Repl.it as one of Cloud9 IDE alternative

Cloud9 IDE alternative

As the Cloud9.io will disable its service at this end of the month (June 30, 2019), I have no choice but to explore some alternative options to replace it. Here’s one of Cloud9 IDE alternative I found: Repl.it.

When I tweeted about this, two other Twitter accounts asked me to try their cloud IDE services. One of them is Repl.it.

Because I was busy at that time, I just add their site to a bookmark. Besides, I thought that Cloud9 will end their service by this end year on December 31, 2019.

But it turns out I was wrong. After reading about the details, I found out that they will disable the Cloud9 workspace by June 30, 2019. 

At this point, I got no choice but to focus on the search for alternatives and get back to my bookmarked Repl.it

So, here are my reviews after trying their free tier using their Ruby on Rails template. There are many other templates there, and I believe most of the major programming languages and frameworks are there.

Simplicity and fast to sign up

The process of sign up is as usual. Input your e-mail, got verification e-mail, verified, and I am in. The signup form is simple, which is good. I love it.

Run one of template for Ruby on Rails

That was also easy and fast. I can get a workspace to start building a Ruby on Rails app.

Not the latest Ruby on Rails version

As you see, their default set up for Rails is giving me Ruby 2.5.0 which its last revision was in 2017. Yet, the latest Ruby version is 2.6.3.

For the Rails, it gives me Rails 5.2.0. Not bad.

Not a big deal for me since I can switch it easily later. Though, I think it’s better if they can keep up with the latest Ruby version as the default set up.

This can save a lot of time for developers using their service.

The sections inside the workspace

The sections position inside the workspace is somehow similar to that of Cloud9 default set up. But, the default theme is light.

But I think the setup on Repl.it is better since the console (terminal) section’s width is not 100% on the bottom.

This way, I can focus on the codes section I opened in the center.

For the preview section, I will just close it. This because I prefer to open it on Chrome’s new tab. With such setup, I can have more room for the codes section

The terminal will close when I close the preview section

The next thing I do is switching to the dark theme.

I prefer such a set up because I want to focus on the codes themselves. But, when I try to close the preview which renders the view on a browser, the terminal closes too.

And that happened after I fire up the rails server. See the image above.

It’s ok if it just hides the terminal. But it’s not the case. It closes the terminal which terminates the Rails server.

After tinkering about it, I find the best way to do is just collapse and hide the preview section

Comparison with old Cloud9

Here are the comparisons for pricing, and other specifications between Repl.it and old Cloud9 (c9.io)

old Cloud9 (c9.io)

  • The free tier gives 1 private workspace.
  • Pricing starts from $19 per month which gives us unlimited private workspaces.
  • The $19 per month’s plan gives us a workspace with 1GB memory (RAM)

Repl.it

  • No private workspace (they called it “Repls”)
  • Pricing starts from $7 per month which gives us unlimited private Repls.
  • The $7 per month’s plan gives us a Repls with 2GB memory (RAM)

Both of them also support teachers/educators and students. Though I am not a teacher nor a student, I am proud of them.

Comparison with AWS Cloud9

I am still on the process to migrate some client’s projects from Cloud9 to the AWS Cloud9. Therefore, I can’t say much about the comparison between them.

Yet, one sure thing is, Repl.it saves many more hours to set up the environment. I can get my Ruby on Rails’ initial app up in under 5 minutes.

Conclusion so far

In short, I like it despite some little problems I notice. Overall, it’s fast. It feels more intuitive and responsive than Cloud9.

At this point, I haven’t decided to go with their paid tier yet.

However, I do love their simple approach for UI. Not to mention that their pricing starts from $7/month which is much cheaper than Cloud9.

So, it’s most likely I’ll sign up for their $7/month plan shortly.

Oh, I almost forget, the link to their site: https://repl.it

P.S. I am not sure what they mean by “Repls”. Maybe they referred it to this “REPL“.

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