Blog Urbit Community Update - August 2021

Jeremy Tunnell at

Urbit is going to Texas in October! Since Assembly 2021 is in Austin: bolo ties, boots, and hats are encouraged. This is the first opportunity to meet a large part of the Urbit community in person and work on projects together. After all, the theme of this conference is that Urbit is ready to be built upon. It’s going to be great, I hope to see all of you there.

There are some big changes in store before Assembly. As I talked about last month, it’s about to become far easier to get your friends and family on Urbit. Khan will allow easier management of multiple Urbit instances, which means hosting services will become more efficient and widely available. Our Layer 2 solution will make spawning planets less expensive and easier to access via a simple URL. Furthermore, Assembly will mark the beginning of a new frontier: building and distributing software on Urbit. These are just a few of our initiatives, so if you’re a developer who wants to help, give Mike ([email protected]) a ring!

Since there’s so much on our plate these days, it’s worthwhile to take stock of progress. Urbit has come a long way since the beginning of 2020. We’ve launched Landscape, a communication tool which is now a homestead for thousands of communities. Now we are opening a new frontier, software distribution. Any app can be run on Urbit, meaning that Urbit is what you make of it: a computer that is actually personal.

With that said, here are the updates.

0 - Assembly 2021 @ October 15, 16, 17 Austin, TX

Urbit’s first unconference is happening in October. Assembly 2021 will focus on the introduction of software distribution on the Urbit network. Attendees can choose between two tracks: 1) form small groups to work on new apps for software distribution, or 2) attend a two-day workshop by Neal Davis focusing on Hoon literacy, navigating the Urbit OS kernel, and constructing novel userspace apps. Urbit, which is really an entire computer, can now become much more than just a communications platform. It’s finally ready to be built upon.

Early bird tickets end August 31st. Since this will be a close-knit gathering, supplies are limited. Come celebrate and grow a new internet with us.

More info + tickets:

1 - Grants

As you probably already know, we give away address space to developers working on Urbit. This month I’d like to highlight a particularly interesting grant that’s almost ready for prime-time. As it says in the description: “Urbit TweetDeck (henceforth UTw) is two applications in one. On one side, it's a Microblogging app. A Twitter clone, basically. Users have individual feeds; you can follow, be followed, and keep custom lists of users. Most importantly, though UTw can fetch data from external sources and present them for consumption, and interaction with the Microblogging app”. This is a fascinating proposal that’s focused on the idea of Urbit as a personal server. Make sure to check it out.

Also worth looking at is the “Urbit API for Elixir” grant that was completed. The Urbit TweetDeck / feed aggregator is built on top of it!

We have lots of bounties and apprenticeships available. If you’re a developer and have an idea that hasn’t already been posted, shoot us a message, we’d love to talk.

2 - Blog Posts

This month there are two blog posts. Galen (~ravmel-ropdyl) has written about the current state of Urbit: where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. There are a lot of big projects pending release, so it’s important to take stock.

We also have an interview with ~lavlyn-litmeg, who runs UrbitHost. We talk about hosting, developing on Urbit, and how humans should design technology. Expect more blog posts focused on developers who are running Urbit-focused businesses. The next post will be from Tirrel, a company designing a payment processing system for Urbit.

3 - Discord Closure, DAOs, and WalletConnect

We’re shutting down the Urbit discord server since Urbit is ready to take its place! Landscape has (almost) all the features of Discord with the added benefit of being on a decentralized network where you own and control your own data. The primary use of Discord has been getting technical help with Urbit off-network. If you have technical issues you can reach out to [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help.

With our WalletConnect integration that went live last week, Urbit is now an alternative to Discord for DAOs stranded on centralized networks. Use Landscape to talk, and WalletConnect to control collective assets, such as stars or galaxies. Check it out on

4 - New Tlon Staff

Tlon has just hired Edward Amsden (~ritpub-sipsyl) as a software engineer! Some of you might know Edward from his work on the WebRTC integration which will bring video calling to Urbit (apparently it’s getting close to release). Welcome Edward!

5 - Odds & Ends

~natnex-ronret is a graphic designer and illustrator who made all the visuals for Assembly. Check out some of her other work

~mitten-dapper compiled this list of currently available Urbit planets composed of two English words

~nodreb-borrus created a simple command-line utility that generates a list of planet names that can be spawned from a given star

By the way, generates images of your @p sigil. Stencil it on your car and tag us on Twitter.

Jeremy brokers the sale of galaxies and stars. To purchase or sell a galaxy or star contact him at [email protected]

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