I don’t quite understand the problem that’s being solved here. I already have seamless access to Gitlab (or whichever Git remote I choose to use) from any IDE or the command line. What value is there in working in a browser, using a web app hosted alongside my code repository? Honest question.
You have your tools set up already.
Others do not.
But who are these people who write code but don’t have their tools set up? Is that a large group of people?
Every beginner, and most programmers away from their home setups.
I haven’t played with the gitlab version, but gitpod is pretty nice for getting something done quickly when I’m on the road and not carrying my real dev system.
It’s also absolutely brilliant for getting people started on open source projects. You can include a link in your README, like this wagtail demo site does that lets people pop open a remove VS Code instance with your project checked out and a container set up to build/run it.
I think kicking the tires on new things and contributing a quick fix to someone else’s project that I don’t regularly contribute to have been the best uses I’ve seen for something like this.
I’m not familiar with the GitLab version here but the GitHub version is a bit more than you’re suggesting. It’s a combination of a web UI and a base container image that has all of the tools set up. Each user can then add additional container layers to tailor the environment to their taste. When you want to onboard a new developer to the project, there’s a one-click thing to give them a complete working build environment.
I would love a remote vscode editor with support for a runtime environment defined by a shell.nix file. Gitpod came close, but doesnt run the vscode plugins in this environment.