Do you remember the Eclipse 4.0 "prototype" shown at the EclipseCon? Yes, the web-based Eclipse workbench? I must admit that I've not been very convinced that a web-based IDE would have much practical appeal. However seeing the demo videos for Heroku - a web-based IDE and hosting environment for Ruby on Rails applications - has changed my mind.
After all if the app has to be on the web and source == binary (Ruby is interpreted), why not put the IDE on the web too? Having the tools, the code and the runtime environment on-line makes several things easier:
- Start working in a snap: Instant access to the source code from anywhere. No need to set-up an IDE. No need to set-up a local Ruby on Rails environment. No need to check out any code. Your data is there.
- Instant collaboration: create a developer account. Send link to log-in page to developer. Start collaborating. (I hope it will support collaborative editing).
- Deployment of the app is trivial. No need to find and configure a suitable server.
- The "hosted-everything" aspect could make a great "source-forge-with-hosting" combo. Imagine finding a good web-application and just having to click on "deploy and run this on my account" for giving it a test drive.
Now, how does it apply to Java web-apps?
Image Source: Heruko Demo Videos - (c) Copyright 2008 Heroku.com.