So, here’s the deal: we’ve built this thing, Space. It’s a web-based code editor that lets you and your friends/peers/family/hack-a-thon team/whatever edit the same code, at the same time.
It’s basically that simple. It does some other fun things as well—shared internet radio, multiple editing panes, realtime chat, to name a few. But what we want you to know about is real-time editing.
Fed up with having to kick each other out of code just to make simple edits, or passing files back and forth to finally deliver the right solution. We dreamed of collaboratively editing the same file. In our previous editor, this was an obvious shortcoming. Seriously, it’s the internet: everything should be real-time. Well, thanks to nodeJS and nowJS, the possibility of real-time, collaborative editing became very possible.
Space helps you to edit multiple files at the same time as multiple people. You see their changes happen instantly as you work on the same code. And Space saves your work for you as you go. A logs pane lets you know what is happening on the server. The project viewer lets you know who is editing working on what, and a chat window lets you communicate with each other outside of the code with anyone working in any file, in any project (bonus: the chat app will work from your phone as well). And with the editor built on top of the incredible Ace, text editing and syntax highlighting are rock solid for tens of thousands of lines of code. All inside your browser window.
So now we want to now what you think we should do with it. We built this for ourselves, but want to share it in a way that the world wants: should we open source it and help everyone add real-time awesomeness to their code editor. Or do we polish what we have into a service that we provide? What do you think?
We want to know. Go here and click on one of the vote buttons.
Now, despite all the incredible things real-time editing allows for, it isn’t without its flaws. Constantly saving means that broken code shows up really fast, especially when someone other than you wrote it. Plus you have to pay a little extra attention to what else is happening, what is being named what, and so on. But while these issues exist, they’re easy to manage and things you would have likely have to resolve asynchronously anyhow. We definitely think the pros of real-time out-weigh any small downsides.
We just wanted to come right out and say it though: Space isn’t perfect, this style of coding isn’t for everyone. We, however, think it is pretty awesome. If you think so too, go vote and let us know what you want to see happen with it: http://chaoscollective.org/projects/builtinspace.html