The challenge: Last month I tried an experiment. Could I be productive writing code exclusively on my MacBook Air 11″. While the results were positive I wanted to get back to my 24″ monitor. It has not changed my need to mouse of cmd+tab around the active apps but I can see more, specially now that I have a second monitor for things like IM and Skype. What I do not like about this configuration is that I’m using BBEdit and editing files on my remote dev server via SFTP. And knowing how unstable an internet connection can be; not to mention that BBEdit has no collaborative features so if I edited the file on a second system there is a chance I could jank the whole thing up. Of course I could use GitHub or BitBucket as a proxy, however, there are plenty of use-cases there that is not practical and that means keeping the dirty laundry around longer than I want.
Ideal Solution: I’d like to see a chrome or safari plugin that uses their sync capability to keep my credentials secure and then an offline editor plugin with collaborative functionality similar to subethaedit. And while I’d really like to edit the files on my servers via SFTP or FTP/S I’d also like access to my DropBox instance.
(the coding monkeys have not done anything in over a year. subethaedit is clearly sub-par as an editor but it would not take much to make it a leader… maybe before macromates?)
Less than ideal: At first shiftedit looked like a potential alternative. It was not a perfect fit but it offered some features that I liked. But when I started to read the bottom line 3pt font… they keep my dropbox uid/password on their servers. Are you kidding me? Codeanywhere was another alternative. Their website touts very similar functions that shiftedit does. One interesting feature is that they will let you resume a current editing session and syncs the edit sessions across the different tools like chrom, ipad etc… nice. But again, the bad news is that they require a user account. I have a support request into them in order to get a sense of what they keep or proxy on my behalf.
I just don’t get it: Many of these cloud services companies are simply mashups of different cloud services. That’s easy. What is hard is keeping all of these mashups from becoming a severe risk. Think about this… if the likes of GlobalPayments and similar businesses that are wrapped in a veil of PCI requirements, implementation and audits including obfuscation of card numbers and account numbers with very robust encryption including duckput… what makes you think the likes of the cloud mashup of the day is (a) protecting your data adequately (b) and even scarier is not simply a trojan of sorts. Once these mashups have access to your account they can read it all, not just the files you designate.
So pick and choose VERY carefully.