What’s next for Thimble?

Hannah Kane

Last week we announced that Thimble will soon be moving over to our new site for people who teach the web, teach.mozilla.org. We also shared that Professor David Humphrey and a team of students from Seneca College have been working to make Thimble an even more powerful teaching, learning, and development tool.

We wanted to follow up with more specifics about what you can expect from the new Thimble:

  • Over the next few months, we’re focusing on making Thimble an even more useful tool, both for beginners and professionals. Thimble has always been well suited for new makers, and we are going to keep that focus. However, we’re also going to allow the user to turn on more powerful features as they learn new skills, and have Thimble grow to match their teaching and learning needs. Our goal is to make sure that Thimble can continue to serve users, no matter what level they are at in their web making experience.
  • We’re also focusing on making Thimble a powerful tool for teaching others how to be creators of the Web. Imagine improved tutorials, error messages that serve as learning opportunities, and an environment that can be enhanced as you learn with more advanced extensions.
  • We also want to improve the user experience and functionality. Though the roadmap is a work-in-progress, we’re already thinking about integration with Dropbox, collaborative editing, and improved image handling. The Selfie feature is an example:

How are we doing this? Thimble is going to integrate Brackets.

Brackets is a lightweight, powerful, open source code editor for the Web. While it was originally designed to run on the desktop as a native application, the Seneca College team has been working to integrate Brackets into the Web and Thimble (code name “Bramble” for “Brackets in Thimble”). Soon you’ll see improvements like these:

  • multiple-file support (for more complex web sites, apps with files and folders)
  • smarter live preview, with highlighting, desktop and mobile modes, and more
  • image preview on URL hover
  • inline editors for JavaScript, CSS, and colors
  • autocomplete for everything
  • auto-closing tags and strings
  • real-time JavaScript analysis, with intellisense style suggestions
  • extensions, and so much more

In the meantime, you can:

p.s. If you’re interested in being a user tester for new Thimble features, please email hannah@mozillafoundation.org.

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