Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Google Open Sources Coding Kit That Lives Online

Google doesn’t want Collide, a tool that lets programmers collaborate on coding projects via their web browsers. But you can have it.

Last week, according to a Google+ post from a former Google engineer named Scott Blum, the web giant shut down its Collide project as part of some changes it made in its Atlanta engineering office, but it has given the world at least part of the code behind the tool, launching an open source project on its own Google Code site.

With his post, Blum says that Collide has been under development for about a year. It’s an IDE, or integrated development environment, a tool for building software applications. But unlike traditional IDEs, it runs online, inside a web browser, fostering collaboration among coders and providing access to coding projects from virtually any machine. According to Blum — who left Google when the Atlanta operation was closed — only part of the code behind the tool has been open sourced, but he says this included the meat of the project.

“What we pushed out is extremely stripped down right now, but the most interesting tech stuff around collaborative editing is all there,” he says. “Long term, we hope it will serve as a catalyst for improving the state of web-based IDEs.”

Collide is just one of many tools that take the traditional IDE online in an effort to streamline code development. A startup called Cloud9 offers an online IDE based on the open source Ajax.org Cloud9 Editor, or ACE. Adobe has built an open source code editor called Brackets meant for building applications with standard web development languages, including HTML and Javascript. And the Eclipse project offers an open source tool called Orion, designed for those using the Java programming language.

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