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05 July 2012, 10:26

Google closure frees Collide project

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Collide screenshot
Zoom Collide in action at The H
As a last act before Google closed its Atlanta, Georgia engineering office, the engineers released parts of the project they have been working on: Collide, a collaborative IDE for the web. The Collide project was cancelled with the shutdown of the office, said Scott Blum, an engineer at the Atlanta office, but "we were able to liberate portions of our last year of work as a new open source project".

The initial release is "extremely stripped down" but contains the "interesting tech stuff around collaborative editing". The developers hope that the Apache 2.0 licensed release of the code will inspire others to improve the state of web-based IDEs.

The public code base at requires Java 7 and ant 1.8.4+ to build and includes all other dependencies; there are no pre-built binary downloads and potential users will have to check out the project from its git repository. According to the project page, Vert.x, Google Web Toolkit and Guava are among the libraries used to construct Collide.

Currently, Collide, when built, allows a user to go to a directory and run the Collide server. This will then make an authentication-free server available for users to log into and edit any files within that directory. The clean web editor interface includes a tree view and breadcrumb navigation bar with syntax highlighting enhanced editing for known programming languages. Collide does appear to be the work of many Google engineers and quite an investment of resources by the company. No reason was given as to why the project was shut down, beyond the closure of the Atlanta office.


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