Free Online Editors and Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Editors for Programmers and Web Developers


Free Online Editors and Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

An online integrated development environment (IDE) or an online editor is useful when you are on the road and have to use a public computer or someone else's computer that does not have the development facilities you need, or when you are collaborating with others and need to share source code with others so that they can modify and check your work. The free online IDEs and editors listed here provide varying facilities that may help you in such a situation. Note that not all the sites listed provide the same set of features. Some are geared towards people creating websites. Others are focused on the computer programmer. Some are simply designed for people writing code away from their own computer, and do not have features for collaborative development; others are created with multiple people working on the same code in mind.

If you are looking for a standalone (offline) IDE or editor, please see the Free Programmer's Editors and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) Software page instead. You may also want to take a look at the Free HTML Editors and WYSIWYG Web Editors page, since it also contains editors. (My decision to place an editor or IDE into one page or the other is sometimes arbitrary, since many editors can fall into either category.)

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Free Online Editors and Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

ShiftEdit (web development)

This online editor is intended for you to write programs in PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl and JavaScript, as well as web pages (ie, in HTML and CSS). The editor has support for working with multiple files in different tabs (just like an offline text editor), syntax highlighting, block tabbing (where you can select an entire block of text, and hit the TAB key to indent the entire block), automatic bracket closing for PHP and JavaScript files, bracket matching, undo and redo, line numbers, the ability to go to a specific line (by line number), automatic HTML tag closing, search and replace, source code beautifier, a WYSIWYG design mode, code snippets, built-in version control with the ability to compare the difference between the current version and the previous, integrated FTP and SFTP with the ability to handle multiple websites, and a facility where you can assign other users access to your code to modify (for those who are working in a team), etc.

Ideone (computer programming)

Ideone is an online integrated development environment (IDE) for a wide variety of programming languages, including C, C++, Java, PHP, Python, Pascal, Prolog, and lots more (too many to list in this annotation). You basically type in your program into a text box on their site, and click the "Submit" key to send it to a compiler/interpreter running on their web server. It will execute the program and return the results to you. There are of course some limitations as to what will be allowed: you can't access any files (only stdin and stdout) nor can you access the network, your source code and I/O data are limited to 64 kb, and you can create only up to 16 processes. Your source code will be stored on their system and you can access it again using a URL assigned to it. Your source code is publicly viewable. (Note that marking your code as "private" merely means that it will not be listed in their most recently submitted code. Anyone with the URL to the code can still view it.)

Cloud IDE (web development)

Cloud IDE is an online IDE with a focus on collaborative development (of up to 6 users per project, including you). You can not only write your applications but also run and debug them via REST. The code editor provides syntax highlighting for a number of languages (including Java, JavaScript, XML, Groovy, PHP, Ruby, JSP, HTML, CSS), code completion, code outline, file templates, line numbers, undo/redo, find and replace, etc. They also have a WYSIWYG editor for HTML and Google Gadget. Version control is provided in the form of the git version control system. It also has built-in facilities for your applications to be deployed onto platforms like Heroku, OpenBees, OpenShift and CloudFoundry.

JsFiddle (HTML/CSS/JavaScript)

JsFiddle describes itself as a "playground for web developers". It is essentially an online editor that you can use to write HTML, CSS and JavaScript and you can see the effects of the resulting in a separate panel (actually, iframe) in your browser. Note that this is not a full-blown text editor that you can use to type any type of code: the stuff you type is inserted into the <body> section of a web page. There are options, however, for you to specify that your JavaScript be placed into the <head> section, or be run when the page is loaded (ie, "onLoad"), etc. There are also facilities for you to set the title tag of the page, the DTD, load supported JavaScript frameworks, and so on. Your code can be embedded into any web page on the Internet.

CSSDesk (CSS)

CSSDesk is self-described as a "CSS Sandbox". When you visit the site, you are presented with 3 panels, one of which contains the HTML code that you type, the second the CSS code, and the third a visual presentation of what your HTML and CSS code looks like in a web browser. As such, it functions as a handy online tool where you can test your CSS code before committing to it on your website. When you are through with your testing, you can simply click a button to download the code you typed as a file, or share this code with others (the site will give you a URL whereby you can access that same code).

Drawter (HTML/CSS)

Drawter gives you an WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") interface to creating a web page. You can use your mouse to draw boxes which it will automatically convert into a DIV block. Using the other facilities provided by the online editor, you can create your entire web page online, generate the resulting HTML and CSS code and copy it to an editor on your main computer. While the editor is extremely clever, there are still some bugs and clunkiness at the time I checked it out, so that you can sometimes end up with editor pop-up windows that you can't easily get rid of (or at least not in any obvious way).

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