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Web-Based IDEs? Less Far Fetched Than You Think

· Java Zone

The Java Zone is brought to you in partnership with ZeroTurnaround. Check out this 8-step guide to see how you can increase your productivity by skipping slow application redeploys and by implementing application profiling, as you code!

Do you remember the Eclipse 4.0 "prototype" shown at the EclipseCon? Yes, the web-based Eclipse workbench? I must admit that I've not been very convinced that a web-based IDE would have much practical appeal. However seeing the demo videos for Heroku - a web-based IDE and hosting environment for Ruby on Rails applications - has changed my mind.


After all if the app has to be on the web and source == binary (Ruby is interpreted), why not put the IDE on the web too? Having the tools, the code and the runtime environment on-line makes several things easier:
  • Start working in a snap: Instant access to the source code from anywhere. No need to set-up an IDE. No need to set-up a local Ruby on Rails environment. No need to check out any code. Your data is there.
  • Instant collaboration: create a developer account. Send link to log-in page to developer. Start collaborating. (I hope it will support collaborative editing).
  • Deployment of the app is trivial. No need to find and configure a suitable server.
  • The "hosted-everything" aspect could make a great "source-forge-with-hosting" combo. Imagine finding a good web-application and just having to click on "deploy and run this on my account" for giving it a test drive.
This seems to be an excellent fit for Ruby and I'm looking forward to giving it a test-drive.

Now, how does it apply to Java web-apps?

The Java Zone is brought to you in partnership with ZeroTurnaround. Check out this 8-step guide to see how you can increase your productivity by skipping slow application redeploys and by implementing application profiling, as you code!

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