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Earlier this week I came across a newly announced project in the Mozilla Labs called Bespin . Cloud computing is continuing to be all the rage, and more and more applications are available in the cloud. You can use free tools from Google to read your email, write documents, do presentations, and edit spreadsheets. The advantage, of course, is that your documents and applications are available anywhere a browser is. But as a developer, the application you are likely to spend most of your time in is your trusty text editor. What would a cloud-based text editor look like, and what new capabilities could it bring?

One answer to this is Bespin. Bespin is a text-editor that is implemented entirely in the browser using JavaScript. (Incidentally, Bespin is the name of the planet that the Cloud City is anchored to in The Empire Strikes Back . I have to give them credit for the cool name.)

[Introducing Bespin | http://vimeo.com/3195079] from Dion Almaer on Vimeo .

I must admit, when I first read about it my right eyebrow slowly raised in skepticism, and it hasn’t really fallen yet. You can try it out for yourself at https://bespin.mozilla.com . After I took it for a test drive I was actually far more impressed than I thought that I would be. It certainly is usable and aesthetically pleasing, but the jury is still out in my mind whether the underlying idea (cloud-based editing) is a good one.

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