Future of Devbook

We are Devbook. We allow developers to use our custom-built knowledge graph to search in public documentation, repositories, 3rd party packages, and other coding-related resources. You can use Devbook right from your IDE.

tl;dr

  • We are building a VS Code extension and won't be actively developing the desktop app anymore
  • The desktop app will still be freely available
  • We are going to focus on very specific types of developers when developing features. Starting with the JavaScript web developers. We will add more with time.

We launched Devbook about 6 months ago. Since then almost 11,000 developers have installed it and over 2,000 of them are using Devbook daily. We are amazed how much developers find Devbook useful even though it’s still early for Devbook. We have much much more to build to make accessing various information for developers a significantly better experience.

In those past 6 months, we’ve talked to hundreds of developers who tried or are still using Devbook. Based on our learnings, we are introducing some changes that we want to share with you.

IDE Extension

From now on, we won’t be actively developing and supporting the Devbook desktop app anymore. We are going full-on with the IDE extension, starting with VS Code. The desktop app will still be freely available to download.

The VS Code extension was requested quite often by our users. We thought having a dedicated desktop app, sort of like a browser for developers would be a better experience. We now think we were wrong. We have an internal version of Devbook implemented as a VS Code extension and so far it feels like at least a one-level better experience. We are starting with VS Code and will support other IDEs with time.

Devbook docs search on the right side

Building great products

When we started building Devbook, we built it as a general tool. We didn’t have any specific type of developer in mind. This approach doesn’t work. If we were to continue building Devbook this way, we won’t be able to build a great product. Counterintuitively, we have to make Devbook exceptionally useful for a very specific type of developer in the short term, if we want to make Devbook exceptionally useful for all of the developers in the long run.

We are starting with a focus on web development and the JavaScript ecosystem. We want to be able to say “If you are a web developer, you don’t need anything else than Devbook to search for information”. This would be very hard if we were to continue with a general approach and just kept adding more search sources and documentation without any focus at all. Instead, we are going to start with offering documentation for all NPM packages and add more resources with time.

We will support more ecosystems, like Golang and its modules or Rust and crates, with time. Eventually, we will build the general tool we want Devbook to be. But we will get there through very focused iterations.

Our goal

Offering a better way to search in documentation is just a beachhead. We are starting with the search engine and documentation because search and interaction with docs is such a frequent task that developers have to perform multiple times per day. We think we have some great ideas on how to make the experience much better.

Our long-term goal is to offer better tools for building the technical knowledge base and communication in the development teams. Better search in documentation and other resources is just the start.

The actual representation of the docs search (showed earlier) in our graph database. Having such a knowledge graph allows Devbook to understand the relations in our search sources and actually answer your questions.




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