New Screencast: Collaborative Editing in Komodo IDE 7

We’ve been remiss in making screencasts for all the new features in Komodo IDE 7. To remedy that, Todd Whiteman has made this short video showing off Komodo Collaboration. You can share buffers (existing files or new documents) with other Komodo IDE users in real time and see everyone’s changes highlighted and tracked. This is similar to the functionality available in online tools like Google Docs or Etherpad lite, but with all of the editing and code intelligence features available in Komodo.

This new feature gives you:

  • real time editing
  • the ability to share with individual users and/or limit access to individual files
  • visual indicators for where people are editing and the text they have highlighted
  • secure HTTPS/SSL connections – only authorized users can see the code you share
  • full Komodo editing support – commands, code coloring, syntax highlighting, etc…
  • unlimited collaborators – how many friends ya got?

Pair programming

When ActiveState was a part of Sophos, the PureMessage team made the big jump to adopting the Agile methodology and using pair programming. This involved a big change in the office layout to accommodate pairing stations, where developers could sit side-by-side and work on code collaboratively. Each station needed two keyboards, two mice, two chairs, and the corresponding desk real-estate. That would be an unfeasible change for a team that just wants to experiment with pair programming or use it only sporadically.

With Komodo Collaboration, you can get some of the benefits of pair programming without having to rearrange your furniture. You can still grab your laptop and go sit with your colleague, but you don’t have to fight about who’s key-bindings are going to be used (the Vim vs. Emacs issue for example) or give up any editor customizations you’ve made (theme, macros, snippets, etc.).

Distributed development teams

Most distributed teams of remote developers become adept at communicating via email or IRC and using pastebins to pass code back and forth, but working together in the same buffer is much more efficient. With code collaboration in the editor, pair programming suddenly becomes a possibility. With Komodo, a headset, and Skype, you get pretty much the full pairing experience without having to put on pants.

How it works

Behind the scenes, here’s how collaboration in Komodo IDE communicates with the central server hosted in ActiveState’s network:

  • Komodo IDE connects to the ActiveState server over HTTPS
  • Users are authenticated using their ActiveState single sign-on account
  • Shared files are stored on the ActiveState server.
  • Changes made by users are propagated to the ActiveState server
  • The ActiveState server then re-propogates those changes to other authenticated users accessing that file

So try it out by creating a free account on the ActiveState Platform and let us know what you think.

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