Recently I have been trying out a new online development environment called Koding.com. This site combines and online IDE, a hosting environment, as well as social networking elements that allow you to easily develop web based applications in PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby. The site is currently in a closed Beta, but you can request an invite from the login screen. It is free to try out the Beta, but the site will eventually move to a pay model. Their FAQ says that there will be an option for a small, free development environment.
Once your account is created and you click on the Develop tab you will be taken to this screen.
On the far left are buttons that take to various parts of the site and just to the right of that is the file structure for you hosting site. You will be assigned a sub-domain at koding.com to access your applications, in my case it is danlb2000.koding.com. The directory structure is automatically populated with some sample files to start with. In the main pane of the screen you will see the development tools, but the only one that is currently available is Ace Editor which is a basic text editor. You can double click on a file in the directory to open it for editing, or right click on a folder to get to a context menu that will allow you to create a new file.
Besides the text editor, there is also a terminal window that gives you access to the bash shell for you hosting server.
The site currently has support for both the MySQL and Mongo databases. Setting up a database is very easy. From your account settings you select Database settings, then click the plus sign on the Database Settings line to add a new database.
Once you select the type the database will immediately be setup and you will be provided with the host name, userid and password to access it. There is currently no graphical MySQL management tool built into the site, but I did find instructions on their wiki that explains how to install PhpMyAdmin in your site, although I haven’t tried it yet.
What I have seen so far is a very nice start at an online development environment. There are still a lot of features missing, but what has been implemented works nicely. I look forward to seeing how this site evolves over time.