Mozilla's Bespin now dubbed Skywriter, nears 1.0 release

Back in 2009, the folks over at Mozilla hatched a plan to create a cloud based code editor that would also allow users to collaborate with one another. They dubbed this project as "Bespin," deriving the name from the cloud city in The Empire Strikes Back. Now, after over a year, the project is slowly but steadily approaching the 1.0 release and Mozilla has changed the name to Skywriter. Recently they also moved the repository to GitHub, a social code repository, so that developers can more easily work on the project and collaborate with each other.

Skywriter is, according to Mozilla, "a powerful, customizable HTML5 text editor." The server version will run via Javascript, and the desktop version will be an XULRunner-based port, but all using the same key parts of the project, namely node.js. 

For over a year, Mozilla has worked to offer code editing on their servers, but also give you the same functionality on your own website, via Skywriter Embedded. Bespin, or Skywriter, is also being used by Mozilla to create a new Add-on builder, The Register reports. The functionality and ability to customize the editor will allow for universal use and placement. 

While this project has not received much press, the developers are hard at work in Mozilla labs creating what they feel to be a great coding solution. For yourself, you can find the repository right here, or find out more at the Skywriter homepage.

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13 Comments

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Hmm... I'm not sure if it has offline support through HTML5. That would be useful so that you don't lose your document if Internet or their website goes down for whatever reason, and you keep typing and typing without realizing, then trying to click save. I'm a bit worried about these things. A local offline mirror that it auto-saves to will solve that problem for sure.

TonyLock said,
In a nutshell, how exactly does it work?

Basically you add a bookmark to your toolbar and when you get to the page you want to turn into a click on the icon the appears and the editor pops up.

Temperingpick said,
Basically you add a bookmark to your toolbar and when you get to the page you want to turn into a click on the icon the appears and the editor pops up.

That's not how it works, that's how the XULRunner based port is implemented.

anyone else care to take a stab at how it works. I'm assuming this node.js holds the key.

briangw said,
I wonder if they changed the name with the recent George Lucas lawsuits popping up.

and 'Skywriter' would be considered less "dangerous" for that purpose?