Thimble is the new tool from Mozilla that makes it really simple for anyone to create and share their own web pages in minutes. Now everything is in place for Mozilla's Summer Code Party.
Thimble is Mozilla's new web-based code editor, part of its recently announced “Webmaker” project. It is the element designed to give novice webmakers an easy-to-use online tool to quickly build and share webpages.
To make Thimble suitable for beginners, Thimble offers side-by-side code editor and code output panels which help new users see immediate results. Type an <h1> and you’ll immediately see a headline. The instant feedback is not only helpful for spotting and fixing errors, but encouraging for those just starting out since you can see what you’ve created right away. It's the sort of approach to coding that was advocated in A Better Way To Program. The idea is that any code that you create should show you what it does as soon as possible. Of course another approach would be that HTML is the low level markup of the web and as such what we really need are good drag-and-drop designers that hide it away where it cannot be seen.
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To let new users have some fun while learning HTML, Thimble includes a series of starter projects and templates to help anyone get started quickly. For example, the London Zoo has contributed three templates that you can use to create an Awesome Animal - when swapping in different sections of code instantly builds your new creature.
Thimble is the third tool, alongside Popcorn for web video, Hackasaurus for remixing in Mozilla's Webmaker project and for its Summer Code Party that kicks off on June 23 with a "Global Weekend of Code" and rolls all summer long.
So far, more than 330 Summer Code Party events have been created by community members around the world, find ones near you here and information about how to become involved is on the Summer Campaign 2012 page of the Mozilla Wiki.