Announcing a whole new Begin, and our new HTML framework, Enhance

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Brian LeRoux
August 31, 2022

Begin

tl;dr: a whole new Begin is coming, designed from the ground up alongside Enhance, our all-new standards-based HTML framework.

Enhance is available today for everyone to use (and does not require Begin). Together, we hope Begin + Enhance will help transform the way frontend web devs and designers build full-stack web applications.

The next Begin will be shipping soon, sign up for updates here!

Existing Begin users: in addition to getting priority access to the new Begin, we’ll also support your current Begin apps’ CI/CD workflows in perpetuity. We value your trust, and we respect that stability is essential to our customers.


Background

In late 2019 we launched Begin: a Functional Web App (FWA) platform designed to help ship low code serverless web apps. With tens of thousands of applications comfortably humming along today, we’re stoked to announce a new platform version that incorporates all your feedback, and everything we’ve learned about building FWAs over the last two years.

While folks love building FWAs (and ever-increasing numbers of you are doing so), developers frequently struggle with the modern JavaScript ecosystem, especially in frontend development. Moreover, Begin primarily left it up to you to decide (or figure out) how best to build the frontend of your FWA.

We heard you loud and clear: we abdicated our responsibility to that critical area of the web dev stack. So last year we began building what eventually became Enhance, which we are very excited to introduce today.

Begin: Enhanced

Axol

Modern JavaScript frameworks often lock you into niche ecosystems with custom dialects, and forcing through a revolving door of breaking changes. We’ve seen the thrash – and the broken builds – these frameworks cause. We’re fed up with it, and we know you are too.

So we’re taking a stand and fixing these brittle libraries with our very best tool: web standards.

The web is an incredibly durable medium. While frameworks frequently break, web browsers must remain completely stable and backward compatible for years, even decades. That’s why Enhance’s web standards-based approach provides you a dependable foundation for creating lightweight, flexible, and future-proof web applications.

The Enhance ethos is to incrementally build in plain HTML, then progressively enhance your way to a production-ready web app. (Read more about our core philosophy here.)

Starting with Enhance yields an HTML-centered project complete with file-based routing, reusable Custom Elements, a customizable utility CSS system, and mapped API data routes that get deployed to isolated, single-purpose cloud functions. It’s a complete frontend development solution based entirely on fast, stable, tried-and-true web standards.

Alongside Enhance, we’re also announcing an all-new version of the Begin platform. The new Begin will be built from the ground up to take full advantage of Enhance, and incorporates our opinions – and your feedback – on the best approaches to building modern, stable software for the web.

Existing Begin customers will get priority (in fact, you’re already on the waitlist), and devs new to Begin can sign up here.

Thank you! We truly appreciate your support and look forward to this next chapter! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly: brian@begin.com

Now go try out Enhance and sign up for Begin!