It's time to drop the code name. Honey is Backpack. The next big thing we've been working on at 37signals. It's an application we've been trying to narrow down in our heads for the better part of six months, but only recently acquired a focus sharp enough to start Getting Real.
And getting real we have. Backpack has once again provided me a fresh slate to experience the Rails anew, which always gives rise to a wealth of new ideas. I couldn't build a better framework any other way even if I wanted to. Frameworks Are Extractions and all that.
We've already extracted a big chunk of the technology already, actually. Remember those shiny new Ajax helpers in Rails 0.11.0? That's a Backpack extraction. Since the scope of this application is significantly larger than that of Ta-da, there was simply no way I was turned every Ajax opportunity into a mini-project of its own.
Actually, that script/runner we also added this release. Backpack extraction. Oh, the incoming email support for Action Mailer? Backpack extraction.
No wonder the lines of code is currently a mere 585 despite having an application that does a ton more than Ta-da. I'm extracting every infrastructure breath I take. Luckily, I haven't drawn a kitchen sink yet.
But what do you care about technology. Do you want to know what it is, Neo? Yeah, I'd love to tell you, but what fun would that be. We're still 30-45 days from a release so why don't we leave it at what the trailer says:
Backpack helps you bring life's loose ends together
It's true too. My loose ends are being tied together awfully well. We've been eating the dog food since the application was a mere 100 lines.
Intrigued? How about signing up for our announcement list. We'll be picking beta testers off that list too.
Backpack is coming soon — it'll be better, not beta.