Gobby — network text editor

[ Sunday, 12 August 2007, titter ]

There seems to be a common belief that programmers usually work alone. This is completely untrue. Most of them create applications in teams exchanging ideas and sharing the source code through the Internet (or the Network in the office). There are some complex version control systems but they are suitable for large projects. What if you have a small project? Here comes is Gobby. With the help of this little app you can edit files together with other people or create new ones. Everything works remotely.

Author: Maciej Malinowski

Gobby runs on the popular operating systems: Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. You can install it from precompiled packages of your distribution which should be available in one of the Internet repositories (e.g. Debian). Naturally you can compile Gobby from sources by yourself (but then you will have to deal with all the dependencies).

Using Gobby

Firstly you have to run the editor. Probably you will find it in the system menu. If it isn’t there, you can run it by typing “gobby” in the terminal. Gobby works in the centralized environment where one copy of the program runs as a server, and the others are clients which have to connect to the server. To create a new server session you have to click on the “Create session” icon.

Pic.1 New session

In the appearing window choose the port on which the server will be listening, your network username and the font color which will be used to colorize your changes. The last thing to set is the password which secures your server from unauthorized connections. To join the server, clients have to click “Join session” icon and set the following parameters: the hostname, the username, the font color and enter the right password. Connecting to the session takes just a while. You can watch who is connected at the moment by clicking the “User list” icon.

Pic.2 Users

The interface of Gobby is very easy and clean. In the bottom part of the main view there are program logs and the chat window. Above it there is the content of currently open files. You have three options:

  • to create a new file using the “Create document” button,
  • to open file created by someone else by choosing the document from the “Document list”,
  • or to open a file from your own PC – “Open document”.

Gobby let you save the session to recreate it later. These are all the differences between Gobby and normal text editors. Gobby as every good text editor designed for programmers enables the syntax highlight and supports a lot of programming languages.

Pic.3 Edit window

Gobby is an interesting tool. It is perfect for programmers that cannot be in one place and work in a rather small team (a few persons). Gobby is a very simple project so still isn’t meant for complex projects.

Check out also the Gobby homepage

This text is based on the article published in Dragonia Magazine, a Polish online magazine about Free and Open-Source Software. You can download the latest Dragonia issue (first one in English from our mirror). The article has been slightly modified compared with the original version by the PolishLinux team.

Proof-read by michuk

About the Author

Dominik Sarnowski

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