A fully-functional code editor that resides in the cloud is something that I’ve been dreaming about for awhile now. The idea of being able to open a public project and easily edit it in a familiar environment from any computer without SSHing into the server is very appealing to me.
There have been a couple of attempts on the web to do something like this but they’ve been a little too simple. Now, however, Mozilla Labs has announced the launch of Bespin, a full-featured, collaborative code editor that resides in the cloud. And before you even ask, support for vi and emacs mode is built-in.
Appropriately named after a planet in the Star Wars universe, Bespin overcomes many of hurdles of writing a fast, responsive online text editor by using the <canvas> tag, the HTML element for writing programmable graphics. When you consider the canvas tag has been around since Firefox 1.5, it’s a wonder someone hadn’t thought of this before. Check out the video below that introduces the project and talks about some of the technology behind the project.