Introducing The LiveCodes Code Playground
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Wednesday, 20 September 2023

LiveCodes is a groundbreaking code playground with unique features. And it is free too. Currently in Beta. Let's look into it.

What? Yet another playground? I thought we had a lot already.
But LiveCodes deviates from the standard shape of the usual playgrounds. What are its unique features?

Notably the key ones are:

  • LiveCodes runs client-side in the browser, where all the processing/transpilation occurs, with no server rounds required. So, after the initial load, it becomes pretty fast. It can be hosted on any static file server or CDN.
  • Language Support - Currently, there are 80+ languages/frameworks supported, including React, Vue, Svelte, Solid, Typescript, Python, Go, Ruby, PHP.
  • Open Source
    The repo is on Github so you can fork it and selfhost it.
  • VSCode
    The default code editor is the powerful editor that powers VS Code, featuring code-completion, go-to-definition, multi-cursor support and other powerful features you got used to
  • AI Code Assistant
    LiveCodes supports AI-powered code completion, totally for free, using Codeium, the ultrafast Copilot alternative.
  • Focused on Privacy
    Projects are private by default. The code you write in LiveCodes never leaves your computer, unless you choose to share, export, broadcast or sync it. User data is stored in the browser.

Then the next in line features are:

  • Mobile-friendly
    The responsive layout allows working on devices with different screen sizes.
  • External Code/Libraries
    External scripts/stylesheets can be added to the web page
  • Import and Code Pre-fill
    Code can be imported from a variety of sources including GitHub gist, GitHub file
  • Share/Export
    Projects can be easily shared as URLs or QR codes.
  • Embed
    Projects can be embedded in any web page.
  • Deploy
    Projects can be deployed to public URLs that can be shared with others
  • Starter Templates
    A large number of starter templates are available

LiveCodes2

and the list goes on.

Did I mention that it's also free with no subscription fees or account signing up necessary?

That rang a bell though;it sounded to good to be true, meaning what is the actual business model behind it? How can such a great product be free? Or will after it gets out of beta there be a pro edition with subscription fees? So many questions. So I reached out on the official Twitter channel to ask and here's the very helpful response :

There are no plans for subscription fees or pro editions. By keeping it totally free for all, while providing a large set of features and language support, the aim is to have wide adoption among developers.

Some features were specifically added to allow others to build a product on top of it (e. g. self-hosting and SDK including headless mode). In addition, having the commercial-friendly MIT license would encourage more people to use it for profit.

Also, being a client-side only app, its running costs are minimal (can be hosted for free on any static file server).

Examples for products that can be built on top of LiveCodes:
- Courses/Tutorials websites: e. g FreeCodeCamp, W3Schools, etc.
- Coding platforms: e. g CodePen, etc.
- Code challenge/ Interview: e. g Leetcode, etc
- Interactive documentations.
- Website builders and CMS, etc

With wide adoption, if some companies have built their business on top of LiveCodes, they will be more likely to sponsor its continued development and maintenance. There is also an option to provide custom builds with logo and brand.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of users can continue to use LiveCodes, totally for free, to learn new languages/ frameworks, explore ideas, showcase their work, document their products and teach others.

win/win/win for everybody 

So no strings attached. You can enjoy freely. If you want to sponsor the project, you can do so here.

 

More Information

LiveCodes online

LiveCodes on Github

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 September 2023 )