Jorge Pedret

Designer & Front-end Engineer
Vancouver, Canada

Harp Platform Public Milestone: Complete!

November 15th 2013

It’s been a whole year since I started working on the Harp Platform and we’re really excited to announce today that we’ve opened the gates to the public.

Harp is here to stay

After working with Rob and Brock for over a year, I can say with confidence that Harp is here to stay.

Making the development and publishing process easier is a problem that the whole team is super passionate about. We’ve successfully bootstrapped the development of Harp for over 2 years and I see no problem doing that until Harp can walk on its own feet.

I can say I’m really proud to be part of the team behind Harp. These guys are super smart, experienced and we’re all putting all our efforts to make the web a better place.

More importantly, the philosophy behind Harp is what assures that we’re here for the long run.

Philosophy behind Harp

“Zero configuration publishing platform”

That was our marketing line for a long time and although we’ve stopped using it to describe what Harp is, this is pretty much what leads every decision.

With the Harp Platform, you don’t need to be a dev-ops expert to run a solid site that can stand any number of visitors, or to easily rollback to a previous version, or to add SSL. The Harp Platform’s philosophy is to lower the bar for “makers” to start a solid business.

There’s an obvious trend in the development scene where we’re starting to read more and more about “front-end developers”. The breed that we used to call “fullstack developer” is now splitting into two paths. One of those paths is developers who speciallize in creating JavaScript applications on the browser. They don’t need anything else except for a browser and a couple of APIs to talk to via XHR requests.

It is for this new breed of developers that we’re creating the Harp Platform and the Harp web server. We have an awesome lineup of features aligned just for you!

Platform features

On top of all the features that Harp web server provides, the Harp Platform gives you:

Custom domain: Get your own domain to point to your Harp application. Really easy! You can even get a domain from iwantmyname that is already configured to work with Harp.

Versions History: Every time you deploy your app, we save that version so you can rollback to it at any time.

Collaboration: The way we have collaboration setup is something I’ve never seen before and I’m sure it’s going to bring some pretty interesting workflows to a lot of developers.

SSL: Setting up SSL is one of the most challenging things to do when you own your own server. By default any {adsas}.harp.io app can be served via HTTPS and adding your own certificates for your custom domain is a breeze.

Current Challenges

The biggest challenge we’re facing right now is communicating the value of the Harp Platform to the right people. I feel like Harp is going to create a new breed of developers, and defining that line right now seems a little bit awkward.

Harp introduces some radical ideas on how we should be doing web development, so defining the people that are going to get most benefits out of Harp is going to be a communication and education challenge.

Integration with other development tools like Grunt, Bower, Components and Git is something that we’ve been considering. Visualizing how these integrations look like is challenging since we need to make sure that it doesn’t conflict with Harp’s core goals.

If you have any insights on how to overcome any of these challenges, I’d love to hear them. Leave me a comment at the bottom, tweet me or send me an email.

Roadmap: What the future holds

Nothing is set in stone, but these are some of the features that we’re most likely adding to the Harp Platform:

  • More and better boilerplates
  • A public boilerplate registry
  • Option to store app in Dropbox or Github
  • CDN for your assets
  • Publish from your editor or from CLI
  • Adding SSL and Custom domain from the dashboard
  • A downloadable dmg/executable that runs the Harp web server without having to install it and run it from the terminal

We need your help!

We’re still growing and your help would be insanely useful for the development community. These are some of the things that we need help with:

We’re really excited about going public and are 100% commited to make Harp one of the most valuable tools for continuing creating awesome stuff on the web.