Scott Shattuck
Aug 7 · 5 min read


TIBET™ 5.0 is now available. Get started at

You can see TIBET in action in our introductory “Why TIBET?” video, browse the extensive documentation and white papers or, if you just can’t wait to dig into some code, check out the TIBET repository on GitHub.

For some background on what’s gone into bringing you TIBET 5.0 read on :)

The Early Days

TIBET 5.0 is now available.

Such a simple sentence, but those of you who have followed our journey to TIBET 5.0 from the early days of the web perhaps have some sense of what it means for us to announce with full confidence that TIBET, the project William J. Edney and I started in July of 1999, is now a 5.x production-ready reality.

Bill and I built our first single-page application with JavaScript in 1997 for Bell South. Similar projects soon followed. By mid-1999 we realized we had something special to offer in terms of framework design due to our unique background with NeXTStep and Smalltalk. We formed Technical Pursuit Inc. in November of 1999 to bring our vision to market.

TIBET 1.0 shipped in January of 2001. Our vision far outpaced what web browsers of the time (Netscape 4.0, IE4) delivered in terms of performance, but as you can see below we weren’t short on ambition:

Circa 2001 — Yes, that’s Netscape Navigator 4.0 running TIBET 1.0’s Workspace

Shortly after the 1.0 release the “Internet Bubble” burst and things went dark.

We stayed busy building custom web applications but things were pretty quiet. JavaScript was still considered a “toy”. The market wasn’t ready.

The AJAX Era

In early 2005 Jesse James Garrett released an article titled Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications, kickstarting a new wave of interest in JavaScript. The “Web 2.0” era had begun. We started on TIBET 3.0.

A big part of our 2005 was spent consulting on a huge project tasked with porting an old IBM mainframe application to the web, an application with 500+ screens and thousands of form controls and validations. Our task was daunting: bring the initial XForms recommendation to life in the client. Our client felt authoring in markup would help manage complexity while solving a serious hiring problem…finding JavaScript developers.

That was our first, but certainly not our last, experience with the real problem facing most web development projects…recruiting.

With TIBET 3.0 we were forced to re-imagine how development might work when focusing on markup-based authoring. The “halo”, “connectors”, and a number of other features in the TIBET Sherpa™ started out in 3.0:

Circa 2006 — TIBET 3.0 showing the “halo” for visual markup authoring

In May of 2006, with TIBET 3.0 in pre-release form, we were invited to give a talk at the inaugural AJAX Experience conference in San Francisco, CA.

Scott Dietzen, successful CTO/CEO of BEA, Zimbra, and Pure Storage, asked the keynote audience there “What’s the hardest AJAX problem?” His answer? “Recruiting.” We just nodded. We’d heard that one all too often.

We chose not to ship 3.0 that year. While we’d done the hard work of making authoring in markup a reality the other reality was called IE6.

In 2006 there was no getting around the fact we were still too early. Firefox and IE still didn’t run JavaScript efficiently.

Thank You Google

Google Chrome changed everything.

By kicking off a new round of “browser wars”, Chrome ushered in an era in which JavaScript engine performance became mission-critical. As mobile became more prominent that war centered on Safari vs. Chrome with the other browsers bringing up the rear. But the important thing for TIBET was happening…JavaScript engines were getting real engineering effort.

The result? Modern JavaScript engines run standard benchmarks orders of magnitude faster than the engines available in May of 2006.

Chrome is the foundation of a number of compelling options for application development: Node.js, Electron, even the latest Microsoft Edge (Chromium) browser rely on Chrome’s high-performance JS engine.

Modern JavaScript is no toy, no longer a language that can’t handle high-performance requirements. It’s real…and it’s everywhere; in your phone, on your desktop, in the Cloud.

The long wait is finally over.


Which brings us to today.

TIBET 5.0 is now available.

With all that time to reflect and refine things, TIBET 5.0 is more than we could have hoped for. We believe it’s the most complete, most innovative, and most importantly, most productive development platform for the web.

TIBET 5.0 is a markup-first authoring platform, one you interact with live, in-situ. With TIBET you work “top-down” building as you go. You “teach” TIBET about your new tags, their features, their behavior, their data bindings. All from what we think is the most revolutionary web IDE ever created…

The TIBET Sherpa™:

TIBET 5.0 — The Sherpa, our browser-based IDE.

The Sherpa’s heads-up display lets you interact with your application and its structure, style, behavior, and bindings while your application runs. Changes you make in the client can be pushed to the server. Changes you make on the server are reflected immediately in the client — without reloading the page.

Play with the Sherpa for five minutes and we guarantee you’ll never think about authoring web applications the same way again.

The End Of The Beginning

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. — Winston Churchill

Where do we go from here? Well, that’s up to you…

We’ve put everything we’ve learned over 20+ years of enterprise-class web development into TIBET. From the CLI to the Server, the Workflow System to the Sherpa. The tools, processes, and IDE we always wished we had for the web having been spoiled by NeXT and Smalltalk. That’s TIBET 5.0.

Now it’s time for you to take it, apply it, and tell us what you need next; how we can make it even better at solving the real problems you run into every day trying to bring your applications to life on the web.

Install TIBET. Sign up for support. Start building your best web app yet.

Technical Pursuit and TIBET are open for business!

— Team TIBET


TIBET Development Team Blog

Scott Shattuck

Written by


TIBET Development Team Blog

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