LanguagesPerlKomodo 7.0 IDE Syncs Up Development

Komodo 7.0 IDE Syncs Up Development

Developer tools vendor ActiveState is out with a major new release of their Komodo IDE. Komodo 7 is the first big update to the IDE since Komodo 6 was released in October of 2010.

Komodo 7 adds new developer collaboration and synchronization tools as well as new support for popular frameworks like Node.js and LESS.

“The real time collaboration is basically Google Docs for code,” Jeff Hobbs, director of engineering at ActiveState, told “So you get all the fancy features of the IDE, including syntax highlighting, code completion and you can have multiple people collaborating on that at the same time.”

The way the collaboration works on the back-end is by way of an ActiveState cloud intermediary, with all the connection done over HTTPS and encrypted.

Komodo 7 Code Profiling, PaaS Integration and Speed Boost

In addition to that Komodo 7 has an IDE sync capability that allows developers to synchronize preferences across multiple machines.

“We found that we have quite a few users that take advantage of Komodo on multiple machines, so we feel that the preference sync will be a real benefit,” Hobbs said.

Code profiling is another new high-level feature in Komodo 7. Initially the feature supports only Python and PHP and it enables developers to see how code is running to help improve performance.

Hobbs noted that as language communities evolve, Komodo is evolving along with them. To that end, Komodo 7 includes support for several new systems including Node.js, CoffeeScript and LESS.

Another key enhancement for Komodo 7 is integration with ActiveState’s Stackato Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Stackato is based on VMware’s CloudFoundry PaaS, which can also be integrated with Komodo 7.

“This gives you access to pushing your code and seeing how services work and connect to a database,” Hobbs said. “So you push something to Stackato and you create a database and now Komodo on your local machine can talk to the database that is part of your running application,” Hobbs said.

Komodo 7 also benefits from improvements to its underlying engine, which is based on the Mozilla framework. “Komodo is based on Gecko/Mozilla and we’ve updated to the latest version, and with that we get a lot of speed and memory performance improvements,” Hobbs said. “So Komodo 7 is a lot snappier than Komodo 6.”

Commercial vs. Open Source Komodo Features

The Komodo 7 IDE has its roots in the open source project that produces the Komodo Edit IDE, which is also being updated.

“You don’t get the debugging support for Node.js, but general Node.js editing support is in Komodo Edit,” Hobbs said. “Code profiling is also another feature that is only in the Komodo IDE.”

That said, the performance improvements are the same across both commercial and open source releases. When it comes to figuring out which features are commercial and which ones land in open source, ActiveState walks a fine line.

“It comes down to a product management discussion and trying to still support a healthy ecosystem overall while still making a buck,” Hobbs said. “We’d like to still be around in another decade, so we draw the line on what are the more enterprise features versus just individual developer-oriented things.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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