Codebender Rises From The Ashes

If you were sad that Codebender had bit the dust, cheer up. A site called codeanywhere has acquired the online Arduino development environment and brought it back to life. In addition to the main Codebender site, the edu and blocks sites are also back on the air.

Not only is this great news, but it also makes sense. The codeanywhere site is a development IDE in the cloud for many different programming languages. The downside? Well, all the people who said they’d be glad to pay to keep Codebender alive will get a chance to put their money where their mouth is.

Here’s an excerpt from Codebender’s blog:

First of all, codebender will mostly remain the same. It will continue to operate as a standalone service, so you don’t have to change the way you are currently using codebender. However, it will transition to a monthly subscription service. This means that you will be able to use it for free for 1 month (as a trial, beginning on June 1st, or for the first month after registration), and it will then cost $10/month to keep using it. This is the price to pay for keeping codebender alive and sustainable, and it’s a small one, really.

Secondly, Codeanywhere intends to keep adding more and more features, the same way we have been adding features, libraries, and board support in the past few years. So you can expect codebender to keep improving with time, much as it did until now.

We have to wonder how many people will pay $120 / year to do something they can do for free. Mbed has support from ARM and offers a free IDE. Maybe a better deal with Codebender would have been with Atmel or Arduino. Not that we are opposed to charging for services, but we imagine a lot of people will just use free tools unless they have a strong use case for using a cloud-based service.

We covered Codebender’s short-lived demise back in October of last year.

13 thoughts on “Codebender Rises From The Ashes

  1. I will not use a subscription program. It is better to have an up front fee if it must be paid for. And to be tied to a cloud service is rash in my opinion. When it fails, you loose the lot. And as this appears to be a resurrection of a once failed one, who is to say it will not fail again? Unless there are some very good reasons for doing it, I prefer to have native programs and files on MY machine, not some where “out there”.

    1. As an additional bit of info re cloud reliance…. I run McCAD ES-Plus on my Mac…
      It costs about $1400 and as it was for my work, that is ok. The original version had “special” floppies (Yes, floppies. I’ve been using it for that long) that held the install keys. But over time, they got damaged. Now they use a key server that holds the record of my purchase. So, as I only have one key, when I want to run the programs on another machine, like my laptop when I go to work away from home, I have to de-authorise my main machine and put the key back on the server, Then load it onto my laptop from the server. Also, the package checks that I have a valid key every so often. My fear is that the company will stop trading some time and my program will then stop also. Then there was the time my hard drive crashed and I had to contact the company to get a key again for a new install. It would not install on a new drive from my backups as I think it keys to the individual hard drive. They did that ok so I have no complaints with them. But, this “cloud” link is still there and I don’t like that.
      Also, I’m one of those few who tends to pay for share ware programs, (on PayPal, not credit card. No PayPal, no payment!) after I’ve used a program and found it useful. If a program is not fully functional in a demo I will not even look at it. Like a PCB design program that I was going to look at, that fully worked except it would no save. That one got dumped straight away.
      Also, I’ve been known to use the donate link on web sites I like to help support the work. But usually it is just $10 or $20 US. One time only. So I am cheap ;)
      It is a hard one for the program writers, to come up with the best way to get a return for their work and I don’t really have the answer. But I know now, as I’m sort of retired, the cost of programs in a big limiting factor in my even trying them out.

      1. I suspect there are two reasons for crippled functionality. One is one-offs, where a person uses the full functionality for that one-off job. e.g. partitioning software, etc. Other is those that crack software disabling the timing functionality. BOOM! instant-free software. At least with disabled functions the author can leave out the actual code, making the cracker work for their reward.

  2. Thanks name is missing parentheses: code anywhere (you have an internet connection)

    I use Mbed, which is cloud as well.. but at least it’s free, and the Mbed core can be downloaded and wedged into your offline IDE/compiler of choice.

  3. “This is the price to pay for keeping codebender alive and sustainable, and it’s a small one, really.”

    Just ask any share(trial*)ware author how asking for money worked out for them. That’s part of the reason for the move to the cloud because authors realized most people wouldn’t pay otherwise.

    *How many used PKzip past the trial period without paying?

    1. I’m pretty sure most of the money made on PkZip was from commercial licensing and support. I would be surprised if there were four digits worth of paid PkZip licenses from consumers over its lifetime.

      Codeanywhere will fail with this model. I think they could do well to offer free individual accounts with a Github-like paid privacy model, and to sell education focused features (class groups, instructor admin of curriculum and student contributions, grading, exam mode, etc)

  4. Does anyone here know of a good self-hosted IDE? I’d love to make my code portable – but i really dislike putting my source through some black box compiler in the cloud.

    1. MS Code is pretty great (i use it on linux) and it can link to your github (or your self hosted git) thus giving you a local ide that stores your code in the cloud (free with github or self managed with git).
      The compiler still resides on your computer though, so there are those hoops to jump through for setting up. i use it for python so very few hoops for me.

  5. I was (am) rather taken by the codebender concept. Am I taken enough to pay USD120/yr?? That I doubt. I am willing to pay for it’s comfort, but 120 is pushing it.
    I understand they need to make money but perhaps it is just an impossible concept

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