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These cool Web-based development tools bring coding to the browser
Code in your browser
The migration to the cloud has turned into a stampede as the world turns to browser-based calendars, email clients, word processors, and spreadsheets to replace the hassle of maintaining a desktop with the right software. Through this revolution, though, the programmers have stayed glued to their command lines and desktop Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) out of a mixture of habit, simplicity, and speed.
The mighty Eclipse IDE project begins to edge toward the browser with Eclipse Orion, a basic tool for editing files. The plug-in architecture promises to bring many features to the mix, as it did with the desktop IDE. There are already dozens of attractive plug-ins, including ones for better coloring of the code and outlining.
The Cloud9 IDE brings a full complement of tools for creating websites and Web apps. The best part may be the SSH terminal on the bottom of the page where you can execute shell commands or watch your Node.js code come to life. You've got a write-test-debug loop ready for exploration.
This full-featured collection of tools is fully integrated with Cloud Foundry for building and deploying your code. Codenvy is ready for Ruby, Java, PHP, and Python as well as the OpenSocial gadget. The tool will build your project and run it in the Codenvy cloud. When that works, it will move it to your servers in the cloud.
Tiggzi offers a remarkably full collection of widgets for creating a mobile phone application in your browser. The visual design tool lets you drag and drop the widgets into your pages. There's not much need to even write code because much of the work is done with the visual designer.
This tool for experimenting with Python and sketching out code has grown into a full-fledged IDE with the power to develop and share projects. Python Fiddle is widely used in the community, and many of the online lectures now include examples in Python Fiddle. There are copious examples that make it one of the best ways to learn the language by actually writing code, not just reading about it.