Creating a Dropbox Integration Extension for Brackets

A few months ago, Adobe unveiled Brackets, a new code editor for HTML, CSS and JavaScript that is written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Brackets is open source and is being developed in the open here. Brackets is still in early development and is not ready for general use yet.

One thing that I’m really excited about is the extensibility layer in Brackets. It is really easy to write extensions that augment Brackets capabilities in various ways. Just like Brackets itself, you write Brackets extensions using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. A list of existing extensions is maintained here.

So, I decided to give it a try myself, and create a Dropbox integration extension that allows you to open a Dropbox folder in Brackets, edit the Dropbox files in the Brackets editors, and save the modified files back to Dropbox. The idea behind this extension is to be able to work on a project hosted in Dropbox from any computer without having to install and configure Dropbox. The extension uses dropbox.js to access the Dropbox OAuth and REST APIs.

Watch the video:



This extension is a PROOF OF CONCEPT and is not suitable for production use yet. However, the basic functionality is there, and I thought it would be interesting to share it at this stage. Some of the limitations include:

  1. It creates a local version of the files. Ideally I’d like it to work without any local files being created.
  2. It doesn’t handle subfolders (Brackets Sprint 14 doesn’t provide an API to create folders)
  3. If you restart Brackets, it doesn’t reconnect the local project folder with the Dropbox folder. You have to open a new empty folder on your local file system and Open the Dropbox folder again.

Source Code

The source code is available in this GitHub repository.

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  • Awesome. I was thinking just the other day how this exact extension would be useful.

  • This had a lot of potential with a browser based version of Brackets as the biggest issue would be file system.

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  • John Yun

    Hi Christophe

    It was great meeting you and watching your presentation at 1871 in Chicago this evening.
    Your demo for Edge ReFlow and Inspect was intriguing. I will definitely try and monitor the progress of these tools for production in my work. Your humor and attention to detail was engaging and it kept me interested.

    I wasn’t too interested in Phone Gap in the past but after your presentation with Build (which I was not aware of) convinced me to give it another try. I’ve been mostly an Android native app and a responsive web developer who didn’t find a lot of cross platforms to be too reliable or easy to use before.

    I did find the particular audience member who was badgering you about the validity of Brackets incredibly rude and ridiculous. He was too interested in himself trying very hard to scrutinize your presentation that he was not listening to you or anyone else about what the point of Brackets was and the potential it can be in the hands of the developer community. It was clear the other audience members found him equally distracting and did not regard him as someone with any credibility.

    I look forward to hearing/reading more of your tips. Your article a few years ago regarding Flex and Spring with BlazeDS really helped me with one of my work projects back then. That is how I recognized who you were tonight. Thanks again Christophe. I hope you will make a trip back here again in the near future.

    Best,
    John

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