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Light Table, the $316,720 Kickass IDE ;)

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Apologies for presenting a one year old App, but I just discovered it. Besides Light Table latest version 0.4 is just 2 months old.


A new concept of how an IDE should look like,  targeting Web Developing. It looks amazing, it is worth to download and try it- even if you don’t do programming. You can use it as a text editor (but doesn’t wrap lines).

Open Source & Licence 

Light Table is being in Alpha Version and code is not available right now. According to Chris Granger (author of LT), Light Table will be released as Open Source when ready, with a license based on a “pay what you can/what you believe it is worth” model for individuals.


Light Table is written in Clojure (Java) (not sure for that) and it supports Clojure, JavaScript and Python. However language support is extensible through plugins, so more languages will arrive.

Is it usable?

Yes, and it is extremely fast! A video that demonstrates some of the features of Light Table ;)

JavaScript in Light Table

Installation and Use

You need to download the binaries for your platform (x86 or x64), unzip it and then just double click on <LightTable> executable. If it doesn’t start, try from Console to inspect the issue.



In Fedora 19 Light Table was complaining for not finding  <>. That is because Fedora 19 ships a newer Udev library. To solve this without compiling an older Udev and setting paths, you can just create a symbolic link

For 32 bit use </usr/lib/> path.

$ cd /usr/lib64
$ sudo ln -s

As a side note, before start with Light Table read their docs. There is no way to understand how it works without Docs, even if you have used every other IDE.

There are some more info in their KickStart Campaign who managed to collect $316,720 (goal was $300.000)  that are not referred into their site (as licensing).

There is also a GitHub Page, for fileing issues. Source Code is not available yet.

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  • Mike Manilone

    Looks cool! However it’s regretful that it mainly targets Web Development only :-)

  • Adonis K. (Varemenos)

    What’s the difference between this and brackets or sublime text?

    • alex285

      First time I am hearing Brackets, but as I can see it doesn’t work (at least isn’t completed) in Linux.

      Sublime isn’t free. Other than this, Sublime is just a Text Editor with some cool features. Did you actually try LT before you ask? ;)

      • Adonis K. (Varemenos)

        Yep, i did try it.
        Sublime text is the most powerful text editor with extensions that would make jealous even the best IDEs available now (1 week with ST2 or 3 and you will understand what I mean). You can use it for free by getting a popup once in a while plus almost all it’s extensions are open source.
        Same for Brackets, an open source project supported by Adobe, trying to take down Sublime Text’s userbase. Linux port will come soon from what I’ve heard.
        Also Webstorm, a really strong IDE (with a little to no extensibility) for web development.

        The only thing Lightbox has over them is the open source tag due to the $300k the developer made (through Kickstarter I guess). I’m not saying it’s bad or that we shouldn’t use it but it currently doesn’t add anything extra to the game.

        • alex285

          “currently doesn’t add anything extra to the game” I think I need to give some time in Light Box to have an opinion about this. But as a first touch, I am thrilled with it.

          Oh and I have used Sublime 3 for a week.. More than a week :)

  • Matthew Javelet

    i’ve been a dedicated GEANY fan for some time now. I recently tried out sublime 2 and it was really cool, it just didn’t have something that geany was able to provide, couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

    anyway, i’ve been on a quest for the perfect ide these past few weeks. for $300K i hope this surpasses my expectations.

  • Bilbo

    Have an issue with starting it up under Archlinux x64

    have this error “error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory”. Tried pacman -S with no luck. any suggestions?

    • alex285

      Well, the post says the solution on this. Is right after the figure. How you could miss it? :)

      • Bilbo

        Missed that part…thank’s! It works properly now!

  • fog

    Open source when it will be ready? Just die, please.

  • Zubair

    Yes, LightTable is amazing. It is the IDE of choice for both my company and my blog:

  • Jorge David Fernandez

    I believe the code is mostly Clojurescript with bits of Clojure. They have not been able to bootstrap Clojurescript yet, but I think Chris’ intention is to move everything to cljs when he can.