This blog post is written by guest author Matt Pardee, developer evangelist for Cloud9 IDE.
The ACE editor came to prominence at a time when web applications were beginning to match the sophistication and performance of their desktop counterparts. When the Mozilla Bespin/Skywriter team saw ACE at JSConf EU in 2010, they decided to replace their efforts on Skywriter by bringing their own experience and code to ACE. Joe Walker’s graphical CLI, Skywriter’s plugin system and extensibility points are just a few areas where Mozilla made contributions.
This is the commit message made by Fabian Jakobs on April 2, 2010. Two and a half years, 3218 commits, and an outpouring of contributions later, the ACE we know today has matured into an incredible code editor that thousands of developers use in their own applications (GitHub, Google, and Khan Academy, to name a few).
So what constitutes v1.0? September 7 marked the most important shift in ACE’s open-source philosophy by switching from the Mozilla Tri-License to the New BSD License. For those considering using or contributing to ACE, the decision should now be a lot easier. This shift comes on the heels of months of development bringing a feature set and performance rivaling the most sophisticated native editors:
- Vi and Emacs keybindings
- Editing 4 million lines is just as performant as 400
- Multiple cursors
- Code folding
- Vertical tab-line indicators
- Importable TextMate themes
- Syntax highlighting for 45 languages
- Search and replace with regular expressions
- Code markers
In addition to this, we are pleased to announce that ACE has a new website with a no-nonsense embedding guide, how-to reference for common operations and an API reference. Check it out to see how you can embed it in your own web app and extend it to your liking.
ACE is a shining example of how the open-source community has achieved great things. While ACE is shepherded by Harutyun Amirjanyan and Fabian Jakobs, the real champions are the dozens of contributors, hundreds who filed issues, and thousands of developers who keep ACE running on their own sites. ACE wouldn’t be what it is today without you.
To the champions of ACE inside Mozilla, especially Kevin Dangoor, Joe Walker, Patrick Walton and Julian Viereck: you propelled the project to new heights and brought a lot of community love to the table. Without you the ACE project may not have become as successful as it is.
About Matt Pardee
Matt is the developer evangelist for Cloud9 IDE, spending days building out the next generation platform for development and nights at meetups around the SF bay.