Urbit, being an incredibly ambitious endeavor, goes beyond the scope of a mere software project. We’ve compiled a comprehensive timeline of its extensive history, providing you with insight into its past, present, and journey towards becoming a globally recognized system.
Urbit started as a personal project of Curtis Yarvin, a computer scientist. Yarvin’s research area included operating systems and compilers. After a year and a half in a PhD program at UC Berkeley, Yarvin dropped out to dedicate himself to the industry, where he worked on software projects (language, OS, and browser).
After starting the creation of Urbit in 2002, Yarvin worked alone on the protocol for 11 years.
The functional programming language Nock is ready. With 32 lines of code, it represents the foundation for all the structure and layers that would be used in the Urbit protocol.
A simpler way to use Nock emerges: Hoon, the friendly Urbit programming language is ready. Its goal is to serve as an easy-to-learn language for developers. Behind the scenes, all Hoon code is compiled to Nock.
Urbit’s operating system kernel (Arvo) starts running and Urbit becomes a functional product for the first time. The first real-time Urbit network is launched with a chat (using only the command line). Yarvin creates a demo video:
And raises $1.5 million to create a company focused on protocol development: Tlon.
Tlon is founded to help develop Urbit. Yarvin’s right-hand man in the company is Galen Wolfe-Pauly (co-founder of the meta-network Ost and technical lead of Baggu). Tlon is a lean company that operates with less than 8 people for 4 years.
Urbit has its first web interface and urbit.org goes live.
The first sale of Urbit virtual addresses is successfully held, selling out in just four hours.
The second sale of Urbit IDs (with a limit of two per person) is held and sells out in six hours.
Tlon sells about 8% of its stake in the network to accelerate Urbit development.
Another organization is created: urbit.live, responsible for a public marketplace for buying and selling Urbit IDs.
Hoon School is launched to help programmers master Urbit’s development language.
Urbit IDs are integrated into the Ethereum network (Azimuth release).
Curtis Yarvin officially and permanently withdraws from the Urbit project and Tlon, passing his galaxies to Tlon’s custody.
Tlon is now a company of about 20 people.
The Arvo operating system undergoes significant stabilization improvements.
Tlon launches the Urbit Grants Program, a funding program to support external developers and projects contributing to the Urbit ecosystem.
Tlon launches Landscape (OS 1), a minimal interface for bringing together groups of people to chat, share links and write.
Urbit Foundation is formally established.
Tlon holds the first Urbit Assembly.
The ability to ship software outside of the kernel is released.
Multiple companies started forming to work on Urbit.
Urbit Foundation holds the second Urbit Assembly.
A specific subdomain for tracking the Urbit roadmap is created (roadmap.urbit.org).
58 Full-time Developers are working on Urbit through different companies, plus many other contributors.
Urbit continues to grow and reach new levels of adoption.