Since they can’t really run typical full-fledged desktop apps, the absence of any real programming IDE for Chromebooks has long been one of many reasons not to buy into Google’s laptop platform. The lack of apps is a problem that is soon to be remedied for many thanks to the addition of the Google Play Store (and there are indeed some barebones IDEs available for Android), but it looks like Google has been thinking about programming on Chrome from another angle.

With “Coding with Chrome,” students can create programs in a variety of languages — albeit only markup and script languages, not object-oriented ones — straight form their Chromebook without an internet connection…

Coding with Chrome is an experimental Google project to provide a programming platform within the Chrome browser that even works offline. Currently, students are able to create programs in Blockly, Coffeescript, HTML, Javascript with output to Logo Turtle and/or connected toys such as the Sphero and Lego Mindstorms.

It’s clear that this little app is aimed at students, not those who are looking for a serious markup editor. When you open the app you’re presented with a couple options: Beginner and Advanced. The former helps students learn to program with visual blocks, while the latter lets students jump straight into writing JavaScript or CoffeeScript.

You can grab Coding with Chrome on the Chrome web store for free.

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