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Online Development IDEs You Can Access Anywhere

by Brad Jones
Online Development IDEs You Can Access Anywhere

IDEs can take up a lot of drive space. Here are five cloud-hosted IDEs that don't - and that you can access from anywhere.

Many of us have our favorite integrated development environments (IDEs). Over the decades such environments have continued to evolve to the point where they can do everything from prototyping ideas to analyzing the efficiency of the final code. Most desktop IDEs have become a form of Swiss army knives for code developers. With this increase in functionality, it is not surprising to find that installing an IDE can take a huge amount of a computer's hard drive to install. For example, a full installation of Microsoft Visual Studio can require up to 60 GB of hard disk space.

While a full install of everything within Visual Studio is an extreme example of disk space usage, the reality is that in today's world of cloud services, developers no longer need to install an IDE. There are several high-quality development tools and environments available through the web. In many cases, these web-based development IDEs are even free.

The following are five such IDEs that can be found online and used today. Some of these are great for building enterprise-level solutions. Others are better suited for simply learning a specific programming language. The common factor of all five of these tools is that you can access them from nearly anywhere even if you are using someone else’s computer!

Online IDE 1: Repl.it

REPL stands for Red-Eval-Print-Loop. Repl.it is an online programming environment that provides for interactive coding using a large number of programming languages, ranging from JavaScript and CoffeeScript to Scala, Java, PHP, C/C++, C# and many more (over 50 in total). The IDE provides two main areas, an editor and a console, which allows programs to code their applications and then see them in action. In addition to supporting a standard desktop browser, Repl.it also works effectively on a mobile device. There is also support for GitHub.

Repl.it has a free version that allows for collaboration. It includes 500mb of storage. Processing power is limited to 500 MB of memory and .2 to .5 vCPUs. Here's a Repl.it screenshot:

Online IDE 2: CodePen

CodePen is focused on Web development with a front end for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and front end web development syntaxes that can be converted to these. It is an online IDE that allows you to see the results of the code you are entering, and thus makes a great environment for learning. Much of the code created on CodePen is open source and public. The following figure shows a screen capture of a “Hello World” web page that was created. You can find CodePen at CodePen.IO.

 

Online IDE 3: CodeAnywhere

CodeAnywhere is an online IDE that supports a variety of languages and platforms as well. These include Python, PHP, HTML, Java, Node.js, C/C++, .NET Core, WebPress, and over 120 total programming languages syntax. It includes features such as code completion for languages like JavaScript, PHP, HTML, and CSS as well as support for files as big as 200,000 lines of code. Its integration allows you to connect with things such as GitHub, Bitbucket and Amazon S3, as well as to use common file protocols. Private containers can be created and customized. At the time this article was written, CodeAnywhere offered a limited free two-week trial (although my trial said it would expire in 7-days). Otherwise, there is a monthly user fee. Screenshot below:

 

Online IDE 4: AWS Cloud9

AWS Cloud9 provides a code editor, debugger, and terminal that can be used to do programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, PHP, Go, C++ and more with support for over 50 programming languages. AWS Cloud9 can run on a managed Amazon EC2 instance as well as on nearly any existing Linux server that supports SSH. It includes the ability to write, run, and debug applications using just a browser.

It is worth noting that AWS Cloud9 uses AWS, and thus the cost of using it is based on AWS service pricing. If you have an AWS Free Tier account, you can use the features within that tier for free. You can find more on AWS Cloud9 at https://aws.amazon.com/cloud9/.

Online IDE 5: JSFiddle

JSFiddle is another online tool focused on web development, with support for HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Its interactive environment allows you to enter your code and run it. All of this is done within the confines of a browser window through its various panels. JSFiddle includes boilerplates for things such as jQuery, Vue, React, Preact, TypeScript, CoffeeScript, SCSS, Bootstrap, and more.  There is also support for GitHub integration, async requests, and more.  For the most part, JSFiddle is free thanks to advertising support, but you can upgrade to gain extra features such as groups, private fiddles, and an ad-free workspace. You can find JSFiddle at https://jsfiddle.net/. Screenshot below:

This article was originally published on Friday Feb 19th 2021
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