We’ve just finished up another big behind-the-scenes upgrade on Collab Mode, making it faster and more stable!

If you haven’t heard of it, Collab Mode is a PRO feature of the CodePen Editor in which multiple people can code and chat together in real time.

The Story

It’s been a few years since Collab Mode on CodePen got a big upgrade. We were pretty excited about it at the time, as it’s when we discovered that Google offers the same real time APIs that power Google’s own products as part of Google Drive. Alas, Google is deprecating those APIs starting early next year. We didn’t want to wait, so we got started with a new system.

One of their suggestions for a replacement, and a favorite of ours anyway, is Firebase. Firebase has a realtime database feature that ends up being surprisingly perfect for working with real time code. So good, in fact, that the Firebase team themselves have a project called Firepad that adds real-time collaboration features to the code editors CodeMirror and Ace. Perfect for us, as we use CodeMirror already!

The result after upgrading to Firepad/Firebase is a Collab Mode experience that feels faster and nicer than we’ve ever had before.

Take It For a Spin!

Remember that to use Collab Mode only the owner of the Pen has to be PRO. Your collaborators can use a free CodePen account, or just jump into a session without signing up or signing in. Signed out collaborators will show up as “anonymous” in the collab session.

For those of you that use Collab Mode often, we really hope you enjoy the new speed!

If you haven’t tried it before, we encourage you to check it out next time you want to work on some code with a buddy, a colleague, or an interviewee.