Online code editor geared to people teaching and learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
JavaScript CSS HTML Shell
Latest commit 8256ae2 Aug 21, 2016 @petercpg petercpg committed with mozilla-pontoon Pontoon: Update Chinese (zh-TW) localization of Thimble
Localization authors:
- Pin-guang Chen <>


Build Status Shipping fast with zenHub

Thimble is Mozilla's online code editor that makes it easy to create and publish your own web pages while learning HTML, CSS & JavaScript. You can try it online by visiting (or for our staging server).


You can read more about some of Thimble's main features in the wiki, or watch a demo video.

Thimble uses a modified version of the amazing Brackets code editor updated to run within web browsers. You can read more about how it works in this blog post.

Thimble requires a modern web browser, and we recommend using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.


Thimble is non-trivial to run locally, due to its dependence on a number of other services. In order to run Thimble, the following things are required. The following is an abbreviated guide to getting it all set up. Please see each server's README for more details.

You'll need

  • Bramble
  • Thimble
  • Webmaker ID server
  • Webmaker Login Server
  • PostgreSQL Database
  • Webmaker Publishing Server

Installing the Parts

Please note: On Windows, use copy instead of cp



  • Clone
  • Run npm install to install dependencies
  • Run cp env.sample .env to create an environment file
  • Run npm start the server
  • Note: needs a node version of 4.x only while all the other dependencies work with a node version of 4.x and above. We suggest installing NVM to allow the use of multiple versions of node.


  • Install Postgres via Homebrew
    • Get Homebrew -
    • Run brew install postgresql to install PostgreSQL once Homebrew is installed
  • Run initdb -D /usr/local/var/postgres to initialize PostreSQL
    • If this already exists, run rm -rf /usr/local/var/postgres to remove it
  • Run postgres -D /usr/local/var/postgres to start the PostgreSQL server
  • Run createdb publish to create the Publish database

  • These steps assume you've followed the PostgreSQL steps above, including creating the publish database.
  • Clone
  • Run npm install to install dependencies
  • Run npm run env
  • Run npm install knex -g to install knex
  • Run npm run knex to seed the publish database created earlier
  • Run npm start to run the server

Getting Ready to Publish

To publish locally, you'll need to do the following...

1. Teach the ID server about the Publish server

  • Run createdb webmaker_oauth_test to create a test database
  • In your folder

    • Run node scripts/create-tables.js
    • Edit scripts/test-data.sql and replace it's contents with:

        INSERT INTO clients VALUES
          ( 'test',
            '["password", "authorization_code"]'::jsonb,
            '["code", "token"]'::jsonb,
            'http://localhost:3500/callback' )
    • Run node scripts/test-data.js

      • You'll see a INSERT 0 1 message if successful

2. Set up the local data folder

Instead of publishing to Amazon AWS, we'll be publishing to a local folder. Perform the following steps to set this up.

  • Run npm install -g http-server && mkdir -p /tmp/mox/test && cd /tmp/mox/test && http-server -p 8001
  • Run cd /tmp/mox/test && http-server -p 8001 to start the server
  • In your folder
    • Open the .env file
    • Make sure that PUBLIC_PROJECT_ENDPOINT="localhost:8001"` is set as shown here
    • Restart publish server

3. Sign In

To publish locally, you'll need an account.

  • Go to http://localhost:3000/account
  • Click Join Webmaker and complete the process, you can use a fake email
  • When you've created your account, click Set permanent password instead
    • This lets you authenticate your account without needing email
  • Go back to Thimble and Log In with your new account

Running the parts

This is the list of commands to get each part up and running.

  • Thimble npm start
  • Bramble npm start
  • PostgreSQL Database postgres -D /usr/local/var/postgres
  • Webmaker ID server npm start
  • Webmaker Login Server npm start
  • Webmaker Publishing Server npm start
  • Local publish folder cd /tmp/mox/test && http-server -p 8001

Development additionals

We handle JS, HTML and CSS linting through grunt, which is very simple to set up if you don't have it installed already:

npm install -g grunt-cli

After this, simpy run grunt before commiting code and you should be good to go.

Building the front-end

Run grunt requirejs:dist to regenerate the front-end dist/ folder if you so desire (it's only necessary in production). See Gruntfile.js for details.


Please refer to the Wiki for information on the localization procedures used in Thimble.

Our Localization Community

Our localization community is awesome! They work very hard to translate Thimble so that we can expand our global reach and engage even more users in other languages. We can't thank them enough!

Invalidating CloudFront

To invalidate the production CloudFront distribution, make sure you have correct credentials set up in your env file. Then run node invalidate.js. Alternatively, if you have access to the heroku deployments, run the invalidation as a one-off dyno with heroku run npm run invalidate


Thimble uses the throng module to leverage Node's Cluster API for concurrency. To specify the number of server processes to start set WEB_CONCURRENCY to a positive integer value.