Better syntax highlighting and more modularity

Browser-based IDE Eclipse Orion gets 0.4 release

The Eclipse Foundation has announced the release of version 0.4 of Orion, its browser-based IDE for web development. The first major release for four months, 0.4 contains significant modifications to the project’s UI, as well as improved HTML and CSS validation, syntax highlighting using CodeMirror and better integration with external resources such as GitHub.

“Overall, the look and feel of the UI has been crafted to reduce the amount of tree style views in favour of a flat representation,” reads the release announcement. “There was also a significant amount of trimming and customization done to give more real-estate to the task at hand.”

Project co-lead Ken Walker draws attention to additional changes to the underlying architecture of Orion, which allow elements to be separated and incorporated into other projects. One high-profile example of this modular approach is the ‘Scratchpad’ in Firefox 10, which uses Orion’s editor as part of a live JavaScript sandbox. According to the project’s blog, the Orion community is growing “at an excellent pace”, with a number of the new features in 0.4 having been provided by newcomers.

Head over to the Eclipse Orion homepage to download a local copy or try out a embedded demo version. Orion may not be quitre as pretty as some web-based editors (we’re looking fondly at you, Tumblr HTML pad), but it’s a lot more fleshed out, and stands a real chance of changing the way live web development is done.

Louis Goddard

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