Cloud based Code Editing with Bespin

Richard Wong 18 February, 2009

After about 4 months without posting anything, I really want to get myself going again by starting with a small post about the latest projects from Mozilla Labs.

As for most us who develop for the web, Mozilla Firefox are already our default browser as its add-on structure gave us many essential tools in development. So it’s very exciting to see their lab coming out with experimental project that focus on developers.

Bespin was launched last week as an open extensible web-based code editors aiming to increase developer productivity, enable compelling user experiences, and promote the use of open standards.

Without me repeating too much, here is an introduction video from Mozilla:

from on .

Although this is only a first prototype of Bespin, they have done great job to show us the possibility of coding on the web and developing applications in a browser.

I like the fact that they wanted to create something that’s different to normal desktop editor. Their integrated Command-line tool is a great example which I personally think any editor should have.  They save coder a lot of time by keep their hand on the keyboard and have no need to remember all the shortcut keys.

Technology wise, it is interesting to see they chose to use canvas to develop their own inline editor. It allows them to have a flexible UI for editing text. Again this shows the power of canvas in developing your own bespoke UI.

In the past year, we saw the launch of many web based applications and signs of them becoming a real alternative to desktop applications. In some cases, including Bespin, they offer a level of collaboration and unique UI design that desktop applications sometimes lack. I suppose this shift of platform is going to continue and we will see even cooler web apps in 09.

Check out the Bespin demo

Comments so far

  1. Tim Healey March 27th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Interesting, but it does not seem to work for me. I found an alternative from a service called They allows code editing directly from files stored on any cloud you have plugged into their platform such as Amazon S3, Mosso Cloud Files, etc. They also support pluggin and FTP directory into their platform so you can treat it as a cloud. You can find out more at

  2. ivan July 30th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Why not try this Online PHP Editor –

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