Time for a proper introduction

Have you met the GitLab Web IDE yet?

© Shutterstock / aslysun  

The GitLab Web IDE is hardly new considering that it was introduced with the beta version in GitLab 10.4. Nonetheless, it was only a couple of days ago that Dimitrie Hoekstra, UX Designer at GitLab, shared some insights into the thought process behind the creation of the Web IDE. Here, we have a closer look at the IDE and the most interesting facts behind its creation.

GitLab Web IDE, as presented with its beta version in GitLab 10.4, offers faster solutions for issues like writing small fixes, correcting typos or resolving merge request feedback by simply eliminating the need to stash changes and switch branches locally.

Since GitLab values users’ contribution and aims to accommodate the needs of both beginners as well as experienced developers in the git environment, with the release of 10.7, the Web IDE became open source and widely available.

Last week, Dimitrie Hoekstra, UX Designer at GitLab shared some insights into the thought process behind the creation of the Web IDE, all the ideas and the work the GitLab team had to put in for the realization of the project.

Initially called the “repo editor”, the Web IDE comes from staff developer Jacob Schatz’s idea, who observed how non-developers were having a hard time editing multiple files and getting those changes committed.

SEE ALSO: JAX Magazine is out: All aboard the IDE train!

After much discussion, it became clear to the GitLab team that the aim was “a real integrated development experience, accessible for everyone right within the GitLab UI, without anything to install. The idea grew from the ‘Repo editor’ into that of the ‘Web IDE'”, it was based on existing UI paradigms and inspired by other code editors like VSCode and Atom.

One of GitLab’s unique advantages is being an integrated product. Building an editor that was integrated with GitLab and made it easier for anyone to contribute is a natural fit.

One of the most interesting insights presented in Dimitrie Hoekstra’s article was the debate that went around among the team on a specific feature: the managing of states. Ultimately, the team decided to go for editor states instead of file-specific states that had a positive outcome for both the user perspective as well as the technical implementation since it reduced complexity.

Dimitrie Hoekstra’s article on the thought and decision process behind the creation of the GitLab Web IDE is extensive and I do recommend reading it if you are interested in the story behind the realization of the concept. Furthermore, you can take a look at the list of all the iterations the concepts have gone through here.

Do you feel you know everything about GitLab? Then we challenge you to test your knowledge with this GitLab trivia quiz! 

What language is GitLab written in?
a) Ruby and Go
b) Java
c) Python
d) JavaScript

How many people contribute to GitLab?
a) 750+
b) 1300+
c) 1800+
d) 2000+

See the full quiz here.

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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