CodeMirror: Edit code in your browser

JavaScript-based code editor supports JavaScript, C, C++, C#, Java, SQL, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby -- you name it

A long time ago, every file on your computer was a text file. Then came binary files, and the text editors morphed into integrated development environments. Not so long ago, every text field on a Web page could accept text and nothing more. That is slowly changing as embedded editors are adding colored markup to the code we write.

Code? Yes, one of the strangest ironies is that programmers are some of the last people to move into cloud-based applications. While programmers are usually the first to create the new tools and lead the way, they're far behind the memo writers and spreadsheet users when it comes to doing their chores in Web applications.

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One of the first tools leading the charge is CodeMirror, a JavaScript-based editor that can handle more than 60 types of new and old programming languages. It's ready to work with JavaScript, C, Erlang, and your old favorites like Pascal and Z80 code. Z80 code? Grandparents can use CodeMirror too!

The library comes with an MIT-style license, and support is available for serious users. The most prominent adopters are a bunch of the playpen applications appearing for experimenting with code. JSBin, for instance, lets you build a website on one side using CodeMirror while seeing the results on the other side. SQLFiddle lets you play with schemas and SQL statements, then watch the results. These are just two of the dozens of websites that are turning into quick interactive sketchpads for people hacking code.

Deeper tools for building apps online are also making use of CodeMirror. Codev is a collaborative tool for development teams that want to work on the same code. LightTable is using CodeMirror too to build a lightweight IDE. Both of these are good indications that programmers will be able to join the Web app revolution sooner than later.

This article, "CodeMirror: Edit code in your browser," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in data center and systems management at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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