The cloud app combines graphical user interface tools with raw code, enabling developers to easily design UIs and modify the code
MightyMeld gives React developers control of their code without reducing ease of use
Its service supports major cloud providers
Startup MightyMeld is launching open beta for a cloud-based service designed to help developers build intuitive, elegant user interfaces for Web apps, combining the ease of use of graphical tools with the customizability of working with raw code.
MindMeld’s tool is designed to reconcile a trade-off between graphical tools for user interface (UI) design and hand-coding.
On the one hand, graphical UI development tools lay out controls and components visually onscreen, resulting in a view that’s exactly how they’ll look in the final product. That makes graphical tools for UI design easy to use by both developers and non-technical end-users.
However, these tools generate code that’s not easy to customize after it has been output. In other words, these tools are unidirectional.
On the other hand, working with raw code allows developers to maximize performance and customizability. But when working in raw code, it’s difficult to visualize what the resulting UI will look like.
Bidirectionality benefits bonanza
MightyMeld combines the best of both worlds. Developers can design user interfaces visually, output code using artificial intelligence (AI) code generation, modify the resulting raw code, see the output of those changes, then make visual changes to the UI and see the changes reflected in code.
In other words, MightyMeld is bidirectional—the tool outputs code, and it can also import code that was developed or modified elsewhere.
That bidirectionality means MightyMeld can be used to update existing apps, unlike competing products, which work solely with new or greenfield apps, Schkolne said.
These kinds of visual development tools have been available for game, desktop and mobile apps, but MightyMeld claims to be the first to deliver bidirectional visual development for Web apps, along with the control and precision that serious web developers require.
Several months ago, Silverlinings wrote about Cloud Maker, which allows developers to diagram cloud applications and automatically outputs code visually. However, MightyMeld’s bidirectionality makes it different from Cloud Maker. Also, Cloud Maker is limited to Microsoft Azure, while MightyMeld will work with all the major cloud providers and any containerized application, Schkolne said.
The CEO added MightyMeld built its tool to help businesses be more creative.
“I love creative tools and the creative process. I love creating things, working with creative people and making products for creative people,” Schkolne said.
User Thomas Hintz, a software developer, consultant and host of The React Show podcast, said MightyMeld is exciting because it gives you a clear view of the code you’re working on while using its graphical design tool. Also, bidirectionality—switching between graphical development and hand-coding—makes MightyMeld unique.
“The thing that excites me about it is it provides a higher-level semantic view of the code base in a way that other tools for the web just haven’t before,” Hintz said. “Other tools have always given you an obfuscated view of your code base—you don’t see the code you’re working on.”
The graphical component makes it simple for end-users to collaborate with developers on building user interfaces, the company said.
Founded last year, MightyMeld has four employees, with additional part-time staff. It raised a $2.1 million pre-seed investment round led by Heavybit. During its closed beta, MightyMeld was used for applications including a peer-to-peer video streaming app, AI-based game, font system generator, management app and product launch landing page.
The company offers a free plan for small developers and hobbyists, with a paid, multi-tier enterprise plan. A pro tier for individual users requiring additional capabilities is in the pipeline. Though MightyMeld now runs as a service on public clouds, the company plans versions that can be licensed to run locally or in private clouds.
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