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InfoQ Homepage News HyperDev Spins Up New Web Apps with No Effort

HyperDev Spins Up New Web Apps with No Effort

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Fog Creek Software has released a new web-based tool that spins up a new web app, live on the internet with no effort beyond searching for "HyperDev".

In a blog post announcing the public beta, Joel Spolsky says that HyperDev will be "the fastest way to bang out code and get it running on the internet. We want to eliminate 100% of the complicated administrative details around getting code up and running on a website."

The start-up experience is indeed streamlined. By just hitting, the user is given a clean instance of a baseline Node.js back-end project and a simple HTML/JS front-end. All of the setup, source control, and hosting is taken care of. HyperDev takes the idea of jsFiddle and extends it to include server-side code.

By default, users see an in-browser IDE that contains a front-end and a back-end code portion. The back-end portion sets up a Express.JS web server that serves up the contents of the front-end portion. From this starting point, developers can write whatever server code they need, exactly as they would in a "traditional" Node.js app.

Spolsky highlights the repetitive new project tasks that HyperDev eliminates:

  • You didn’t make an account.
  • You didn’t use Git. Or any version control, really.
  • You didn’t deal with name servers.
  • You didn’t sign up with a hosting provider.
  • You didn’t provision a server.
  • You didn’t install an operating system or a LAMP stack or Node or operating systems or anything.
  • You didn’t configure the server.
  • You didn’t figure out how to integrate and deploy your code.`

Many professional web developers will already have their own streamlined processes for creating a new project, whether it's for a prototype or production. However, for those that only dabble in the web from time-to-time, HyperDev proves to be a valuable tool to get something up and running on the web without a lot of ceremony involved.

HyperDev projects can be shared, with each developer's code changes getting updated in real-time, says Spolsky:

Literally every change you make is instantly saved, uploaded to the server, the server is restarted with the new code, and your browser is refreshed, all within half a second. So now your server-side code changes are instantly deployed. It’s a magical kind of team programming where everything shows up instantly, like Trello, or Google Docs.

A collection of examples is available in the HyperDev Gallery. So far, it only works with JavaScript based projects, but the team hopes to add more languages soon.

In a community discussion on Hacker News, many of the comments are positive, but place HyperDev into the category of a "toy". Nicholas Charriere sounded an excited note, saying, "It's all about diminishing the barrier to entry, and honestly I'm very impressed with this project. To me, this is a breakthrough. I think that combining this with a very minimalistic class could teach people that computers aren't magical, and anyone can try."

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