Mozilla brings Web app dev inside the browser with WebIDE

The technology for building, editing, and testing Web apps also provides templates and blueprints to help developers get started

Mozilla is offering in-browser application development features for its Firefox browser with its WebIDE project. The technology helps developers build, edit, and test Web applications from within a browser.

Now featured in Firefox Nightly Builds, which are builds for testing purposes, WebIDE is intended to assist developers who are not sure how to start application development on the Web. "We're solving that problem with WebIDE, built directly into Firefox. Instead of starting from zero, we provide you with a functioning blueprint app with the click of a button," said Dave Camp and Robert Nyman of the blog in a post this week. "You then have all the tools you need to start creating your own app based on a solid foundation."

WebIDE will go into a Firefox release build once it has been through enough community testing that Mozilla is confident of its readiness, said Camp, Mozilla director of engineering for developer tools.

The technology currently can be used for installing and testing apps on Firefox OS devices and simulators, but the fledgling Firefox OS platform is still just getting off the ground, with Mozilla's Web-based mobile platform primarily eyed for newer markets around the world. "WebIDE can be used for developing Web applications of any sort, Firefox OS or otherwise," Camp said. "Currently, support for pushing to remote devices is limited to Firefox OS, but Firefox for Android is coming soon. Chrome for Android and Safari for iOS are coming later in the year."

The Firefox Remote Debugging Protocol, which currently is only useful with FireFox Desktop, Firefox Android and Firefox OS, is at the heart of WebIDE. An adapter is being developed to allow clients using the protocol to talk to all mobile browsers regardless of rendering engine or runtime.

WebIDE features example starter templates, and developers can build their own templates as well. Source files can be edited in WebIDE, which features an integrated editor based on the CodeMirror Editor, which supports HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files. Firefox developer tools are integrated for debugging and inspection across devices.

This story, "Mozilla brings Web app dev inside the browser with WebIDE," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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