Orion 1.0 Release

The Orion team is proud to announce our 1.0 Release! Since the original contribution in early 2011 Orion has seen continual improvement in the platform, functionality and User Experience. What has Orion set out to accomplish in our 1.0 release? Two things really. The first is the Orion platform itself. Orion is meant to be a set of components for tooling that lives in a browser. These components are designed to be consumable individually or as whole. OrionHub.org is the second objective of our 1.0 release. OrionHub is a demonstration of all the components together providing a pure Cloud based development platform. At the heart of Orion is a client side plug-in and micro service framework and this allows secure extensibility from multiple sites completely in the browser. This seems to get missed when reviews are done comparing Orion to other web based development tools. Anyone can extend the platform at OrionHub by providing a plugin hosted at any site. There are examples such as JSBeautify or our CodeMirror mode syntax highlighting which easily provide function on top of what’s deployed at the site. However, it’s trivial to write your own extensions for editor commands, content assist, syntax highlighting, file system support, shell commands, and others. Many file system extensions such as WebDAV, HTML5 and recently Node.js allow access from the browser to these mount points simply by installing HTML from your site referencing your plugin code. Our i18N support for language packs are just another plugin so anyone could translate our message bundles and host the language of choice at their site for example.

Orion has had some great adoption leading up to the 1.0 release like being included in Firefox as the editor for ScratchPad, the editor and the basis for Content Assist in Scripted, a platform for hosting an entire solution at Cloudfier, and numerous investigative demos from other projects such at Stardust and Xtext/Xtend.

The team continues to work on the platform by having Dot releases every 4 months with the next, 2.0, in February, 2013. Stable builds will also be deployed at OrionHub leading up to our final release candidates.

What is the team focussing on? Continual improvements to the UI and User Experience. Allowing extensions to be more integrated with the existing components and additionally provide their own UI for user interaction if required. Improved language tooling for JavaScript, CSS and HTML5. Deployment solutions for getting projects out of Orion onto hosted solutions since OrionHub is not intended to be your hosting provider. Node.js work including a pure JS based implementation of the server and support for deployment into a Node service. Offline support so that one can work when the Clouds have gone away or if you want to simply work from your Desktop. Continual improvements to our Accessibility, i18N and localization are key to business products and solutions looking for a platform that takes worldwide development seriously.

The 22 committers on Orion are always looking for help. Patch/Pull requests will be looked at in a timely manner. Many committers on the team earned direct commit rights by finding, reporting and fixing bugs and then moved onto features they themselves wanted to see in Orion.

Orion is also interested in consuming components. The platform already integrates projects directly like Esprima, JSLint, Doctrine, RequireJS, Mozilla Persona, Mozilla GCLI and others. If you think there’s a component the team should be considering, let us know on the Orion Developer Mailing List.

Orion 1.0 is just the beginning, the team will work on the features that developers need, on components the industry and web community needs, and listen to the feedback and criticism of our approach to make it right.

You can Download Orion 1.0 or try it at http://orionhub.org by creating an account.

For review, this is the list of what changed between 0.5 and 1.0 in our last 4 month release:

Orion 1.0 RC2 – New and Noteworthy
Orion 1.0 M2 – New and Noteworthy
Orion 1.0 M1 – New and Noteworthy

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