Bespin – An Extensible Web Code Editor

Most people recognize Mozilla for its 2 most popular products – Firefox & Thunderbird.

But, Mozilla Labs has been churning out some really cool products and I like to try them out now and then. You can read my past Mozilla Labs product reviews here

Bespin – Web Code Editor

Bespin is an web-based code editor which is open and extensible. This is created with the aim of increasing developer productivity, better user experiences and promote the use of open standards.

Bespin aims to provide the following Bespin Logo

  • Ease of use – get coding quickly
  • Real-time collaboration – share live coding sessions
  • Integrated command line – command line like vi & emacs
  • Extensible and self-hosted – Ubiquity like commands or plugin via API
  • Wicked fast – responsive editing for even large files
  • Accessible from anywhere – work from anywhere, any device using a standards compliant web browser

Here is a quick video about Bespin:


Introducing Bespin from Dion Almaer on Vimeo.

Bespin Prototype 0.1 was released recently and it includes support for

  • Basic editing features
  • Syntax highlighting
  • Support for large file sizes
  • Undo/redo
  • Previewing files in the browser
  • Importing/exporting projects

Bespin Editor

You can quickly register for an account to give Bespin a try.

The thing with being extensible is that, anyone can just code up a plugin for Bespin and add more functionality to it just like how Firefox has become such a hit with all the top Firefox extensions.

In fact, there has already been a couple of contributions where one user implements Bespin Server API in a headless Eclipse and gets Java server messages in Bespin! And another user has integrated Bespin with the XWiki project.

As with other Mozilla Labs products, Bespin is still in its infancy and should be considered to be in prototype stage. I see this is as an early indicator of what the future holds for us in the web dominated world.

And it looks bright.

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12 Responses to “Bespin – An Extensible Web Code Editor”

  1. Rick@New Homes Section February 18, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Interesting little tool… I think I’ll play around with it. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Rick@New Homes Sections last blog post..Foreclosure Prevention Plan | Help for Homeowners

  2. Tamesis February 19, 2009 at 5:37 am #

    I think that while not too great at the moment, Bespin has a huge potential. It is lacking in code support, some basic usability features, and would benefit from a version system such as in Google Docs. Great start for it though – thanks for the post :)

  3. Best CSS Gallery February 19, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    Interesting post, Bespin sounds like a cool tool. I’ll give it a try

  4. Pete@fx trading February 19, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    The Bespin project may have a future. It has a lot of potential thanks to the possibility of adding extensions and, surely, thanks to being the Firefox project :)

  5. Granite Worktops February 19, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    Bespin eh?

    Sounds like a tool to try out!

    Cheers, Andy ;)

  6. lowongan kerja February 20, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    Sounds very cool, I’ll try that

  7. Bidet February 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    This sounds like a great tool for editing, thanks for sharing it. Ill be sure to try it out

  8. Hilary@Chicago hospital February 23, 2009 at 11:21 am #

    Live coding sessions will really help out the newer coders such as myself!

    What a great concept.

  9. The Blogger Source February 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    I have tried it and it’s not anything I would continue to use. Although I do see others benefiting from it.

    The Blogger Sources last blog post..15 Tips To Get More RSS Subscribers

  10. Nanny February 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    nice post, i think that looks really cool, i love all the new stuff mozilla is putting out, it could really turn some heads in the near future. thanks

  11. Syahid A. February 24, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Never heard of BeSpin before. Must try!

  12. Luxury Nashville homes November 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    It was an interesting experience to know more about the web-based code editor which is open and extensible. Support for large file sizes and Previewing files in the browser are some of the features which made me find more about Bespin.

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