Developing *in* the Browser

For various reasons I’ve been experimenting with services that allow students to develop *and run* code in the browser.

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Express for Web

I’ve been using Aptana Studio for teaching webby development stuff because:

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s a real IDE with auto-complete, syntax highlighting etc.
  3. It supports HTML5, CSS, JavaScript
  4. It has an integrated debugger, which even works once you’ve teased Firefox and Firebug to cooperate

But it’s heavy. So heavy that for my own stuff and for demo’ing to students I’ve stuck with Notepad++

I’ve just spent 15 minutes playing with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web (having been pointed that way by the news that Expression is dead) and, I think, we’ll be rapidly moving to that for future webby development.

  1. It’s free
  2. It’s a real IDE with auto-complete, syntax highlighting etc.
  3. It supports HTML5, CSS, JavaScript
  4. It has an integrated debugger which just works
  5. It supports a design view
  6. It’s not as heavy (not light, just not as heavy)

image

It might also be a decent replacement for the editor we use to teach basic web page design especially as the progression from visual editing to markup editing would be within one product.

All I need to do now is hope our managed service provider can cope with it…

BTEC Information and Creative Technology

I spent Friday on a Person/Edexcel course: Getting Ready to Teach BTEC Firsts 2012: in Information & Creative Technology.

The Pearson representative at the event stressed that all the information shared was already in the public domain. So, in a similar spirit here are my raw notes straight out of the Evernote notebook (iPad predictive typos and all 🙂

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RSS feeds of Twitter streams

Having discovered EdSurge I’ve been rather enjoying their content. I was hoping it would replace the combination of Ars Technica / TechCrunch / Engadget that I turn to first in the RSS reader.

Unfortunately not. I couldn’t find an RSS feed, which turned out to be because there isn’t one.

edsurge

Not to worry I thought, maybe I can subscribe to an RSS feed of their Twitter updates. Turns out you can, but not as easily as clicking on a button in Twitter, instead you need to construct a URL like this:

https://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/aiddy.rss

where you’d replace ‘aiddy’ with the Twitter screen name of the feed you want (omitting the @ symbol).

Here’s a little tool to make it easier to generate RSS feed URLs (and this explains why the tool isn’t embedded in this post). Enjoy.