Last week, we released v1.0.0 of our open-source apps Firepad and Firechat! These are two great open-source modules built on top of Firebase that you can take and use in your own apps.
Firepad is a collaborative text editor. It lets you bring the features of Google Docs right into your app. Firepad can handle both code and rich text, and is currently being used in production by Atlassian, LiveMinutes, and CoderPad to name a few.
Firechat is a realtime chat app built with Firebase. Firechat’s features include multi-user / multi-room chat, flexible authentication, moderation, presence, private messaging, chat invitations and more. CBS is using Firebase to power the realtime chat for their Big Brother TV series.
Orginally we built both of these modules to showcase the realtime and collaborative power of Firebase, but they’ve grown into full-featured, production-ready pieces of functionality. Both projects have reached the point where they’re stable, full-featured and well-documented, so we’ve decided to officially tag them as 1.0!
Here’s what’s new in the 1.0.0 releases:
With help from the community, we’ve added some highly-requested features and fixed many bugs over the past few months.
We added a headless mode for interacting with documents programmatically with no GUI (e.g. from your backend server code). It can run in Node or in a browser. To use it from Node, just run
npm install firepad, require the module, and add a headless instance of Firepad using the following code:
var Firepad = require('firepad'); var headless = new Firepad.Headless('');
We’ve made a number of API improvements to make writing apps using Firepad easier. For instance, there’s a new
defaultText option to specify initial text to be loaded in Firepad, and there’s a new “synced” event to notify you when your changes have successfully been synced with Firebase so you can provide notice to the user. See the API docs for full details.
We’ve also fixed many minor bugs and UI issues to make the collaborative editing as fluid and seamless as possible! Firepad is now available on the Firebase CDN as well as Bower, making it even easier to include in your app.
Our Firechat homepage is now hosted on Firebase Hosting. In addition to this, we’ve improved the documentation, fixed bugs, and added warning messages to make development easier. Firechat now works well with other frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap, so you can customize the app’s default styling.
We’d like to hear from you!
If you’re using Firepad or Firechat in your apps, we’d love your input. Email us any feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a pull request on GitHub. We’re excited to see what you build!