The story of HyperEdit

Now that the Whisk 2.0 beta has started, I found myself reminiscing about the long history of the app. It is hard to believe I’ve been working on it for over 16 years - the app is old enough to get a driver’s license!

Whisk is the new name for HyperEdit. Some may be aware that HyperEdit was Tumult’s first shareware app. The project started as I sat in a session at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (aka WWDC) in 2003. They unveiled the ability to embed Safari’s WebKit engine into any application. Safari itself was new at the time, with Apple’s marketing always touting its rendering speed. I wanted to see just how fast it really was, so I fired up Xcode on my white iBook and placed a text view next to the WebKit WebView to see if it could keep up with my typing. Sure enough, it could! Various friends next to me came up with all kinds of other stress tests like trying out JavaScript or embedding images and video files. Not only did it handle these performantly, it became immediately clear this form of editing with a live preview was an awesome way to write code.

I loved being able to experiment with snippets of HTML, and thought others may find it useful too. From there, I worked to make it a more usable editor and released the first HyperEdit beta a few months later. With encouragement (and some donations) from that early group of beta testers, I was able to bring it to 1.0 a little less than a year later.

I made a few updates, but HyperEdit frequently was placed on the back burner while I was working at Apple and focusing on Hype. During this time sales continued and I personally still used the app. HyperEdit did end up being useful in Hype’s development: the syntax highlighting code editor is the same code between both apps!

Eventually the need to take HyperEdit out of the attic grew, so a few months ago I began the 2.0 effort. Now the relationship between Hype and HyperEdit flows in reverse - one of the main goals is to bring all of modern the app features around Hype to HyperEdit! Along with making it look as if the two apps belong to the same family, I updated the codebase to use more modern technologies and conventions. As the 1.x versions stood the test of time for over 15 years, I am hopeful this will also be built to last.

So that’s where we stand today. My goal is to work on any beta feedback as folks use Whisk over the next few weeks, and release 2.0 in early January.



The app also acts as a great learning tool by showing you what your code does in real time. I used it a lot to see just what tweaking css, php, html code would do to the webpages I was working on at that time. I hope it gets the recognition it deserves, it is a fantastic tool.


So, in a Nutshell Hyper Edit is Whisk, just renamed? Why don’t I just continue to use Hyper Edit for free?

Whisk is the new name for HyperEdit and it is upgraded to version 2.0. There are many more changes from v1.6 than just the new name. We put together a high-level overview of what’s new in 2.0 and you can also read the detailed 2.0.0 release notes for a diff.

If none of those appeal to you, then by all means you can keep using HyperEdit :slight_smile:.