Skywriter: The Project Formerly Known as Bespin

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Skywriter: The Project Formerly Known as Bespin

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Although the Star Wars fans may not be happy about its name change, the Bespin project is approaching a 1.0 release and gaining adoption in the " Node Knockout" competition.  Mozilla says they've had many compliments and complaints about the name "Bespin," but today they decided that a name change was necessary in the long term.  The cloudy IDE will be known as Mozilla Skywriter and it will be moving to GitHub forthwith.

The project formerly known as Bespin is an IDE made with HTML5 canvas technology and SproutCore.  The tool encourages a highly shared environment where data can be accessed from any machine through a web browser, regardless of location.  Skywriter is free to anyone who registers on the Mozilla website.  The IDE currently supports syntax highlighting for HTML, CSS, PHP, Python, C#, C, Ruby, Arduino and JavaScript.

Recently, Bespin Embedded was included in several entries for the "Node Knockout" competition, specifically Nodify, Inflatable Churn, and Wrath.  Other development environments on the web, such as jGate, ShiftEdit, and Mozilla's Add-On Builder also use Bespin.  

Currently, Skywriter is being transformed into an end-to-end JavaScript-based system.  Skywriter's build tool, dryice, is being ported to node.js and soon, the developers will write a XULRunner-based desktop version of Skywriter, plus a new customizable server version based on node.js.  With the Skywriter codebase, Mozilla will be able to target many uses for their editor.  

For people who have wanted to fork Skywriter on GitHub, Mozilla has decided to move the official repository there, although it currently needs to be fixed now that the names in the code have been changed.  The old bespinclient repository will stick around for developers who need something that works now.  The code in the GitHub repository is the fully JavaScript version.

Go check out the GitHub repository containing Mozilla Skywriter.

P.S.  Skywriter makes me think of "Skywalker," so maybe Star Wars fans can still be happy with the new name.

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