Released along with the beta of Live Editor platform at the end of the year will be a tool tailored just for web designers: Live Editor CLI.

This open source command line interface (CLI) is designed to help web designers build Live Editor themes without the guesswork and gruntwork that many CMS systems require.

At your fingertips will be commands like liveeditor new, liveeditor server, and liveeditor push for generating new themes, spawning a lightweight theme development server, and pushing to Live Editor’s servers, respectively.

How theme development usually works with other systems

Consider this workflow for other cloud-based CMS systems that allow you to work on the code on your own computer:

  1. Check out and/or FTP theme code onto your computer.
  2. Make changes to the code blindly.
  3. Check in and/or FTP changed theme code back to the CMS server.
  4. Review the live site and pray that you didn’t break anything with your changes.

Or consider the nightmare that is the in-browser code editor. You end up pecking at individual files and need to drag and drop media files into your browser after you’re done editing them. And you still end up with unpredictable results: did your changes break anything?

The open source CMSes offer an olive branch in the form of allowing you to install the software locally and run your theme there. But that doesn’t come without its own problems and inconveniences, especially in getting everything set up, database and assets synced, etc.

How theme development will work with Live Editor CLI

Anyone looking to do anything sane and worthwhile with their website development needs two things:

  1. Ability to choose the right tools for the job
  2. Predictability

Live Editor CLI allows you to run a self-contained mini-Live Editor on your computer, where you can develop and preview your theme code. Its purpose is for you to set up a system for testing your theme design, CSS, and JavaScript code with some staged content before shipping everything off to the production server.

It will be as lightweight as possible: just enough to get your work done without running an entire gorilla of a CMS system. Just type liveeditor server and visit the URL that it instructs you to run in your browser.

When you’re done with development, type liveeditor push, and everything gets validated, uploaded to Live Editor’s servers, processed, and pushed live.

An added benefit to this workflow is that you can use whatever tools that you need to develop your frontend code. Live Editor stays out of your way in deciding Sass vs. Less, Grunt vs. Gulp, Bootstrap vs. Foundation, none of the above, and so on. Use the tools that you’re comfortable with for code editing, version control, image editing, and asset compilation.

The Live Editor service’s job is simply to receive the theme code and assets and publish it on its servers and CDN.

Live Editor CLI gives you just enough functionality to do your own job as a theme designer without your needing to worry about running servers, updating software, and so on. Everything will be just right.

Sound promising? Sign up to get notified when Live Editor is ready for you to try.