Call me crazy, but I'm really reluctant to throw away the thousands of hours I have invested in my dev tools to use some web-based dev tools that may not be around in 6 months. It's good that you have web-based vim and emacs emulators/clones/etc but I don't use vim or emacs.
Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but it would also worry me to trust another company with, well, basically my entire programming stack from dev tools to code to runtime. Especially if the HQ is not in the US (and it looks like your main HQ is in Singapore, so if you do steal something the barrier-to-justice is even higher than normal. OTOH you might get caned for stealing code, which makes things interesting.)
The thing that might be somewhat successful is a kind of CPanel for developers, where you can host your own web-enabled dev tools, and pay a subscription fee to a company to keep your stuff up-to-date. Hey, that's a good idea!
You can use tools like Boxen, Puppet or Chef, but those tools are not useful for less experienced developers or designers who have to run the full stack just to touch the markup. Many developers prefer to write code instead of having to maintain scripts to build development environments. Similarly in production, many developers prefer a PaaS like Heroku or AppFog over dealing with VPSes or EC2.
Another caveat of setting up development environments locally is that you have to repeat the setup procedure for every machine that you would like to develop on.
Cloud environments make it easier to adhere to important application design patterns like treating backing services (like databases or caches) as attached resources. It also makes it easier to run the entire spectrum of your application on the same infrastructure, reducing dev / prod runtime issues in the continuous delivery process.
The collaborative opportunities are also really exciting. Pair programming collaboration (we pair remotely pretty often), as well as sharing and cloning environments are made possible by hosting the environment on the cloud.
We have some other great ideas in development currently that we think will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend setting up, managing, and using your environment, and the time you spend synchronizing your environment with teammates.
With regards to your location question-- Our company is incorporated and headquartered in the US; our main office is in Menlo Park, although we do also roam around the city a lot. Happy to grab a beer with you sometime if you're in San Francisco!
The majority of our infrastructure is on AWS, and while we do utilize their global availability zones, you can choose the regions where your box is provisioned.
Happy to send you an invite, just email us at hello at action dot io
AJ @ Action.IO
most of text editors and IDEs have some ftp/ssh capabilities , and most of them are free. If you call yourself a developers and you cant upload a file , you cant call yourself a developer.
> Pair programming collaboration (we pair remotely pretty often), as well as sharing and cloning environments are made possible by hosting the environment on the cloud.
You dont need yet another service for that. Each dev should have it's own environment to mess up with , ( i mean , lauching a server image on a VM is not that difficult , is it ? ) and thanks to CVS you can keep a simple infrastructure to share code.
> Similarly in production, many developers prefer a PaaS like Heroku or AppFog over dealing with VPSes or EC2.
PAAS can be good to start with. At some point ( as very fast ) , you end up with a VPS , because the service sucks and you pay less, really... why would you use Appfog if you cant even upload a big json file (JSON 500 error ... ) at the same time ?
> Many developers prefer to write code instead of having to maintain scripts to build development environments
I disagree 100% , it's part of the job , and there are loads of tools to facilitate deployment. Can a dev be that lazy ? show me a language or a framework that is hard to deploy in 2013 ? even rails is a breeze now.
In essence you are kind of saying , the lazier they come the more they'll pay for that kind of service. it's a bet, good luck anyway.
What does that have to do with local development?
Haven't really built anything beyond simple test apps, but from what I've seen it could be a really great tool.
I was ready to buy, wanted to try it out and hit sign up (on the pricing page), and the page just didn't do anything. Attention to detail is key in this industry and you almost lost your first customer - I was peeved and navigated back to the home page where I saw the email sign up.
(Moral of the story is, if you include a sign up button on another page, at least make it do something!)
Also, you should seriously consider adding support for PHP. You might not like the idea, and it isn't sexy, but it's a ridiculously easy hosting setup to manage, and it's way more wide spread, by not including PHP you effectively middle finger 80%+ of all web developers (who aren't set up in Silicon Valley.)
Edit: I'm one of the guys working on action.io btw
why? now i can think about leaving my macbook at home for a holiday trip, and when someone reports me an urgent bug, i still could fix it with my ipad. (most of the time urgent bugs are often one liners, so who cares to do this on an ipad)
but it will success or not with the prices...if it's cheaper then my current dedicated server, i might thinking about changing over, i wanted to cancel my dedicated server contract anyway.
so when can we expect prices?
Also I don't think this is meant to be a production hosting environment, more like a test environment before you deploy to Heroku (which Action.IO will automate when the time comes).