Mozilla Introduces "Bespin" for Programming in the Cloud

Paul Lilly

Everyone of late has big plans for the cloud, including Mozilla, who on Thursday launched an open-soure project called Bespin. The basic idea behind Bespin is to offer a web-based programming framework that brings together the speed of desktop-based development with cloud computing. While in very early form, Mozilla has set some high-level goals for the project:

  • Ease of Use - the editor experience should not be intimidating and should facilitate quickly getting straight into the code.
  • Real-time Collaboration - sharing live coding sessions with colleagues should be easy and collaboratively coding with one or more partners should Just Work.
  • Integrated Command-Line - tools like vi and Emacs have demonstrated the power of integrating command-lines into editors. Bespin needs one, too.
  • Extensible and Self-Hosted - the interface and capabilities of Bespin should be highly extensible and easily accessible to users through Ubiquity-like commands or via the plug-in API.
  • Wicked Fast - the editor is just a toy unless it stays smooth and responsive editing files of very large sizes.
  • Accessible from Anywhere - the code editor should work from anywhere, and from any device, using any modern standards-compliant browser.

As it stands now, Bespin 0.1 is just an initial prototype framework with support for basic editing features like syntax highlighting, undo/redo, previewing files in the browser, and other low-level tasks. In the long-run, Mozilla hopes to "empower web developers to hack on the editor itself and make it their own."

Developers who want to give the early prototype a whirl can access the Bespin demo here .

Image Credit: Mozilla

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