NEW DEVELOPMENT TREND - USING THE CODE "PLAYGROUND"


What's a Code Playground ?


In the last Apple Developer Conference (ADC) has been presented the new programming language named Swift.
In that conference the Swift's showcases have been developed through a new tool, included in Xcode, named Playground (Playing Around) that allowed, while writing code, having an immediate feedback about the effect of what they were doing

It is quite evident that this is a great feature to provide for whatever IDE and take note that  Apple is not the first to do this.

Purpose of this article is to try to give as much as possible information about the best "Code Playground" available in the software development market

Java Code Playgrounds

So let's start. First, being a Java Developer, i would like put in evidence that a kind of "playground" has been provided by Eclipse long time ago through use of Java Scrapbook Page that are defined as:
The scrapbook allows Java expressions, to be run, inspected, and displayed under the control of the debugger. Breakpoints and exceptions behave as they do in a regular debug session.
Continuing to refer to Java development an interesting announcement has been done about an FX Playground that is a JavaFX-based prototyping tool or live editor that eliminates the step of compiling Java code. It will be presented at JavaOne 2014 in San Francisco but it is not available yet for download :-( 
I will wait for its availability and will notify you when this will happen .

Cloud Aware Code Playgrounds

In the era of "Cloud", could not miss the On Line Code Playgrounds and in particular lot of them allowing to deal with HTML5 development. Below i've listed a selection of them, that for me are the best ones

JSFiddle (HTML/CSS/JS)



JSFiddle was one of the earliest code playgrounds and a major influence for all which followed. Despite the name, it can be used for any combination of HTML, CSS and JavaScript testing. It’s looking a little basic today, but still offers advanced functionality such as Ajax simulation.
I've integrate a mobile preview of JSFiddle within my cordovapoc app


Code Pen  (HTML/CSS/JS)


The prize for the best-looking feature-packed playground goes to CodePen. The service highlights popular demonstrations (Pens) and offers advanced functionality such as sharing and embedding. 
The PRO service provides cross-browser testing, pair-programming and teaching options for just $9 per month.


CSS Deck  (HTML/CSS/JS)


CSS Deck is a fully-fledged HTML, CSS and JavaScript playground with social and collaboration features. It’s similar to CodePen (I don’t know who influenced who!) but you might prefer it. 


SQL Fiddle (DDL/SQL)

SQL Fiddle is a playground that allow to generate and maintain a private database on the fly. Moreover it allows to perform and test SQL queries that will run within a transaction that gets immediately rolled-back after the SQL executes. Currently it support several versions of MySQL, Oracle, PostgresSQL, SQLLite and MSSql.

As you create schemas and write queries, unique URLs that refer to your particular schema and query will be visible in your address bar. You can share these with anyone, and they will be able to see what you've done so far. You will also be able to use your normal browser functions like 'back', 'forward', and 'reload', and you will see the various stages of your work, as you would expect.

CompileOnline ( Polyglot )


Last, but not least there is Compileonline a site that allows to compile and execute your favorite programming languages online. It supports a wide range of language and technologies including C/C++, C#, Java, ObjectiveC & Python. Are supported also the most popular web technologies   including, more than HTML/CSS/JS, also JQueryMobile, CoffeeScript & Typescript and, finally,  we there are available a lot of JavaScript framework.
However the offering is so huge that the only way to understand its potentiality  is try it! 



Conclusion

A variety of code playgrounds have appeared during the past couple of years. The majority offer  a great way to test, keep and share experimental snippets of code, minimising the startup effort, in fact there is no longer need  of creating files, firing up your IDE or setting up a local server. Without doubts the quickest way to develop those valuable Proof of Concept that  sometime help to take right decision

So... enjoy them in your development time







[1] Inspired by 7 of the Best Code Playgrounds Posted by Craig Buckler


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