version control is a excellent project for a team overheen the long run to treat collaboration. But sometimes, all you want is to share your screen with someone else and write code at the same time. Everzwijn collective a document on Google Docs and observed spil someone fix this petite error you left behind? Cloud9 lets you do this from a development perspective.

On a larger scale, it also lets you add and liquidate developers on a vanaf project ondergrond with even more fine grained control overheen read and write access. Certainly useful when you have a large team under you. Some rudimentary project management support is baked te spil well.

Cloud9 ships with an integrated, real time talk client.

And eventually, te the spirit of real time development, Cloud9 ships with an integrated client that permits you to communicate with members on your team from within the IDE. Obviously, it’s more IM than email — the interaction is ter real time — like Campfire for developers.

That’s a Wrap

Unnecessary to say, if you’re fairly serious about JavaScript, you truly owe it to yourself to take a look at the toneel. At the very least, you’ll be supporting devs who are pushing JavaScript forward ter leaps and bounds.

I hope that you’ve found this write-up interesting. Wij’ve attempted to go with a slightly different topic today, diverging from our usual web development content. I’m sure there are lots of perspectives I’ve missed te this article, so reminisce to chime ter with your comments. Thank you so much for reading!

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