Fog Creek Software is a New York based company best known for Trello and Stack Overflow. They recently announced the release of HyperDev, an online playground used for developing and deploying web apps. The open beta service is currently available to anyone willing to try it out.
HyperDev is in Open Beta
Previously users had to ask Fog Creek for permission to access HyperDev’s private beta. HyperDev is interesting because it can handle many of the steps necessary to get a Web app live and update it. Simply go on to HyperDev’s website and you can get your app live and complete with a proper URL as well as an environment for editing server and client side code. You can also invite other people to work on the code with you and if your project is worth implementing, you can save the code to your GitHub account.
Hyperdev automatically makes all changes to your app – there is no “deploy” button. You can see any code your team members are adding live just like in Google Docs. If a user is looking at the app through the URL, they will see it change live without needing to refresh.
The Google Docs of App Development
Fog Creek co-founder Joel Spolsky states “Literally as you type each keystroke, it can be rebooting, the whole server gets deployed,” - “We hope to get it down to like 100 milliseconds, ultimately.”
Keep in mind that HyperDev is not a full flexible cloud infrastructure or a standalone platform as a service or PaaS. This means that it won’t be the ideal hosting for every application but it will be ideal if you want to try small bits of code to see if they work properly.
HyperDev is currently free for publically visible projects. In time the service will most likely offer a service to keep projects private for a fee, just like GitHub.
JSFiddle is a service very similar to HyperDev – it allows users to edit and deploy code. Other similar services also include Stack Snippet. But neither of these services allow users to run live websites.
Fog Creek co-founder Joel Spolsky is a software development wizard but he’s not above googling for bits and pieces of code. Recently he built a podcast feed during a 5 hour plane trip from New York to San Francisco – the project was built in HyperDev. The for-loop portion in the app “was the most cut-and-pastey code I had ever done in my life,” Spolsky said. HyperDev is perfect for this type of quick programming.