At Next Tech we’re are incredibly excited to announce the release of our tab-based interface! This enables any interface component (e.g. a web browser or terminal) to be placed in any section (or “pane”) of the interface. This means a terminal can be loaded next to a code file, a full GUI viewer can be alongside a SQL display, and so forth.
Previously, each pane could only support a single component. So if you wanted a code editor, terminal, and web browser, you needed a three pane layout. This worked well for introductory use cases but as we’ve pushed further into serving developers as well as beginners with learning materials, we found this approach to be a major limitation. For example, when teaching a web framework, a terminal is only required to run a command or two. So having to keep it on the screen taking space away from a code editor and web browser led to an unnecessarily squashed layout.
Here’s what that might have looked like before:
And here’s what it would look like now:
Note that the GUI and terminal tabs are now located side-by-side in a two pane layout versus requiring a three pane layout to accommodate the identical use case.
Now the large number of interface elements we support and the new ones we’re creating can be mixed and matched in hundreds of ways. The option to open a new tab can also be left to the learner versus pre-configured.
Currently, we support the following tab types:
- Editable code and text files
- Terminals with or without root access
- Web browsers for any port
- GUI displays with X support
- SQL result tables
- Python graphic displays for Skulpt programs
- Media files such as images and videos
We believe wholeheartedly that providing a traditional IDE loaded with menus does a disservice to learners and anyone working on a project. At the same time, a box that simply runs code isn’t useful either. So this interface, like others we have built, was designed carefully, one piece at a time to ensure it is powerful yet simple for anyone to use.
We’ve already put this interface to good use with a number of our courses on programming, web development, database design, and machine learning. We’re now offering a $9 a month subscription to access our courses, and you can get started free for a week!
If you’d like to learn more about how to build your own courses with this interface atop Next Tech, we’d love to hear from you.