Today i read about a new startup company, called CodeNow, which offers an online platform for coding and compiling for different platforms.
As i expected it long time ago, the Web is also the future platform for coding, compiling and running source code! In my job i have to code for many different platforms and it got even worse with the increase of different mobile platforms, such as Android, Windows Phone 7, iOS, Symbian, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, …
So i already thought about, why not setting up a central Web platform/server for automatically compiling for all these platforms. As i am a heavy user of Google Docs, i also thought about the possibilities and advantages of using a shared online editor for coding source code with a distributed team of programmers. A central coding server could also include state-of-the-art continuous integration tools, such as build and release management, source code management, unit test management and deployment management for the different marketplaces.
A central platform could also provide a collection of connected virtual machines or real devices (iPhones, different Android devices, …) for integration testing on real devices, as this is quite a problem for freelance programmers who cannot afford to buy a large collection of test devices. I also read about programmers from Africa who are programming and publishing iPhone apps from internet cafes by using a very simple online iPhone simulator.
So for me the Web is the future development machine to code and compile for different platforms without the need to setup different compilers, enviroments and deployment environments.