1.11.0 • Public • Published

VZCode: Mob Programming Code Editor

VZCode offers a multiplayer code editing environment that caters to a real-time collaborative development experience. It's the code editor component of VizHub, and can also be used independently from VizHub.

VZCode Interface

Table of Contents


You can use VZCode as an editor for your current directory if you install it globally with:

npm install -g vzcode

To open it, navigate to the directory of your choice in the terminal, then run


A new browser window should automatically pop open with the files in that directory exposed for interactive multiplayer editing.

Note: A known shortcoming of VZCode is that it does not (yet) watch for changes from the file system. VZCode assumes that no other programs are modifying the same files. If another program does modify the same files at the same time, each VZCode auto-save will clobber the changes made by the other program.

To invite others to edit with you in real time, share your IP in your LAN with them to access. You can also expose your VZCode instance publicly using a tunneling service such as NGrok. In fact, if you set your NGROK_TOKEN environment variable, VZCode will automatically connect and log the public URL when it starts.


cd vzcode
npm install
npm run test-interactive

If you're on Windows, you'll also need to do this additional step:

npm install @rollup/rollup-win32-x64-msvc

For local development with hot reloading (for client-side changes only), keep the server running, started by npm run test-interactive, and also in a separate terminal run this:

npm run dev

This will expose http://localhost:5173/ and proxy the requests for data to the server (running on port 3030).

You can also use npm link to set up the vzcode NPM package in another project to point to your clone of the repository. This can be useful when testing out how vzcode functions as a dependency.


  • Browser-based editing environment
  • Sidebar with file listings (directories support pending)
  • Real-time collaboration via LAN or using services like NGrok
  • File management through tabs
  • Basic file operations: create, rename, delete
  • Syntax highlighting for web languages
  • Interactive widgets for editing numbers (Alt+drag on numbers)
  • Auto-save, debounced after code changes
  • Auto-save, throttled while using interactive widgets to support hot reloading environments

Use Cases

  • Local Editor: Use VZCode like VSCode or Vim:

    npm install -g vzcode
    cd myProject
  • Project-specific Editor: Embed VZCode within your project for developers who might not have a preferred IDE, or to provide an editing experience that seamlessly integrates with hot reloading.

      "name": "example-project",
      "scripts": {
        "edit": "vzcode"
      "dependencies": {
        "vzcode": "^0.1.0"

    Run using npm run edit.

    For example, as the editor of Vite D3 Template, which showcases the throttled auto-save behavior of VZCode while using the interactive widgets in the context of editing files served by the Vite dev server which supports hot reloading.

  • Hosting with Ngrok: Allow external collaborators to join your VZCode session.

    • With Ngrok Globally Installed: (Requires authenticated Ngrok account)

      ngrok http 3030
    • Through VZCode: Coming soon!

  • Staging Site Editor (Experimental): Use VZCode on a persistent server, making code changes with multiplayer mode remotely, reflecting instantly on a staging site.


Built using technologies such as:


The project aims to:

  • Offer a feasible alternative to VSCode + Live Share for frontend development
  • Facilitate easy project-specific IDE embedding
  • Enhance user experience with advanced features
  • Support instant feedback through hot reloading
  • Keep improving based on feedback
  • Serve as a core for VizHub's next-gen editor

Prior Work

VZCode is inspired by VizHub v2. VizHub V2's code editor supports real-time collaboration using older versions of libraries such as CodeMirror 5 and JSON0 OT. For VZCode, the aim is to leverage the latest technologies to deliver a more streamlined experience.

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npm i vzcode

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