Show HN: A userscript that adds archive URLs below the paywalled HN submissions

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • hn-anti-paywall

    A userscript for Hacker News that adds archive links under submissions that include paywalled articles.

  • HN-Paywall-Archiver

    NodeJS script that submits the latest paywalled HackerNews posts to Archive.is. Created to get rid of paywalls and help with my other project HNN.

    Source code: https://github.com/MostlyEmre/hn-anti-paywall

    Now let me overexplain.

    -Why?-

    I never liked paywalled articles. I understand where they come from, but I don't like where we cross our paths.

    This is why I don't use major news aggregators anymore. Instead, I spend my "catching-up-with-the-world-time" on Hacker News. However, Hacker News (HN) also has its fair-share of paywalled articles. (Around 11.6% according to my short-lived, half-assed attempt at measuring it. See my super old data https://hpa.emre.ca/ I tell the story below.)

    -First try-

    Around a year ago, when I ran the above experiment, my goal wasn't to run that experiment. It was during my self-teaching & career-changing process, I decided to build a React HN clone. To make it stand-out from the bunch, I added a paywall feature. It would detect paywalled articles and would add an archive URL into the metadata.

    The issue with archiving is unless someone archived the link before on the {archiving-project} then the link is most likely not archived. So me sending people to those projects meant nothing. It kinda meant something for me from an ideological standpoint but I assume you are not me.

    This rubbed me the wrong way. I decided to build a backend (See https://github.com/MostlyEmre/HN-Paywall-Archiver) that would scan the links and automatically to detect paywalls close to real-time and submit paywalled ones to archive.is for archival. I used Nodejs, Firebase, and React. I was -still am- really proud because I believed it was doing public good in terms of digital preservation. Only 1 person needed to run this script to benefit everyone. As an extra, I was curious on how many paywalled articles were being shared, by whom, at what time. So I also created some analytics functionality to gather the data. And later created a UI to present it.

    HN-Paywall-Archiver was great but I stopped running the backend at some point. Because at that point couldn't find a way to continuously run my backend code on some platform for cheap or didn't try hard enough.

    P.S. Recently I've been thinking of remaking this version with Cloudflare Workers.

    -Hacker News Paywall Archiver Userscript-

    After almost a year, I got into userscripts. Super great super awesome concept. People seem to hate javascript unless it is presented as a userscript. So I decided to get my hands dirty to create a simple solution that solves the paywall issue on HN without breaking any hearts.

    My solution is not perfect as it had to be simple. But here's the rundown.

    Pros:

    - Does not beg for attention.

  • Appwrite

    Appwrite - The Open Source Firebase alternative introduces iOS support . Appwrite is an open source backend server that helps you build native iOS applications much faster with realtime APIs for authentication, databases, files storage, cloud functions and much more!

  • bypass-paywalls-chrome

    Bypass Paywalls web browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.

    - It uses clone of a static list of paywalled websites sourced from a popular Chrome extension. (https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-chrome/blob/ma...) So changing the paywall list is slow and manual.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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