Geeky/Programming Ramblings Random

Why isn't there a Web 2.0 Ajax Visual Studio?

Was thinking about this today. You can now write Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations and the like all online (Google Docs, Zoho, etc, etc). You can record video straight to websites through your webcam, you can video conference directly through the web.

Visual Studio in the Cloud:

Why can’t you code directly into the web?

I would like to see an app that lets you create a new .NET project through a web interface, reference dll’s if you need to (upload them to your “space”) and then go about creating code, Intellisense through Ajax, you hit compile, it sends it off to the server, compiles, and gives you a result. You can then browse to your exe or your new website and view the results.

No need for a bulky IDE installed on your computer, no worries about dependencies, etc. You could code C#/VB.NET on linux and a mac with no need for mono (although you couldn’t run the exe’s – it would be the most beneficial for web apps)

You could target different versions of the framework, use new features if you wanted, all that. Heck why not have the same thing for your database. mySQL already has it with phpadmin and all the other tools, you can query and do whatever you need to through the web. Where are the offerings like this for MSFT products? Maybe I just don’t know about them.

There is CodeIDE – but it is limited in languages and options. I want to see more of a full fledged Visual Studio IDE in the browser. Why? Because I want to be able to fire up a computer and just go to work, no installing, no waiting, no upgrading.

I can already see it now, Adobe Air IDE’s you can run on your desktop and sync up source code to the online IDE.

One feature built right in to this “online IDE” would be source control, revision history, etc.

I might not be possible right now, but I say give it a few years, and we will see a product like this come out, and I can’t wait.

By Steve Novoselac

Director of Digital Technology @TrekBikes, Father, Musician, Cyclist, Homebrewer

3 replies on “Why isn't there a Web 2.0 Ajax Visual Studio?”

An online version of Visual Studio would be great. Won’t have to worry about using a Windows VM for .NET coding on OS X. is available for creating Ruby on Rails apps entirely through your browser. Hopefully other platforms follow suit.


Interesting idea, I’ve had it a couple of times before but thrown it away due to not having time. Though the GUI parts would probably be very easy to implement using Ra-Ajax 🙂
At least in the upcoming release which have got drag’n’drop support plus a lot of other candy stuff which makes the WYSIWYG part of the .ASPX form quite easy for doing within the browser 🙂


On this line of thought there is DreamFace Interactive which enables design (and optional programming in Javascript or Flex for the stronghearted) of personal, interactive mashups directly within the browser.

It differs from the traditional software developer IDE in that it is Web-based from the ground up, predicated on the broader availability of data source (both internal to the intranet and external on the Web). DreamFace-based Web applications are orchestrations of interacting widgets accessing and operating on these data sources. As such they require no programmin skill and are assembled, run, and shared from within a browser.

Of course, programmers may add to the data widgets some of their own–in Javascript or using Adobe’s Flex environement/IDE. Once published on the (remote) DreamFace framework the datawidgets become available to others, programmers and non-programmers alike.

In addition DreamFace is Open Source and the community is building fast.


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