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Other ways to read Hacker News (hackerbits.com)
290 points by rullopat on Sept 22, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 186 comments

For me the native version is stunningly good. Both on desktop and mobile devices. It loads tremendously fast, has the correct font types and no smuck.

The only sidestep I sometimes make is to Boreal[1][2] as a native ios app. It has a more convenient way if reading the comments. Double tap a comment to collapse instead of hit the little minus sign. Especially as I read with only my left hand and minus sign is on the right. Funny how little things can be so great. In addition it's indenting is easier to follow. However, I keep switching back to the default hn site as ios doesn't let you set chrome as default browser so you can't open all articles default in chrome from Boreal (you can in safari, embedded safari, their native browser or their in-app browser).

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9830622 (old version, current version is much better).

[2] https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/boreal-hacker-news-client/id...

It loads fast and doesn't use web fonts, but that's not really a high bar, for essentially a forum.

Apart from that it's not exactly a pleasant reading experience.

Tiny text for modern displays. Poor typography (bad line-height of content, needlessly cramped padding in listing). Ugly beige background colour, randomly constrained to a container, (why not be all-white or all-beige). Poor click targets for smaller displays.

On desktop, I use the Georgify [1] Chrome extension, fixes my (desktop-related) complaints above whilst staying minimal. For mobile I use the Premii iOS app (it also has web and android versions) [2]. Well designed, lots of nice features like the comment collapsing you mention.

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/georgify/ofjfdfale...

[2] https://github.com/premii/hn

I disagree all of your criticisms. Apart from the last one, they are all subjective and I disagree without a reason. I like what I see. Wrt sizes of the click targets, HN, unlike many products of elegant (!) design, let's you zoom in an out, so that is not a problem.

Zooming in and out and panning around a webpage is a terrible user experience in my opinion.

Yes, I like the option to pan and zoom. But if I have to do so, that is indicative of a bad design in my book.

Interesting. I find the app you mention an example of an experience worse than the regular web page on mobile. On ios hn actually looks great.


That's not great. Far worse and less usable than Premii's iOS app imo, subjective though obviously.

I had no idea there were people that needed to view HN differently - let alone 21+ ways. I find the "native" presentation basically perfect for both desktop and mobile browsing.

This is one of the few sites I frequent where I don't wish they would improve the interface. I've been dreading the day HN gets the "Web 2.0" makeover and turns into yet another information sparse automatic scrolling back button hating javascript nightmare.

Seriously, for the main interface it is pretty much perfect. Like Slashdot before they fucked it up. Or Ars before they fucked it up.

> I've been dreading the day HN gets the

Dread something else; that won't happen. We love the text-based, information-dense, minimal style that pg created. I loved it years before becoming a mod and can't imagine changing it. Besides, we're so old-fashioned now that we're due to become retro chic in another half-cycle. Why sell at the bottom?

I think you could stand to tweak the default font size and leading just a skosh though, and make all that information dense text easier to read.

You won't, but what about the next guy? That's always the way these things go. Someone creates a nice simple service and gets a ton of traffice, but gets bored with running it and moves on. Next guy goes "This site looks like it is from 1997, and it's barely monetized at all, I've got this book on web design that will make it look 1000% better by getting rid of all of these ugly words and making it so beautifully minimal."

In that case we will have done a bad job of picking 'next guy'.

> I've been dreading the day HN gets the "Web 2.0" makeover and turns into yet another information sparse automatic scrolling back button hating javascript nightmare

speaking of reddit's new redesign...

> Like Slashdot before they fucked it up. Or Ars before they fucked it up.

Man, it's almost hilarious

I can't agree with you, reading comments is an awful experience on both desktop and mobile. Their addition of the [-] eases the pain but it is still painful to click on it on mobile, and it still on the freaking right of every comments instead of being on the left.

I know have two [-] [-] on both side of each comments because I use a firefox plugin to have one in the right place.

Why is it so awful? Collapsing, threaded comments seem to be a great way to organize organic discussions. How would you do it differently? 'Awful' implies that it is very far from your preferred format.

They don’t complain about threading, they complain about the UX of collapsing threads. On mobile, the hit target is too small (a minus sign) to hit reliably with a single quick tap.

This and it is on the right, not on the left (so it's horizontal position always changes, see reddit for a good example of good UI).

IMHO, HN is HN (deeply loved and mostly used) because of its minimalism and saying No to almost everything a modern web designer would think of in their user stories - except performance.

It's insanely fast loading. Just text. Pure text. Sometimes on desktop I replace the yellow background with white (css hack) otherwise my colleagues ask me what am I looking at yellow all day.

Maybe a sort by most voted, most discussed and most recent would help but again not sure, sometimes playing by whatever available and randomness adds a greater flavour than controlling everything.

I think HN gets away without changing the site design in years because I'd say most HN users who want to see it differently will just make the changes themselves. It's not something an average consumer could do on say newyorktimes.

I for one can't stand the default design and use the Chrome extension Georgify, which makes it 1000x easier to read for me. But we're all different and I love that there are so many ways to consume this site. Or that I have the ability changes things to just the way I'd want.

I wouldn't say perfect. I would like for hidden comments to stay hidden as I bounce back and forth between links shared in an HN thread and the HN thread itself. I know you could argue just open a new tab for each link but sometimes I mistakenly open the link in the HN tab and have to go through the time consuming process of bringing the state back to where it was. This is orders of magnitude more difficult on mobile.

I intentionally used 'basically perfect' because I feel like it's perfect for me, but I am really hesitant to use that qualifier. However, I don't seem to have the same workflow/expectations as you do and I am totally fine with how comments behave on both desktop and mobile.

By 'hidden' do you mean collapsed using [-]? Those should stay collapsed, even across browser sessions. But we do use JS to do it.

Just try the first link in that news and if you dont like it or it doesnt change your perspective you can always use what you have always used. But i bet you would like hckr news.

I tried and I don't. Sorry. Loads/Performs slowly in my older phone. Annoying highlighting occurrs as I scroll. Adds what value?

Why would I? Native HN suits me and I don't need or want anything else. Seems silly to use some other site that adds no value and becomes another step further away from the source of truth (the HN page itself).

> I find the "native" presentation basically perfect for both desktop and mobile browsing.

You're joking right?

No. I use Safari for both desktop and mobile, if that matters. I never search. I don't need custom styles to increase readability. I don't need more space around headlines, or article preview thumbnails, or any other superfluous thing. I open interesting headlines for reading and comment threads for discussion into background tabs. I read. I close tabs. I move on with my day.

Why did you think I was joking?

- Perfect: No better implementation can exist.

- Best: No better implementation exists.

- Favorite: No better implementation is known to me.

The current implementation of HN is at best decent.

I can think of 100 ways to improve it. I would be surprised you couldn't.

I don't think "perfect" was meant to be taken literally.

I honestly can't think of any.

Thread collapse on the right, increase text size (seriously why is it so tiny?), remove pointless numbers on the left side of homepage, remove BS sponsored YC job postings, take better advantage of horizontal real estate on desktop, make everything easier to click on mobile (I have to zoom to hit stuff all the time).

This site is fine, and I use the regular version on desktop and mobile, but let's not deceive ourselves into thinking it's perfect.

You know you can increase and decrease views in modern browsers right? On chrome for mac, use command minus for decrease and command equals for increase. I run my browsers at 110%

Well sure but that doesn't change the fact that default is bad. It's not a major problem in my life, but it's a flaw in the design.

The most useful HN addon is HN Replies by Dan Grossman. You get an email if someone replies to your comment. Simple UI and real value.


I'm sure the lack of this feature is intentional, to prevent back-and-forth arguments and give others a chance to contribute.

Years ago when I read Slashdot, it felt like the bulk of the discussion was the same few regulars, who would reply within minutes to any response they got. That wasn't healthy or informative, I'd prefer not to see the same here.

Thanks! That's useful.

Long time ago, there was a similar service that used push notifications (via now-dead Notifo; they also had emails https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1720763 but, personally, I felt that pushes were nicer).

I wonder if there's anything that uses Web Push notifications...

Thanks, this is great. There has been a lot of vitriol about Disqus but I love how easy it is to follow a conversation on there.

do you really need notifications that badly? whats wrong with clicking "threads" (4th link on the top of page) once per day.

Because if an active debate is going on in response to my comment, I'd like to be able to participate. But, I'm not so self-centered as to assume that is likely, so I don't normally check.

and at the same time you are ready to receive live updates while eating dinner/taking nr2/attending funeral. You are conceding control over your time(life) to some third party.

It’s an email. I get to choose when to read it and whether to click the link and respond!

Iv got a feeling most people will use it with push notification to 'stay connected', brrrr

Fiiiinally! Also, an interesting blast from the past, I used to play a MUD with Dan back in the nineties, he was doing well even back then.

Thank you! I had been looking for a way to get reply notifications for very long.

These things come and go, the annoying part is verifying they are still maintained. I recently collected this list along with the best discussion, typically from their launch:

http://hackernewsgrid.com | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15078605 (2017)

https://www.taggernews.com | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14337275 (2017)

https://vue-hn.now.sh & https://hnews.xyz | https://hn.algolia.com/?query=hnews.xy (2017-ish; 3 discussions)

https://tophn.info | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13782574 (2017; only 1 comment)

https://hn.algolia.com | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8874801 (2015; official search provider)

http://ihackernews.com | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1694049 -ish (2010; ran an API for a while)

https://hckrnews.com | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14962820 & https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1722914 (2010)

Many of these discussions include comments vouching for these and other alternative UIs.

App recommendations would also be appreciated (if you created or regularly use the app yourself).

I've been using

For my day to day browsing. It has a pretty fully fledged feature set, including saving stories for later, and some neat aggregates (top last 24 hours is labelled "catch up" or something similar).

Yes I really like Materialistic too. Using it now, in fact.

It also looks fantastic when using the solarized theme

I've tried multiple clients on iOS and MiniHack[1] is by far the best one I've tried and is well-maintained. Only issue with it is that dark mode is triggered by light intensity and not time, so if you're on the threshold value the color theme will constantly flip-flop.

[1] https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/minihack-hacker-news-client/...

And I have tried many apps but I have always felt better using the website both on desktop and mobile. This way I also check it less.

I try to keep bare minimum of essential apps on my phone. Rest just websites whenever I have to use it.

Automatic theme switching can be disabled in its settings. I have mine set to full time dark theme.

I like automatic theme switching, but I want it to trigger based on time (as 99% of apps does), not light intensity.

I use the hndigest morning newsletter, with Some top stories of the day. https://hndigest.com/

I actually like how simple HN is, I only created http://hnbuzz.com/ for a more stable view (e.g. weekly, monthly), I switch between both.

What I would like to see is a sort of /r/DepthHub - a set of permalinks to interesting (thoughtful or factual or those that you can learn something from) discussions in flamewarred articles or the comments by subject matter experts 3 replies deep that can't bubble up to the top of comments section.

EDIT: hmm so I've created it: https://www.reddit.com/r/HNDepthHub/ Submissions welcome!

Not sure you've checked already or not, but this seems helpful: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=best%20comments

And back in the day when karma points were public: https://hn.algolia.com/?sort=byPopularity&type=comment

Are there any HN-ers whose public list of favorite comments contains what you're looking for? I typically use the functionality more as a bookmark. https://news.ycombinator.com/favorites?id=yread&comments=t

I encourage you to seed your new subreddit with some examples.

I’ve been using MiniHack[1] for iPhone for a year or two; great way of interacting with HN (can vote, comment, etc).

[1]: https://itunes.apple.com/th/app/minihack-hacker-news-client/...

Can't recommend MiniHack highly enough. Love the scroll down to next comment tree feature, just to name one.

And when you read a linked story in MiniHack, it automatically renders the page in Reader Mode

I tried a few apps but settled on minihack

I find this meta HN site quite entertaining:


I found the about section there very useful since I always wondered what hn was about:

> Hacker News is an echo chamber focusing on computer posturing and self-aggrandizement.

I was going to say the same thing, but we can't both be right.

A violation of the prime directive! :)

discussion / highlights: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13759706 (March 2017)

Also: $281/month on Patreon

Such UX, wow!

I wish there were a way to display news from a custom time interval, as opposed to always getting news from a fixed interval of time (I think there are three different settings as of now).

If I haven’t visited HN for, say, 6 days, I find it’d be really helpful to be able to display all news from this time period, based on number of upvotes in descending order.

In other words: I’d appreciate complete control over the algorithm that decides which news to display: time interval, minimum upvotes, minimum comment count, upvotes-per-hour, etc.

Try http://searchhn.com/

This comes close to your specs.

Here is another one with custom range settings:


I wrote a very basic script to rank hacker news stories based on comment/score ratio, found it to be pretty interesting:


The idea is that stories with high ratio would mean active/intense debate, whereas low ratio means extremely insightful post. Both categories are very interesting to me.

Example output:


Sadly I never completed the project with a web UI.

I've used the Hacker News Enhancement Suite for the past few years and thought it did just enough things to make the site a tad more usable without going overboard:


I'd consider HNES's highlighting of new comments to be nearly essential to reading HN. I don't understand how others can follow long discussions without any indication of what comments have been posted since a previous viewing or refresh. And it doesn't seem to me like it would be a difficult feature to add.

I've been making the switch from Chrome to Firefox over the past month, and HNES is the one thing I truly miss that I haven't found a good replacement for.

I use the "Chrome Store Foxified" extension which lets you install some Chrome plugins including HNES.

This ought to be the kind of simple extension that Firefox's ongoing migration to Web Extensions will allow to be plugged in and used.

They didn't even mention haxor-news. This is basically a command-line interface with a lot of features. Maybe there is justifieble objection to the "read Hacker News without the eyestrain"-bit in this case.

[0]: https://github.com/donnemartin/haxor-news

I'm surprised as well! Although I prefer hn-cli, a much simpler way to browse the headlines and jump directly to the articles you want to read.


Thank you for posting this. This is, imo, the most important front end to hn. I'm surprised it was left out of the list.

just use https://news.ycombinator.com - works great on mobile too

But that boring web app doesn't even have pretty fonts.

It even has a "next" button, so you can see more than 30 posts, who needs that?

It shows the point count in a smaller greyer font, instead of a big circle, so I can't instinctively choose posts by popularity instead of their headlines.

It doesn't even pull up a random image from the article that might not have anything to do with the actual topic, and display it along with a preview of text, so I can't get distracted and pulled by fundamentally more attractive colorful pictures instead of boring text topics.

It's not written in the newest JavaScript framework, it's just plain old HTML, some simple CSS and Racket making it all run. Racket! That doesn't even have "JS" in its name. What is this, 2013?

Whoever wrote that version clearly doesn't know how Hacker News is meant to be viewed.


But seriously, the Hacker News site is one of my favorite "news" sites. Simple, clean, no distractions, just headlines.

Also, some of the websites listed in the article are quite useful, like the search engine. Most of the others are simply different ways of reading Hacker News, not "better". Might be better for some people. Not for me.

I like it. The code blocks on mobile are terrible (totally unusable) and the up/down vote buttons could be a bit bigger, but overall it's pretty good.

aannnnd that is about all, which is kind of amazing really.

Good one, first few lines almost gave me a brain aneurysm before realizing what Im reading :-)

I was just about to say the same thing. A few years ago it was a bit annoying to read on mobile, but they eventually made some minor CSS tweaks which made it much better.

Performing certain actions, such as upvoting, require zooming in a lot in order to hit the desired arrow. I'd love to see that improved, but it's hardly a deal-breaker for me.

I'll add my voice to this echo-chamber too.

I've tried a few of the alternatives, but I always come back to the main HN site. A lot of the alternative sites are laggy; these either cache their DB fetches or simply only refresh on a schedule.

Right now the only thing I'd change, is move the Search box from the bottom of the page to the top - simply because I always forget it's there.

Actually, thought of a second one - a native RSS feed for the '/newist' page - I currently use the feed provided by HNRSS, but it's not realtime.

It's a very clean and easy to read site. The navigation is logical and visible and the text is easy to read. I'm very happy that is hasn't followed the current horrendous trend of large text, infinite scrolling, and no logical structure. I really dislike the current trend and find it a big leap backwards in usability.

I found the normal website really hard to use, and have tried using a bunch of third-party skins and userscripts and stuff to make it look better, but they all seemed even worse in some way.

Then i had a revelation and zoomed in 150%, now i'm perfectly happy with the normal site.

I struggle to see why anyone would want to dilute Hacker News with the affect-laden decadence of contemporary web design.

I am a visual artist and this is sincere.

My hopes are that the HN community holds stable at least until I can find a new hole to run to.

It should have been titled "other ways to read hacker news".

Ok, we'll s/Better/Other/ above.

> I struggle to see why anyone would want to dilute Hacker News with the affect-laden decadence of contemporary web design. >I am a visual artist and this is sincere.

As a visual artist, you should be aware that your opinions on contemporary web design are subjective, and that those who disagree with you are not wrong in doing so. The sites posted here simply aren't for you, and that's fine. No one is forcing you to even acknowledge their existence.

>My hopes are that the HN community holds stable at least until I can find a new hole to run to.

Do you believe there is a strong inverse correlation between intellectual and aesthetic value? If so, PG and much of the userbase here seems to agree with you, given the pearl-clutching and hand-wringing whenever new features or styles are discussed. I would disagree, as I believe it is quite possible to have a site that is both well designed and which hosts content of high intellectual value. You don't have to choose one or the other, you can have both.

Aesthetics are not as subjective as you seem to think. I am not sitting on a high-horse here; I argue closer to the opposite.

My assertion that contemporary web design is affect-laden has proof in the pudding. It is ridden with commercial "trend" and "delight". Contemporary web design lacks concern for either content or form. It is a maze of 'interactive expressionism'.

I would go as far as to say it bears some responsibility for the current ICO bubble, for example; the "whitepaper" being the only lucid concept (form of content) in a sea of slivering serpents. Of course technical whitepapers are not new but their declarative function is being psychologically undermined by their symbolic form. How is this possible? It is a function of decadence, a delusion of form and meaning.

>I believe it is quite possible to have a site thay is both well designed and which hosts content of high intellectual value.

You won't find anyone on the internet to argue with this statement, of course. I agree. I think hackernews.come has done about as good of job as any by acknowledging 'form' as necessary context for intellectual 'content'. Your issue is with what "well designed" means. See above.

>My assertion that contemporary web design is affect-laden has proof in the pudding. It is ridden with commercial "trend" and "delight". Contemporary web design lacks concern for either content or form. It is a maze of 'interactive expressionism'.

We seem to disagree on what "contemporary web design" means, then, because I see little lack of concern for content nor anything which could be described as "interactive expressionism" in many of the Hacker News alternatives posted here. The exception in my mind (and personal opinion) is "Tiled HN"[0], which I find difficult to even look at, but the rest seem to be little more noisy than HN itself, and arguably in some cases easier to read.


The most important feature of http://hn.premii.com isn't in the list: * it caches a text (some pictures but no styles/css) version of the article on their servers, with saves hundreds of MBs per month from my mobile traffic quota

I prefer their iOS app, because it works even a bit better as a native app.

This is the one I'm using on mobile. Yes the caching version acts a bit like read mode in Firefox, sometimes it fails though.

Also you can't comment with it, which is both frustrating and somehow ... useful.

The real problem to using a third party site is that it defeats the noprocrast setting ;)

The best way is Firefox's RSS reader via:

The worst, by far, is any list that shows actual article thumbnails, as rendered by a common, modern, up-to-date web browser.

Looking at HN repackages, that actually show me the visual snapshots of all the articles from the main page, I find myself consumed by nausea, seeing the cacophony of repellent ad-addled page layouts all together, all at once.

A comparable awful experience is letting the Slack app stream live updates into a dedicated channel with the RSS Slack app, totally uncurated, so that you can scroll back through a week's worth of article snippets. That little experiment proved to me how finicky I really am, compared to what so many others happen to find interesting, and how small any given individual's tendencies might be, when taken as a defined subset within a large community.

Everything else is so-so, in between.

IMO, HN interface may be one of the best I've encountered online. I feel nothing tedious in its layout or functionality. The 'need' for change can be a destructive compulsion.

except how quotes of comments are displayed.

Are there any audio summaries of HN? At this point I'd even appreciate pointers to listenable podcasts which primarily consist of discussion/opinions on recent HN stories, but I'd really appreciate a "just the facts, m'am" summary.

Preliminary research:

Some sort of experimental text-to-speech of the article titles: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnAsMIl3kF9LAYJuKxH8Ebw (last updated: June 2017)

Shameless plug: I use my own home written app http://tophn.info to keep an eye on the movement of the top news articles during the day, in real time and jump straight to the comments.

I also wrote about how I built it using Vue.js and RethinkDB... https://hackernoon.com/tophn-a-fun-side-project-built-with-v...

RSS dumped into a feed reader (https://feedbin.com/) is what works best for me. I can quickly scan missed headlines, read what I'm interested in, star what I want to keep, and mark everything else as read. Reeder on iOS works extremely well for accessing the Feedbin account on mobile.

Years ago I took a stab at writing my own reader with the goal of looking at the top HN stories over the past 24 hours since I'm not one that checks HN every few minutes. Pretty limited use but surprisingly still works: https://yahnr.dangoldin.com/

For the longest time I wanted something that generates an offline copy of top-X articles with their best comments. For the no-data/wifi train, plane, etc. Article would be a bonus, but I often check the discussion first :-)

The only offline offering on that list does it for articles, but not for comments. So, right axis, wrong direction for me.

Don't forget HN over Gopher: gopher://hngopher.com:70/

I see this triggered a post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15313838

Ok, so all of those are for reading, but I don't see any that would allow voting and commenting on HN. It's also the case with pretty much all other HN apps/interfaces I've seen (with notable exception of HN Enhancement Suite, which is a browser extension).

I don't understand why that is. Is there some important rule of HN that disallows any third-party interaction except through the official interface? Or do people simply treat viewing HN as a MVP, and give up after making it?

As it is, those tools seem only useful for HN readers / lurkers, not that much for those of us who participate in discussions here.

I use Materialistic (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.github.hidr...). I can read comment vote, although down voting is not available.

Option #1 hckrnews and some of the other options don't disrupt voting or commenting much at all, they're just a bunch of links to the main Hacker News web site: you have to click through to Hacker News to read the comments, so that's how you upvote and/or comment.

Preventing you from upvoting without actually reading the articles and/or comments is probably a good thing.

There is no proper API, IIRC. All those clients scrape the website.

There is (or at least was) an API, AFAIK read-only though. I still don't see why one couldn't combine the API and scrapping to get a full read/write interface going.

Wouldn't that require you to give a random site your login to post on your behalf?

It would. Whether you should is another thing entirely. I'm asking why noone seems to even offer the option?

I can't speak for anyone else, but if it were me, I wouldn't expect anyone to trust me enough to use it, so why bother?

People likely would use it. It's a HN account, not a bank account.

Yes, but they shouldn't.

Even though I have no ill intent and it's just an account on a silly web forum, they shouldn't and it would make me sad if they did.

Some of those are apps. Apps should be fine to use those accounts, as they should not contact anything else than HN and HN's API.

But I guess the only way to be sure is to write one yourself.

MiniHack on iOS let's you post and vote if you login through the app.

Or better: why can't HN developers please work on API? Probably brcause building one takes too much effort.... and they don't see reasons to develop one.

1 vote for HackerWeb for your phone. Wish the full HN had collapsible threads - a feature on Reddit I find very useful for traversing long threads without getting "sucked" into a "reply black hole"

They seem to have added this feature to the main site within the last couple months. It works for me on my iPad anyway, maybe give it another try.

OMG I feel dumb - I didn't notice it! Awesome. For those looking, the "collapse" function is after the "ago" [-]

Ouch - I guess I never expected to see it there!

The only improvement I'd like for the current web page is that on mobile you have to zoom to vote. If the up and down votes were at separate ends of the item header that would make it more usable

I use hckrnews.com together with Stylish (extension) dark theme (https://userstyles.org/styles/117803/dark-hckrnews-2017). I also use a dark theme for Hacker News (https://userstyles.org/styles/113994/hacker-news-dark).

For me it is much easier on the eyes.

How safe is it to use something like Stylish?

Depends on how much do you trust browser extensions. From my knowledge every extension code can be inspected and read unless the code is obfuscated. The styles are written in CSS (only a few lines) and injected into the website. So you can quickly review it.

If you want to be extra cautious you could write your own extension to be safer, but I trust it good enough.

HN with thumbnails: https://hnews.xyz/

This is specially useful on phones.

That's nice, but the thumbnails appear to be of the site layouts, rather than thumbnail metadata, which would seem to make them less than useful since it's not contextually relevant. Most of what's visible is the header of the page (which is repeated in the link) and some thumbnails are even blank.

That said, having tried to make a HN clone that did use metadata for thumbnails, even that seemed not to add value in most cases. Turning a URL into a useful thumbnail seems to be kind of a hard problem.

I think the best way is how HN is. In fact, I wish more websites had this text only approach. Came across this fantastic redesign of a conceptual text-only TechCrunch: https://hackernoon.com/redesigning-techcrunch-1ecae542e6af

Somebody please make that!

I've used hn.premii.com for years and couldn't be happier. I also like the name, it means 'prizes' in Romanian.

Seconded! Been using it forever, if he'd implement replying and voting I'd have no reason to ever use the vanilla site.

I'd like to see some kind of filtering for HN based upon some preferences or, better yet, an ML style system like with Netflix that learns the kinds of stories you're interested in.

I skimmed through the descriptions of the "21 better ways", but didn't see anything that would help you to find the HN articles that you're interested in.

The best way to read HN for me is no browser, 2 mails, one in the morning, one in the afternoon I use a custom version of this python script. (since I have a big tendency to procrastinate)


I find the original HN site easy enough to read, as long as I have the following Greasemonkey script active:

// ==UserScript== // @name Hacker News Readability (small width) // @description Reduces the width on Hacker News to make it easier to read // @include http://news.ycombinator.com/* // @include https://news.ycombinator.com/* // @grant none // ==/UserScript==

GM_addStyle(".default { width: 650px !important; }");

Having the width reduced makes reading much quicker, since you don't have to scan such a long line of text. I would encourage everyone to try it.

I've been using HN Special Chrome extension since it was released. Can't go back to the standard look. http://gabrielecirulli.github.io/hn-special/

A visualization of the front page: https://www.sizzleanalytics.com/HackerNews Easily see "hot stories", and how stories relate to each other.

Does anyone know of a hacker news viewer that can sort an article's comments chronologically or on another criteria?

My only gripe with the default site is that there is no way to quickly locate the most recent comments on an article.


> Show and highlight new comments since you last view a thread

discussions: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=enhancement%20suite (none really big)

elsewhere in this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15310679

My hack is to "find on page" "minutes ago" , at least it gets me the last hour.

Aren't derivative posts of hacker news derivatives a bit derivative?

I prefer the version of Hacker News from four months ago to the current version, and all of the viewers listed here, even on mobile. I wouldn't think my opinion would be niche.

What changed four months ago? I didn't notice any change.

Weird stuff like collapsing downvoted comments (and their replies) by default. I even browse with showdead on, so I don't want to have to manually expand comment trees just because slightly more people disagree than agree with the point being made.

I want one with a big hide button for posts/comments and anonymous comments.

I don't need to vote or something, I just want to get rid of uninteresting stuff as fast as easy as possible.

There are anonymous comments?

"anonymous" meaning posting through an alt account.

my small lame userscript (usable with tampermonkey) to color new stories/comments and keep track of new unread comments in articles I was interested in. Lets me skim /news quicker removing annoying "I already read that one" mental load.


If anyone uses Calibre, here is a Calibre HN recipe I have made. It looks pretty good on Kindle Paperwhite, but I have not tested it anywhere else:


I like hackernews.el[0], but haxor-new[1], mentioned below, sounds even more awesome.

[0] https://github.com/clarete/hackernews.el

[1] https://github.com/donnemartin/haxor-news

I use inoreader so there's no reason to use these, only thing I'd like to see improved with RSS would be to update less often (like that it would took 2hrs to update) and in that time it would get decided if it gets included or not (so that there's no flagged, dupes or when title changes multiple times it would not show up multiple times).

I'll continue with news.ycombinator.com, but with styling from the Stylish extension for chrome. Currently using this theme: https://userstyles.org/styles/107079/hacker-news-minimal-the...

Chrome > https://theoldreader.com > RSS

Nothing beats it. Personally I like the waterhose approach and select what (comments, always first the comments) I want to read.

No filtering, no weighting, no colours just plain text together with all the other sites I follow via RSS.

I use the telegram channel of hacker news' top posts of the day with more than 100+ scores ( https://telegram.me/hacker_news_feed )and also the hooks bot (@hooks_bot) in telegram which shows posts with 200+ score..

As mentioned in the article, there is also a 100+ score Twitter account: https://twitter.com/newsyc100 which has sibling accounts for other score limits.

Not related but still worth a mention due to apparently considering coming out of retirement after a year's hiatus: https://twitter.com/shit_hn_says

Joined, although I already read hn mostly through the Telegram @hnrobot bot or hckr news website.

I use https://hckrnews.com/ since I can sort out top 10 or 20 and top 50% (my usual default) or hit all to see everything as it updates. It also keeps track of dates and when, on all, what's new since my last visit.

I made and use a userstyle theme: https://userstyles.org/styles/71445/better-hacker-news-desig.... Not a big rework, just a bit brighter and bigger and more readable.

No love for Hacker News Enhancement Suite? https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hacker-news-enhanc...

I also made native macOS HN client app called MackerNews. It renders the article in a web view (readable if possible) but everything else is native. Btw its a client, you can login, vote, comment, etc :) http://mackernews.com

My favorite way of reading HN is with this dark theme:


It's all I need.

This is great, thank you!

I would have liked to see widgets and small apps or things instead of just mostly sites. The responsive ones for mobile are nice and I use http://hn.reapp.io myself on my phone.

Does anyone remember the front-end to HN that categorizes posts according to proper topic categories like "Privacy," "Coding," "Startups," etc. with ML?

I remember it being posted or mentioned in a comment but cannot find where it is.

I'm kind of surprised that there weren't any console-based readers listed.

The only think https://news.ycombinator.com is missing to be perfect is the search functionality, I don't like to rely on hn.algolia.com.

Yes, I use feedly to read the rss and it's fairly easy to quickly parse the whole feed.

For those who use telegram I've created this channel: https://t.me/hacker_news_feed

The scroll to anchor on touch start is super annoying on the top 21 list. I can't scroll the page in that section without accidentally jumping to another page anchor.

http://www.pxlet.com should be in the list as well. It provides a hub for tech news.

Only thing I think ought to be improved is that readers ought to earn access to the new top rankings by reading and ranking at least a few new articles

I'd like to see categories, and being able to subscribe to them.

Alternatively, what I'd like to filter out of HN:

- People pushing their products

- Useless artistic projects

- CSS hacks

- Ways to make money without much effort

Critically missing is Webshit Weekly: http://n-gate.com/

I prefer HN filtered with Machine Learning:


taggernews.com allows you to see what tags might apply to each story (more info about all of this at https://devpost.com/software/tagger-news)

Related: Do you use any native apps on mobile (preferably iOS)?

Materialistic on Android is particularly good.

hnews.xyz - scans quickly, avoids comments, leaves, ftw.

You've been reading Hacker News wrong your whole life.

They don't want you to know the secret to reading HN!

On a more serious note, I'm pretty happy with seeing it right here on this very domain. Hell, I haven't even changed the orange header.

The layout and navigation are simple but intuitive. The site is very light and loads quickly. I don't like how voting will make me jump around the page, but I can live with that. No site is perfect for everyone, after all.

Yeah, I think I'll just keep reading it right here.

> voting will make me jump around the page

What do you mean by that? Voting is handled by AJAX requests, so it shouldn't jump around.

Comment, then vote, and it brings me back to my comment.


I always access HN by hckrnews.com . It's much easier to look at the top posts for the day. And since it also has the top posts from previous days, I don't feel the need to check the front page as often.

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