The experimental browser is finally 1.0!
Beaker hosts websites from your device using peer-to-peer technology. It is a great tool for webdev without touching the command-line or setting up a server.
- Educators. A Web dev classroom can skip teaching the command-line, git, or server setup. Students create their sites in-browser (or copy a template from the teacher) and do their development with the builtin tools.
- Dev Teams. If you’re looking for a fast way to share site prototypes in the office, Beaker is a great fit. You can quickly fork a site to make changes, then share the new URL with the team.
- Decentralizers. We may not have an out-of-the-box replacement for the big platforms yet, but if you’re the kind of person that’s into blockchains or greater access to open-source, you should check this out.
Beaker uses a replacement for HTTP called the Hypercore Protocol which has its own
hyper:// URL. That means you can’t load the sites on any browser (which is why Beaker still earns its title as an “experimental” browser). That makes Beaker a bit niche for now, but we’re pretty excited to expand that niche moving forward.
The Hypercore Protocol (formerly the “Dat protocol”) works a bit like BitTorrent: visitors to a site will download its files and rehost them to share bandwidth. Unlike BitTorrent, Hypercore is able to change the files without creating a new URL! It’s also quite good at other kinds of data than files, though Beaker hasn’t tapped into that yet.
If you’re interested in building on the Hypercore Protocol, check out the Hyperspace Daemon. It provides a batteries-included toolset for peer-to-peer files and databases.
A Tour: Creating P2P Sites
Beaker’s peer-to-peer sites are called “Hyperdrives.” You can create them from the browser menu.
You can start from scratch, sync a local folder, or clone a git repo.
From here, Beaker will open the new site with the editor open and ready for you to build.
Once your site is ready, you can share the
hyper:// URL with people and they’ll connect to your computer to see the site. You can see the peer-count in the URL bar:
Here’s a (slightly sped-up) video of the total experience:
We have lots of documentation if you want to get more familiar with the tools.
P2P Site Templates / Demos
If you want to get your hands on some example code, check out a couple of these pre-made templates which you can easily create in Beaker:
Thank you to our supporters
We wanted to be sure to thank our Open Collective Contributors for helping us build Beaker. In particular, we want to thank Peter Wang, Michael Mullins, R.J. Steinert, Ryan O, Chris Hartgerink, Andrew Lee, Jim Pick, Ross Zurowski, and Paul Lindner for their generous contributions!
Based on everything we’ve learned building Beaker, we’re starting our new tool for the Hypercore Protocol called Uplink. If you’re curious to find out what it is and what we’re doing, we’re launching a Patreon for this new project where we’ll share project updates and early access to builds.
So, from here:
Thanks for reading!