Launched a couple of years ago, GitHub Atom text editor has been a great open source option for current and potential coders across the globe. Originally developed as GitHub’s cloud-hosted editor, Atom has taken off a big way. Recently, it introduced a new feature in Beta version called Teletype for collaborative coding. The feature allows you to write as well as edit code with other developers in real-time.
Apart from real-time, it even lets you write and edit code with other developers, each with your own cursor and what the Atom developers say is zero latency. Professionals reveal that the newest version allows us to work together effectively as well as efficiently. Writing on the Atom blog, Nathan Sobo says:
“Teletype for Atom wires the keystrokes of remote collaborators directly into your programming environment, enabling conflict-free, low-latency collaborative editing for any file you can open in Atom.”
The name was derived from the old-style teletype machines where typing anything on one machine appeared on the linked teletype at the other end of the connection immediately. Here you need to invite one or more of your teammates to join in a review of code where everyone gets a cursor. In addition to this, they all can type at the same time.
Speaking of how this collaboration works, when you want to collaborate, you open a “portal” into your local workspace from a new collaboration menu on the status bar. This sets up a private ID for the portal that you can share with the other developers via your preferred chat service. Once they’ve joined the portal, they see a new tab in their workspace that lets them view and edit the contents of your active editor. The code is kept on your local disk and the contents of your current active editor are transmitted to collaborators so that they can follow along. The connection is made using WebRTC data channels. As soon as the initial handshake is done after exchanging connection metadata via GitHub’s servers, all data flows over encrypted peer-to-peer connections.
In case, if you think that GitHub might see your files or edits, then you are wrong! As it never does that. In fact, in addition to keeping code private, minimizes latency between collaborators, regardless of where they are working relative to GitHub’s data centers. Once editing procedure begins, all the collaborators get their own replica of each document. The problem arises when two or more people edit the same part of the document. In Teletype, edits are applied locally and then transmitted to other collaborators. In case of concurrent edit, separate edits will be applied in a different order on each replica.
Although the current version is available In Beta, and it is a free and open source. Thus, we hope that community contributors will build on and extend it to other editors.
Author: Rakesh Patel is Marketing Manager at eTatvaSoft yii development company in India. He writes about Technology Trends, Leadership and many more things about IT services and enabled people to learn about new technologies through his online contribution.