Heartbeat pre-alpha release


Hey everyone,

After about a year of work, we‘re finally at the point where we can get started.

Heartbeat is now officially pre-alpha!

I just sent invitations out to our top crowdfunding supporters for the private pre-alpha (‘M-tier’, the wonderful folks who gave us $1,000) and, if everything stays up on our Waystone instance, I plan to slowly send invitations out to the C-tier starting tomorrow (see what I did there?… umm… ok, I won’t leave my day job).

By the way, people have already started joining and I’ve already fixed a bug with accents in names not being announced properly at sign up thanks to Stéphane.

The source

I’ve just made the various pre-alpha source code repositories public:

Of the above, Heartbeat Cocoa, Heartbeat Node, and pulse-node don’t have open source licenses yet. We’re working on it. We need a license that is free as in freedom and yet allows us to put Heartbeat on the App Store. Expect more thoughts on that this week — I’m talking to Richard Stallman on this and he urged me not to jump the gun. I just heard that Eben Moglen is happy to offer us some legal advice on this so I’ll be in touch with him this week and, of course, I’ll update you on how we go.

Waystone is licensed under AGPLv3.

Some of the components, libraries in Heartbeat are licensed separately under the MIT license and you might find them independently useful:

(Explore source.ind.ie to see all our public repositories.)

So even if you’re not on the private pre-alpha (on our hosted version of Waystone), please feel free to clone the Heartbeat repositories and build the pre-alpha yourself and test it with your own local Waystone installation.

I’ll be updating these forums with further documentation and instructions in the coming days. Good places to start learning about the system are:

Design and overview


Other details

To everyone who has supported so far, thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you. I hope you enjoy being part of the Heartbeat pre-alpha. It’s been quite a ride and we’re only just getting started.

Here’s to the journey!… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Ind.ie Blog — Happy Ind.ie New Year - 31st December 2015
Aral’s Diary — Monday, 10th August, 2015
Ind.ie Blog — 3… 2… 1… Liftoff! - Friday Roundup - 14th August 2015

Aaargh! I’m a C-tier. I thought we were getting it today as well. :angry:

OK. Another day or two. You can do it, Austin. You can do it.

I’ve been re-reading this post and wracking my brains. I cannot find the wordplay or pun. I love a good pun (I’m even partial to the occasional bad one :wink: )


Sorry, @AustinPrior I didn’t want Waystone to explode. Tomorrow morning I’ll at least be fresh and ready to deal with it if it does :wink:

Thank you for being awesome; can’t wait to get you on Heartbeat (as early and clunky as it is at the moment.)


IT’S ALIVE! Great work, everyone :smile:


Thank you so much, Bob. What a lovely piece to wake up to :grinning:


Excitedly waiting on the C-Tier…


Great article Bob. I will really benefit from the video!!!

Congrats to the team.


Wonderful news! Can’t wait to start using it. And it looks cool, thanks to all of you, who have made this happen!


Just a quick update, folks, I’m working on fixing the refresh hack on the Everyone timeline before we let more of you on the pre-alpha as it will become unusable otherwise. I should have that done tonight. It’s also making me use Set in production for the first time so I’m documenting some workarounds and thinking of paving some of the cowpaths I’m encountering.


Great! Thanks for creating this. :slight_smile:


Great work Aral. I’m pretty excited, I was already excited in December, so you can imagine how excited I am now. :slight_smile: It’s really incredible what your small team is doing. Thumbs up!


Thank you so much, Andreas, it’s very early days yet. But it’s a start. And it’s very exciting to see other people using something that for a long time existed only on my notebook :slight_smile:

Tell me about it — you do this stuff for over 30 years and how do you underestimate by over six months. I guess you just do. But the important thing is that we kept on and that we will keep on because, to be frank, this is what we’re doing now and I have no other plans for this lifetime. :wink:

Thank you so much! With some of the negativity that comes with doing what we’re doing (and not apologising for any of it), it’s really heartening to read such positive feedback. It means a lot! :smiley:


As we say in Ireland “Feck the begrudgers”


I’m not a Mac user.

When will Hearbeat be available for other platforms?

For instance linux.


Hey @romdisc, the source for Heartbeat is available so if you or anyone else wants to port it to other platforms, we would be very grateful.

Unfortunately, given that we’re a tiny social enterprise of three folks and given that I am the only developer on Heartbeat at the moment, I simply do not have the capacity to consider doing this myself. My focus is to improve Heartbeat on one platform and make it useful. If we succeed at that, I am sure that others will port it to other platforms.


Has this project been abandoned ?


No. We have been working on Better in order to build a sustainable business that we can use to finance further development of Heartbeat.

We’ve recently made some progress towards the next iteration of Heartbeat, so hopefully we can bring it all together soon.


All security/privacy conscious professionals and users know the Signal app is the best solution (trusted by Snowden, presidential campaigns, etc). However, if you were to make improvements (to GUI/social/etc) on top of Signal code, without touching the underlying security/privacy/networking code, then I would totally pay for that. Thank you, -PC


Heartbeat is not intended to be an alternative to Signal. (We agree, Signal does a good job.)

Here’s more on what we are moving towards: https://ar.al/notes/encouraging-individual-sovereignty-and-a-healthy-commons/


Filed a bug: https://source.ind.ie/project/heartbeat-cocoa/issues/194

Perhaps interoperability can be achieved with existing protocols and projects: