The Lone Geek Blog

One geek in a sea of nerds.


A Cloud9 Review

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I would like to talk a little bit about coding in the cloud. A few weeks ago I discovered the world of cloud IDEs and thought, “What a wonderful way to write.”. Of course, everything is not without it’s limits but it does the job.

At first, I discovered Koding and was attracted to the full SSH service they had but was immediately turned off on the 3GB space limit and more than half of that was taken by the OS. They allowed only one virtual machine and being one that’s never satisfied with such restrictions, I looked elsewhere. I wanted something I could experiment with various projects that would otherwise clutter my own machines. Then I discovered Codio but that had it’s issues, namely, no free user package but a trial period. I didn’t want that so I didn’t play with it any further.

The 3rd IDE I found was Cloud9 and finally, something I can make use of. With support for virtually unlimited workspaces, each with 5GB 2GB of usable space and a gig 512MB of ram to run projects, I practically fell in love. I could spin up spaces to try out new technologies, delete them or simply keep them for later review and my main workspace for my website remains clean and functioning. With the option to pay for extra features like more than one private workspace and ability to connect to SSH servers, it turned out to be pretty nice and stable.

I can keep my source files on GitHub or BitBucket or not but keeping them there does add a bit of security in case Cloud9 was suddenly unavailable. Then from there I can pull the project I care about to my local machine and continue to work. There are so many competitors online it’s unreal, some paid, some free, like anything else. Some services are generous to their users, others are not so much. Between Cloud9 and GitHub, I see no reason to go elsewhere unless I, for some reason, needed more resources for a project.

The only thing missing is active spellcheck and a handy color wheel so I wouldn’t have to leave the IDE to check them. :) Sadly, I don’t know much of JavaScript to add them myself, otherwise I would.

In closing, if you’re a programmer and would like to move to the cloud, I recommend Cloud9 as your new IDE. Cheers!