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The ACE Editor Hits v1.0

ACE Editor
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“initial version”

This is the commit message made by Fabian Jakobs on April 2, 2010. Two and a half years, 3218 commits, and an outpouring of contributions later, the ACE we know today has matured into an incredible code editor that thousands of developers use in their own applications (GitHub, Google, and Khan Academy, to name a few).

So what constitutes v1.0? The most visible feature is the new website, which we discuss below.

But more importantly, September 7 marked the most important shift in ACE’s open-source philosophy by switching from the Mozilla Tri-License to the New BSD License. For those considering using or contributing to ACE, the decision should now be a lot easier. This shift comes on the heels of months of development bringing a feature set and performance rivaling the most sophisticated native editors:

  • Vi and Emacs keybindings
  • Editing 4 million lines is just as performant as 400
  • Multiple cursors
  • Code folding
  • Vertical tab-line indicators
  • Importable TextMate themes
  • Syntax highlighting for 45 languages
  • Search and replace with regular expressions
  • Code markers

In addition to this, we are pleased to announce that ACE has a new website with a no-nonsense embedding guide, how-to reference for common operations and an API reference. Check it out to see how you can embed it in your own web app and extend it to your liking.

Becoming the Lean, Mean, Mobile King

ACE came to prominence at a time when web applications were beginning to match the sophistication and performance of their desktop counterparts. When the Mozilla Bespin team saw ACE at JSConf EU in 2010, they decided to halt their project and lend some of their own experience and code. Their continued support propelled ACE to new heights and brought a lot of community love to the table.

Now the frontier is mobile, and ACE needs to play catch-up.

As it stands today, ACE is not fully compatible with mobile platforms like Android and iOS. And that’s where you can help. We have created a list of remaining issues on GitHub that outlines what is lacking for full mobile support.

Ask your boss for 20% time, cancel a few appointments, and take a look at how you can contribute. Be that coder who submits the pull request for gesture-based scrolling! And if you want to talk with other ACE developers, join us in #ace on

Celebrating Open-Source

ACE is a shining example of how the open-source community has achieved great things. While ACE is shepherded by Harutyun Amirjanyan and Fabian Jakobs, the real champions are the dozens of contributors, hundreds who filed issues, and thousands of developers who keep ACE running on their own sites. ACE wouldn’t be what it is today without you.

To the champions of ACE inside Mozilla, especially Kevin Dangoor, Joe Walker, Patrick Walton and Julian Viereck: without you the ACE project may not have become as successful as it is.

Thank you!





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