Jimbo: A Collaborative IDE with Live Preview

Research paper by Soroush Ghorashi, Carlos Jensen

Indexed on: 01 Mar '16Published on: 01 Mar '16Published in: Computer Science - Human-Computer Interaction


Team collaboration plays a key role in the success of any multi-user activity. Software engineering is a highly collaborative activity, where multiple developers and designers work together to solve a common problem. Meaningful and effective designer-developer collaboration improves the user experience, which can improve the chances of success for the project. Learning to program is another activity that can be implemented in a more collaborative way, students can learn in an active style by working with others. The growth of online classes, from small structured seminars to massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the isolation and impoverished learning experience some students report in these, points to an urgent need for tools that support remote pair programming in a distributed educational setting. In this paper, we describe Jimbo, a collaborative integrated development environment (IDE) that we believe is beneficial and effective in both aforementioned activities. Jimbo integrates many features that support better collaboration and communication between designers and developers, to bridge communication gaps and develop mutual understanding. These novel features can improve today's CS education by bringing students closer to each other and their instructors as well as training them to collaborate which is consistent with current practices in software engineering.