When programmers need to exchange or show some code to others, they don’t do it by email — please, don’t tell me you do. They use pastebin sites to share code snippets. Easy to use, these tools have almost become irreplaceable. Did you know that we’ve built our own? Before introducing it you, let’s do a quick tour of the most popular available tools out there.

Non-Runnable Code Snippets Sites

Pastebin.com

No need to present this classic anymore; Pastebin.com allows you to store any kind of text for easy sharing. However, it’s mainly used by programmers. You can store up to 10 pastes per day as a guest, probably more than enough for a vast majority of users. The site offers syntax highlighting for more than 100 languages. If you don’t find yours in there, you must be coding in a very weird language.

Codepad.co

At first sight, it looks very promising. It lets you store snippets of code in a great number of languages, and you can also use their playground mode, which lets you test the classic javascript-html-css combo. You do have to create an account to use the site, though. I was also quite amused when I received an email from Codepad telling me that my code snippet “hello” just got popular. But do share responsibly; who knows, you could be hired.

Github Gists

If you’re a Github aficionado, you’re probably already using Gists. Every Gist is a fully forkable Git repository. Surely you don’t need that for any code snippet, but it certainly opens up a lot of possibilities.

Runnable Code Snippets Sites

Being able to run a code snippet makes it much more powerful. You don’t have to just hope that your code will work. You can test it directly.

JSFiddle.net

JSFiddle is probably the default site you’ll be heading for if you want to share a working frontend example. You usually find JSFiddle completing a StackOverflow answer, even if SO created their own homemade solution a few years ago. JSFiddle might not be the sexiest snippet site now, but try to remember what you thought of it 6 years ago. It was cool!

Codepen.io

Same kind of tool as JSFiddle, but much more powerful. For example, it has different page modes, and supports a lot of flavors of css, html and javascript. Codepen is currently one of the most popular tools, if not the best, used to show off runnable frontend code within articles. They describe themselves as a “playground for the front-end side of the web,” and that’s really what it is. What makes the tool even better is its community.

Klipse

This plugin is a javascript tag that converts static code snippets into live and interactive snippets for the following languages: JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, Clojure, Python, C++, Lua and Scheme. The code is evaluated as you type: nothing better for a WOW effect in a technical article.

Repl.it

The amount of languages repl.it supports is impressive. It also has a bunch of interesting options as part of its environment, such as adding new files and the ability to use stdin.
The main drawback I see is that you can’t modify the code in an embedded snippet. However, they seem to focus on their classroom tool for now.


Runkit.com is worth mentioning for node. You can see it running live in the getting started section for Express. The amount of options it provides is pretty impressive. Also, for some React, Vue and Preact, you should definitely check Codesandbox.io.

And Tech.io!

We showed you our first version of runnable widget a few weeks ago. It was useful, but you had to create a complete playground just to share a code snippet. We changed that, and we are now super happy to present you with the runnable snippets by Tech.io.
We focused on providing an effortless experience to create, share and embed runnable code snippets in a wide variety of languages.
Not only are the snippets runnable, but you can interact with their embedded version. When reading an article, there’s nothing more satisfying than tweaking a code example and experiencing for yourself how the code works.
We use the official docker images for the snippets’ runtime for most of the languages (specific version detailed in our doc). That means we can easily add any new language. Also, we’re thinking about the possibility of being able to specify a docker image to use for a custom snippet.



What snippet sites do you use?
Perhaps some I did not mention; there is a huge –old– list on Wikipedia.

What do you think about our snippets tool? What features would you like us to add around it? As usual, any comment is welcome; don’t hesitate!