Cloud9 Launches Documentation Site for Node.js Devs

Cloud9, makers of a Web-based integrated development environment (IDE) for Javascript and HTML 5 applications, was in the spotlight at this week's Node Summit because of its support of Microsoft's Azure cloud. But the San Francisco/Amsterdam-based company also announced a number of new resources for Node.js developers.

"We've been built on top of Node for one and a half years now," Cloud9 CEO Ruben Daniels told ADTmag. "We noticed that there were some problems with starting developers getting into the Node.js space, because there wasn't a good resource for documentation. We said, OK, we'll invest in that. So we launched, a reference guide and manual in one."

The company is calling its newly launched Web site "the official Node manual site." The new Web site is organized into three sections: Node.js API Reference documents, a Node.js Guide containing articles and code samples, and a Javascript Reference section containing documentation about the Javascript language.

The company also launched, a Cloud9-sponsored blog featuring Node.js tutorials, and a tagline: "Bit of inspiration to keep the node spirit alive." The blog will be edited by Tim Caswell, one of three well-known Node.js developers hired by the company. His blog, is well-known in the community. The company also hired Bert Belder and Ben Noordhuis.

"This is where you can learn about new libraries, ways of doing things, and best practices," Daniels said.

The company also plans to provide Node.js and Cloud9 IDE training for "everyone from individual developers to large enterprises."

"We decided, OK if we're going to focus so strongly on making the right tool for Node.js the platform, we should make sure that the platform will become really, really big," Daniels said.

"This is about our commitment to the Node community," Daniels said. "We feel we have a responsibility to provide the community with resources that will help further Node's growth, including things that are currently missing."

Node.js has been called "the new Ruby on Rails." It's based on Google's V8 JavaScript engine, and it provides a JavaScript API for accessing network and file systems. Unlike other JavaScript code, which executes in the Web browser, Node.js runs on the server side.

The Cloud9 IDE is built with a Node.js backend and offers several Node-specific features, including syntax highlighting, NPM (Node Package Manager) support, code completion, testing and in-browser debugging. It provides version control through GitHub and BitBucket. The IDE also supports HTML/CSS, Ruby, PHP and Coffeescript development. It's available as a hosted service, and it's distributed as open source software under the GNU General Public License.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].