Social coding and collaboration with

imageLet me start by saying that I am not a developer. I’ve been designing and building websites for a good ten years, but html and css are about as indepth I go , aside from the occasional foray into php (WordPress is my demon of choice) or hitting up the interwebs for some js snippets and appropriating where need requires. With this in mind, I recently threw myself into a site build where the concept required some nice, simple jQuery to work correctly…

Cue everything going wrong.

After pulling my hair out for a few hours when a simple piece of code wasn’t working correctly (for no reason at all), I decided to turn to the twittersphere for help. However, the best way I could find for people to help out was to either email all the files to potential helpers (who I like to think look like elves) or give them access to the server. The problem didn’t require something as robust as Github, but needed something that could offer a simple, collaborative solution that I could email the link around to.


Highlighted by the lovely Syd, is a simple little open source solution that allows you to input a chunk of html, css and js and display it in an inframed window. Think a blocked up, sharable version of the developer tools that exists in most modern browsers. You can throw some code in and straight away see how it outputs. Even more brilliantly, you can then share the link with people. Each iteration (divvied off when you click the ‘run’ button) creates it’s own version under the unique url…

It’s not the most robust tool out there, and seems to have been mocked up pretty quickly using mootools, but provides a simple answer to a fairly common problem.

Sure, it’s not the social coding revolution of Github, and is a little less feature-laden than something like Cloud9 IDE, but it’s open source, and more importantly, free.

What do you use for collaborative coding? Are there any other tools out there that could help with these kind of problems?

Published by Luke

Luke is one of Ubelly’s resident social media guys, occasionally switching hats for a bit of design. He is the in-house meme expert, uses foursquare a little too much and gets hot under the collar when it comes to design, usability and gorgeous code.

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