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18 September 2012, 16:50

ACE code editor reaches version 1.0

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ACE logo Alongside the launch of a new web site, the ACE developers have released version 1.0 of their open source embeddable code editor. Written in JavaScript, ACE is a standalone browser-based code editor that can be embedded in any web page or JavaScript application. It supports syntax highlighting for more than 40 languages and can handle large documents with up to 4 million lines of code. According to its developers, the editor matches the performance and features of native editors such as Sublime Text, TextMate and Vim.

Version 1.0 sees the licensing for ACE change from the old Mozilla Tri-Licence (MPL, LGPL, GPL) to a three-clause BSD licence. The developers note that this change should also make it easier for users to contribute back to the community project. Notable features in ACE 1.0 include support for Vi and Emacs keybindings, the ability to import TextMate themes, multiple cursors and code folding. Users can also search and replace with regular expressions, and vertical tab-line indicators and code markers are supported.

ACE is the successor to Mozilla's Skywriter project, formerly known as Bespin, and is developed by Cloud9 as the primary editor for its online IDE. Unlike Skywriter, which was based on the <canvas> HTML element, ACE uses the Document Object Model (DOM) for rendering; this makes the editor compatible with a wider range of browsers. Following the initial release of ACE at 2012 in Berlin, the Mozilla Labs Skywriter team decided to merge with ACE in order to create a simplified version of Skywriter's plugin system as well as some of its extensibility points. Source code for ACE 1.0 is available on the project's GitHub page.

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