IDE in the Cloud

By Doug Schaefer

There's been a lot of talk at EclipseCon here about the "IDE in the
Cloud". I missed it but apparently the Mozilla Bespin demo at the e4
talk was quite impressive. It is easy to set up, and it's pretty fast
as a code editor. I guess that makes sense since browsers have been
heavily optimized for fast display of textual and graphical content. So
I have to admit, it's led me to reconsider this technology. Rational
tried this many years ago, remember Catapulse?, to build hosted
development environments. The idea, and the company, collapsed in the
high-tech bust of 2001. Maybe they were just too early.

But as we start to rely on the cloud, what happens when the sky's are
clear? I just heard Kevin McGuire say that, hey, my e-mail is on the
server, why shouldn't my code be there too. I use Outlook and
Thunderbird in a mode that downloads my e-mail to my machine so I can
access it disconnected. I don't always have access to the cloud. Until
the cloud is omni-present, through things like metropolitan wireless
schemes, and cheep, $10/day at my hotel wasn't cheep, then I don't see
it really taking off as the typical way you do software development.

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