Blog Urbit March Newsletter

Jeremy Tunnell at

The last couple of months have been busy for Urbit developers. A large number of them spent early March on the slopes of El Salvador’s Santa Ana volcano at the “Volcano Summit” — an application-only Urbit developer conference hosted by Aleph DAO and the Urbit Foundation. The vibes were great – everyone was working on something, lots of announcements were made, boxing matches were held. With the exception of one talk (see below), nothing was recorded. You just had to be there.

Opportunities for Developers

A cohort of App School Live finished up last month (congrats to the finishers!), and a new cohort of Hoon School Live started last week (good luck!). If you missed out, don’t worry — professor ~lagrev-nocfep loves teaching these courses and they’ll be back soon.

If you’ve made it past the introductory phase and are looking for a challenge, get ready for the first ever App Workshop Live starting next week on April 12th. This course is designed to teach you advanced application development techniques in a hands-on way. Each lesson will involve building new applications from scratch that push the boundaries of what Urbit can do.

Another way to level up your skills is to start a project, which is one of the big reasons we offer a grants program. If you’ve been looking for something to build but aren’t sure what, check out our new RFPs — these are ideas for projects that we want to see built and have already been thought through a bit by our team.

Seen in the wild

Let’s speedrun a few of the things that hit the network in the last few weeks:

  • Urbit Studio launched with the long-anticipated capability to handle paid subscriptions for self-hosted content.

  • Native Planet has opened up orders for their original Tellurian device and the powerful new Aurora model. They’re easy to use, gorgeous, and work great (verified personally by this author).

  • ~hanfel-dovned implemented Robin Sloan’s Spring ‘83 concept as an Urbit app called %board. Imagine a digital bulletin-board where each item is a person’s miniature homepage, and the pages you see are based on who you know.

  • Tlon opened up free planet hosting. A limited number of ships are available each day on their website, so if at first you don’t succeed, check tomorrow.

  • Uqbar released Pongo, the mobile app suite purpose-built for Web3. You can chat, send payment (on Goerli for now), and even play poker.

  • ~dachus-tiprel built %blog, which is exactly what it sounds like: publish plain HTML content straight to your personal server, and then share it to %board, Pongo, %rumors, Twitter, etc.

  • Portal made its debut as the solution to decentralized discovery on Urbit. It enables anyone on Urbit to curate content, apps, and groups for other ships to discover. Get it now at ~worpet-bildet/portal

  • Last but not least, Holium released TomeDB, a library for building Urbit applications in plain JavaScript that promises to make Urbit development accessible to the largest pool of developers in the world.

Highlighted Media

Odds and Ends

  • The Network Explorer gained a few new capabilities. It’s now a good source of information about network growth (it’s growing!), and gives our core team insight into how well our releases are propagating across the network.

  • The infamous hacker known as ~paldev is at it again with %million: the million dollar Urbit app. We’re not going to ruin the surprise — install it at ~paldev/million

  • Galen and Philip had an open-ended talk about Tlon hosting, working in public, and more.

  • The Network Age podcast just released a new episode starring the CEO of Coinfund, Jake Brukhman to explore the frontiers of AI.

That’s all for now. See you on the network!

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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