Give Feedback on Code With Chop App

Whether you’re writing a simple app to try out a new language or coding the next Facebook, sometimes you’re going to want to share a bit of your code. Maybe you’ll want to show your coworker what a certain function does, or make a suggestion about SEO to your copywriter. Or perhaps you’re stuck on a problem, and need to point out exactly what’s wrong and where you’re stuck.

Full code review tools are an overkill for this, while sharing the code on its own can make it difficult to add your commentary to it. That’s where Chop comes in. Keep reading to see how Chop can help you share info about code and collaborate with less friction.

Chopping up your code into tasty little bytes…

Chop is a new free tool from the folks at ZURB that makes it easy to share code complete with your comments and thoughts. The other apps from ZURB, such as StrikeApp and Bounce, are all simple apps that do one thing well. Chop does this yet again with for code review.

Chop lets you quickly upload your source code, where it will be formatted and saved with a short URL you can easily share on Twitter and more. You can then add comments to any line of your code to point out interesting things or ask for help on the spots you’re having trouble with. It’s as easy as shortening a URL: you don’t need to create an account or do anything difficult.

Chomp's front page

To get started, just paste your code into the text box, then select the code type you’ve entered. Chop supports a variety of code and markup languages, including Ruby, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Java, C/C++, PHP, Diff, and YAML. If your type of code isn’t supported, you can still use it with Chop, but it may not highlight the syntax correctly.

Select the type of code you're pasting, and Clip it!

Alternately, you can pull code directly from the web. Select the Grab from a URL link on the bottom right, then enter the address of the code you wish to share or comment on. You could pull in code pages from GitHub, the HTML on your website, or the CSS code from a client’s site you’re auditing. Or, you could use this to quickly view the source code of a site when you’re browsing on your smartphone or tablet!

Grab any code online

Your Beautiful Chopped Code

Seconds after you add your code or a link to your code, you’ll see your source code formatted beautifully on a unique Chop page. The important parts of your code’s syntax will be highlighted as you’d expect, and the overall simple layout makes it very easy to browse through your source code.

Your code, beautifully formatted

To add comments, just double-click on any line to start adding a comment. You can then enter as much as you need in the text box, then press Save to add the comment. Feel free to comment on as many lines as you need, or remove any comments you decide aren’t needed.

Double-click on a line of code to add a comment

Once you’re finished, just copy the short URL listed at the top of your Chop page, and share it with your coworker, friend, or the whole world. Your code is saved on that page, though you can’t make changes later as Chop doesn’t include any user accounts. What it does include, though, is the ability to quickly share your code and thoughts, without the friction you’d have with most similar apps.

Your comments, ready to be shared

And that’s all. It’s a simple and beautiful way to share code with comments or thoughts, and works great!

Conclusion

Chop is yet another example of how simple tools that do one thing great can be a very useful addition to our daily toolkit. I enjoy using Simplenote for that very reason. You can just jot down what you need to write, and not worry about settings, or even saving your info. It just works. Chop does that for the source code you need to share.

There’s many different ways you could share source code. After all, it’s just plain text at its core. But the automatic formatting and simple way to add comments makes this an appealing way to get help or share info about code. And it could even be used for writing as well; professors could use Chop to markup students’ code or writing without having to use Word comments.

Sometimes the simplest apps inspire the most unique uses, as we’ve all experienced with Twitter. If you think of an interesting use for Chop, or have some interesting code, we’d love to see it in the comments!


Summary

Need to get help on a tricky piece of code, or want to show a colleague where he went wrong? Just copy the code, paste it in Chop, and add the feedback you need. It's simple and elegant code commentary!

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