Dev Depo: CodePen.IO, Interactive Coding Platform
According to its publishers, CodePen is a playground for the frontend side of the web that is all about inspiration, education and sharing. It is ideally suited to building reduced test cases to demonstrate and to figure out bugs — and to show off your latest creations while receiving valuable feedback from your peers. CodePen also allows users to locate examples of a particular design pattern and more. A pro version adds features such as a Collab Mode that allows users to pair program in real-time, plus a Professor Mode for allowing a group of students to follow your teaching examples while chatting together.
With CodePen the possibilities are endless and the results are pretty impressive.
Custom options are selectable for each of these panes via the Gear icon. For example, the HTML tab has toggles for HAML, Markdown and Slim preprocessors, as well as the option of adding custom head code and HTML tag classes. The CSS panel offers support for SASS and SCSS (both with Compass) as well as Less and a toggle for CSS prefixing. External CSS files can be added, as can Normalize and Reset for cross-browser stability.
Full Page and Live View URLs allow easy sharing of comps, while CodePen itself is accessible by anyone running Chrome 1+, Firefox 4+, IE 9+, Opera 11+ and Safari 4+, with enhanced support for mobile devices an important feature that the company says it’s working on for a future CodePen upgrade.
Altogether, CodePen may be hard to explain but is easy to understand in practice. Give it a try and see if you can learn something from the work of top coders — or show them up with a binary masterpiece of your own.