Keep all the gems

July 10, 2017

TL;DR: Browser extension has been released, with as its first main feature: local web page preservation.

If my newspaper is important to me, I can put it in a drawer and read it again at any moment. However, if I find an important page on the web, storing it is never easy, and I remain dependent on others to provide it when I need it. If the original source stops serving it, it may simply be lost — almost as if a book would disappear when its author retires.

For growing a personal web — a digital library on your own computer — keeping hold of things you have seen is thus an essential feature. While the behaviour of interactive web pages (web apps) is often hard or even impossible to store, simply storing a page as I currently see it would already be great. No scripts, interactivity, or remote dependencies; just a static, preserved, freeze-dried web page.

While other WebMemex features are still in heavy development, freeze-drying pages works reasonably well now, and seems useful enough by itself to deliver it to people. So if you have a recent version of Firefox or Chromium/Chrome, go get it:

Install in Firefox
Install in Chromium/Chrome

Once installed, the extension provides a button for capturing the page:

The icon currently depends on your browser, because this project still needs a logo. (any graphic designers reading this?)

All pages you have stored are listed in the memory overview (tip: Ctrl+Y should open it), where you can search through them:

You can also search directly from the browser's location bar, by starting with an m:

Click an item in the memory overview to see the stored page, or possibly export it as a single html file.

For now, that's about all it does. There is not much novelty yet (it is similar to e.g. SingleFile or Scrapbook), but it provides the basis for developing the really interesting features next: editing and creating pages, creating links to organise and browse your web by your associations, and sharing your personal web on the world wide web.

So, many things still to add, fix and improve. Any help with that — with code, design or communication — is always welcome!