GlitchReviewed July 24, 2019
Glitch is a collaborative online IDE for creating NodeJS apps. It also features a community for exploring and remixing others' creations. There's no deploy button: the tool reloads itself every few keystrokes. It was founded by Fog Creek Software (Trello, StackOverflow) in 2017 and raised $30M.
- 👍 Easy to get started and play around with community projects
- 👎 Hobbyist: toy version control, toy deployment
- 👎 Corny aesthetic
The above video produces a simple webpage that counts the number of times it's been loaded. It demonstrates:
- automatic app reload every couple keystrokes
- errors in the preview pane and inline
Visual Version Control
Built on top of git, Glitch's visual version control tries to make it easier for beginners to rollback to earlier versions. It commits code every couple changes. It doesn't seem to handle forks. I found it confusing and would prefer either Google-docs-style revision history or a Github-style branching diagram.
You can highlight a piece of code and ask for help. In my experience this feature was more trouble than it was worth, possibly because they don't have a critical mass of people using it.
I can imagine this would be amazing for hackathons or other forms of close collaboration on a small project. However, I worry about larger projects with 2+ people working on different parts of a NodeJS app at the same time.
Easily search npm and add to package.json with one click:
During its beta period, Glitch is free for all users and teams. They are in financial partnerships with tech company libraries, like Google's Tensorflow, to promote that library's use through starter projects on Glitch.
- Run a service in production (projects sleep after 5 minutes, and are limited to 4,000 requests per hour)
- Front-end hot reload
- Step debugging (I couldn’t get it to work)
- Have better database integration (it’s pretty self-service)
- Other languages/frameworks than NodeJS
- Read docs instead of watching the videos that were not to my taste
Past wishes that were granted:
- Much faster performance on loading projects
- See the web output, debugger, and console in the same page (not a seperate tabs)
- Error messages inline in the text editor where they happen