Bespin 0.4: Stop, Collaborate and Code!

Chris Beard

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Bespin is back with a brand new invention! *

Something grabbed a hold of us and wanted to make the coding experience more social. Our initial prototype had the notion of collaborating on code artifacts a la SubEthaEdit.

We have worked with many remote teams during our coding careers and trying to do code reviews and pair programming has always been painful. Since Bespin’s all about coding in the cloud, how about using the cloud to make it a little easier?

Putting collaboration into production takes a lot of work. If you are hacking on code with a group of people, you are very chatty, so we had to rewrite the collaboration server to deal with this.

Joe Walker has done the bulk of the work, and has posted about the implementation and how to use it

Using Collaboration

As part of collaboration we need to notion of connections between people and access control. A few new commands give you access to this information:

  • follow/unfollow: allow you to decide whose shared projects you want to see in your project navigator. As we evolve Bespin this will become a way to get all sorts of information about the people you are working with
  • group: allows you to put the people you are interested in into groups to make it easy to manage sharing
  • share: allows you to export your projects read-only or editable to individuals, groups, or to everyone

To get started quickly, you can jump in to a public shared project that Joe has setup. Once logged in to Bespin follow the steps:

  • Press CTRL+J / CMD+J to open the command line.
  • Type follow joewalker to get someone to share files with. I’ve shared a project called pubproj globally.
  • Type project list. You should see joewalker+pubproj in your list of projects.
  • Type set collaborate on to turn on shared editing.
  • Open a shared file by typing open /joewalker+pubproj/example.txt.

Your command line should look something like this:

We have a collaboration sidebar that you can access from the top right icon; the icon turns blue if you have collaboration on and yellow if you are actively collaborating on a file with someone.

If you want to see this in more detail, watch the screencast:

One more thing….

The big feature of Bespin 0.4 is collaboration for sure, however we have fixed a huge number of bugs and have cleaned up the user experience in many ways as we keep making Bespin solid.

Give it a try and let us know what you would like to see!

If there was a problem yo I’ll solve it,
Check out the hook while Shay revolves it.
Ice, ice baby…

* (apologies to Vanilla Ice)

One response

  1. Axel Hecht wrote on ::

    We already started using this to chat about code fragments instead of pastebin. Works kinda nicely.

    One thing that’s easy to forget is the need to follow someone to see the shares.

    Not that it’s the wrong thing to do, it’s just easy to forget. Perhaps adding a pointer to the help text in share? Or make follow an alias or something in share?