Zef Hemel



Zef is a VP of Engineering at Cloud9 IDE, Inc. where he is responsible for the IDE's language intelligence features such as code analysis, completion and navigation. He has a background in the design and implementing programming languages as well as distributed systems. Generally, he's a programming language geek. Today he primarily speaks JavaScript, and works hard to bring Java-level tooling to JavaScript, all accessible through the browser.


Coding in the Cloud

If we advocate the web, develop for the web, and move more and more of the applications we use every day to the web -- then why are we still developing software using desktop IDEs and desktop code editors? Don't all the advantages of the web apply to IDEs as well? Nothing to install, nothing to configure, seamless software updates, real-time collaboration with other users, offloading computationally expensive tasks (like large compiles) to the cloud. It seems to make perfect sense. Still, nobody seemed to do it. So, we decided to do it ourselves -- building an IDE in the browser. The result: Cloud9 IDE (

In this talk I will describe the vision and architecture of Cloud9 IDE and programming "in the cloud" in general. I will go through some of the technical challenges we faced building an IDE in the browser and using JavaScript for things it had not yet been used for before. Since the entire IDE is built in JavaScript, I will also talk about JavaScript-specific issues we faced and how we use tooling to solve them.

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