Codio - Best WEB IDE out there?

For decades we have bought and installed software into our computers. Only within few recent years, someones have decided to challenge this thinking model. Dropbox, Office 365, Google Docs... These are just few examples of cloud driven softwares.

Now there is a new kid on the block. Codio is a cloud based IDE which can be run without any software installation. Codio isn't the first of its kind, but it surely is one of the most interesting ones.

Codio is free for "Open Source" development and monthly paid for private projects. So basically you can get to know with it without any charge, and start subscription if you want to develop something cool behind the curtains. Pricing is currently 8$/month. So a year would cost a bit under 100$.

If pricing is compared to other similar (non cloud) IDE:s, its at mediocre level. For example you can get WebStorm for a ~122$ which means 15 month of Codio. Plus you get free updates with Codio, but still prices are quite near each others.

What makes cloud IDE's so interesting?

Code everywhere. Nowadays we have multiple devices which we may want to use in software development: Laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. Regular IDE's doesn't install well on Android tablets or Chromebooks, but Web IDE's are a different breed. You only need a Javascript support (in theory) to run a full featured IDE. 

No deployment. Web IDE provides a real time sight into web pages. You don't need to run any local web server to preview your pages. Just save code and refresh page. Of course you can easily deploy into production also if you want to.

Real-time sharing. In Web IDE everything you type, must be send into cloud. This allows real-time code sharing with teammates. Codio currently does not support real-time coding with others, but it shouldn't be that hard to implement it, because data is already present.

What do I need to run Codio?

Up to date web browser and Javascript support is all you need. I tested that at least following browser are working:

Opera 20
IE 11
Chrome 34

After having a up to date browser, create an account, log in, create a project and start coding. That's it. Really. 

What do I get?

Here is a quick list of features, for more detailed list see Codio's homepage

Back End Boxes. For a every server-side project, you get a dedicated "box" which can be used to run and debug your project. You get these for free!
Keyboard Shortcuts. Yes you can use keyboard shortcuts to quicken your code writing
AutoComplete. Codio has basic support for AutoCompletion. It's not the best one, but good enough.
Deployment. You can easily deploy project over (S)FTP/Git/Nodejitsu/Parse/RSync. 
Beautification. You have a basic beautification to align your code vertically nicely. At least HTML support is well done. All tabs and spaces are getting into right places.
Built in GIT support. You can store source code easily into GIT repository. Codio's built in GIT client is mainly meant to be used from terminal window. GUI support is only for Pull/Push/Create Branch/Switch Branch
MultiCursor support. This is actually cool new feature of Codio. It allows user to select multiple lines which are affected by typing. See video

On a next post I'm going to present how I use Codio in software development.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions. I don't work for Codio and my blog is not sponsored by Codio.


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