GitHub brings up a relief space with the launch of Codespaces, as it gives a feature to code directly on the web. It is more or less a virtual Integrated Development Environment (IDE) on the cloud.

As per the developers, it wasn’t as simple as it is today. Previously, it was a mandate to set up the environment on the local machine based on the requirements of the project. However, with the launch of GitHub, you don’t have to do that anymore. It allows developers and even the tester to set up the environment in just a few clicks.

The SVP of Product, GitHub, Shanku Niyogi, said that one could also configure Codespaces according to one’s need. “Codespaces can be configured to load your code and dependencies, developer tools, extensions, and dotfiles. Switching between environments is simple—you can navigate away at any time, and when you switch back, your codespace is automatically reopened.”

Mario Rodriguez, Senior Director of Product Management, told TNW on a call that the concept is to lower the barrier for developers to contribute to the project. The Codespaces can make a browser-based version of the full VS code editor running on Azure. It easily allows the addition of plugins without any major technical barriers.

He also added that setting up of Codespaces is easy and can be implemented the way you want. Add one or multiple configurations for the same project, it is your choice.

Apart from Codespaces, GitHub welcomes a forum-like feature, Discussions. It allows contributors to engage with each other. The engagement will take place in the form of documents, FAQs, and similar threads. Until now, the most popular tabs have been “pull requests” and “issues.” Users can switch to community guidelines to check for what is allowed under Discussions. It suggests tools for users to report any kind of harmful behavior.

The Codespaces is available for Public beta to try it out and provide feedback. Though the code editing functionality in Codespaces will always be free, developers can charge pay-as-you-go models for extensive tasks.