Your IDE, In The Browser
Github recently announced a new product they’ve been working on, and it’s quite amazing: Github Codespaces, a real IDE, but fully available in the browser which can be launched directly from your Github-repo.
VS Code and Github - It’s Teamwork!
The core technology behind Codespaces is VS Code, the very popular IDE build by Microsoft. But how can this even possible in the first place? Well, VS Code is built with web technologies and distributed as app on various platforms via the Electron-framework, which acts as bridge to OS-native function and wrapps your web app in its shell.
But What’s The Point?
There’s no need to set up any dev environment locally on your computer, which can avoid some nasty hurdles when first loading the project.
Furthermore, dealing with secret config’s may also become easier, as everything is now manage directly via Github Secrets, therefore the headache of saving of local configs can be avoided. Yet you're working in a docker image, so the flexibility to configure the project is there.
Regarding the loading time of dependencies, that should be gone for good. According to the about-page of Github Codespaces, all your dependencies are directly available. Nice!
The Current State
As of writing, you can only participate in the completely free beta by invite, which means asking for access. Every Codespace run in a Linux-container, which has to be considered. According to the documentation, VS Code extensions are supported, which sounds great!
As soon as I’m able for a first hands-on, I’ll write a new blog post about it. Several questions are still open, probably the most important one for me is if web-app-development is supported, i.e. building a React-app. I’m curious to see how this project will evolve and can’t wait for a first try!