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Show HN: Writt – Make and publish notes from Telegram (glitch.me)
77 points by jajoosam 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

You’re offering a product for 19/yr, but will this product exist for that long? Lack of privacy policy, hosted on glitch, and you’re constantly throwing things up on there.

Things noticed: SSL is not enforced, therefore your payment page is being served plaintext. Telegram already has this service embedded for free. You’re using a free host, with no custom domain, what if they decide to disappear next month without notice?

Yes, it will.

Just enforced SSL - And if the free embedded service you're talking about is telegra.ph, that is different than writt because you can't write and publish within telegram, you have to use a web interface.

Glitch is made by FogCreek, the guys who co-founded Stack Overflow, and have built Trello and other stuff - so pretty sure they're reliable https://glitch.com/faq#trust

That doesn't change my view on this. You're paying Glitch _nothing_, yet are asking for 19/yr for this product. At the very least, a few users converting can get you a quality VM from Linode or Digital Ocean. Who's currently doing backups? You? Or Glitch.

Glitch wants apps like this to succeed, so will work with him to make sure everything stays running. And Glitch apps are just totally standard Node apps, so worst case he can run it anywhere else. Anything can happen, and there are no guarantees, but I wouldn’t worry about the choice of platforms as a risk.

Source: I’m the CEO of Fog Creek, which makes Glitch, and we’re excited about apps like this one!

How does the Glitch project-to-app mapping actually work? This is writt.glitch.me, so I'd expect it to be accessible at https://glitch.com/~writt and https://glitch.com/edit/#!/writt except neither of those are up.

App creators can choose to make their apps private , which prevents the source being viewed. This is why you can’t access those URLs.

I suppose. I'm just a bit cynical because Glitch is full of these "apps" that feel like a train wreck waiting to happen. jajoosam has a number of services on your platform now, and it's hard to tell if it'll get any updates or support 6-9 months down the line.

Sure, but that’s true of apps on any platform. May be worth a try to state the same concerns about iOS or Android apps and see what the CEOs in charge of those platforms say, then make the call on which you trust.

How about ditching the cynicism and instead praising such a neat service and the enterprising 14 year old who was able to build and rollout a plausible service?

"You're paying Glitch _nothing_, yet are asking for 19/yr for this product"

He is asking for money to cover the expense of his work. That is also a cost, correct?

Yes, I understand this very well too. But he's not passing on any of that money to Fog Creek (who are also spending money and is a cost).

I don't see the issue. Nobody is forcing Fog Creek to make the glitch service free, that was their own choice - and as long as charging money for your glitch-based service isn't against the glitch ToS, there's no reason not to do so.

Glitch' FAQ says they expect to eventually charge for a premium account with fewer resource restrictions. Glitch' business model is presumably then to get other services off the ground, make those services big enough to start earning significant money, and then have those services upgrade to a paid plan once they (hopefully) both earn enough money to afford it and are big enough to need it.

From what I can see, this Writt thing is doing exactly what glitch's business model wants people to do.

So any paid service should never use another service on its free tier? That’s a strange rule to abide to.

That's right, I'd definitely get a DO droplet if a few users converted, but haven't even had one conversion yet.

This sounds potentially useful. I mostly used (for more than a year) Telegram for ad-hoc interactions at technical conferences. (E.g. EuroPython 2016 & some groups I interact with at FOSDEM 2018 used it, so I "had" to use it.). And right now, it's sitting dormant since February.

[Slightly off-topic & potentially opening a barrel of worms ahead; and this has been discussed to death here.]

Now ... I have been using (also for well over a year) the Signal Messenger. Given Signal's funding model, their crypto protocol (which was peer-reviewed & got robust positive feedback -- corroborated through its adoption by WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger) and their (almost) zero metadata collection, I found it's better to invest my energies in Signal.

So, FWIW, I have been trying to "converge" on Signal and slowly persuading (without forcing, of course) friends to use it; I've had good success so far. A lot of my colleagues & a decent chunk of people I collaborate with in the open source community already use Signal. So that's not a problem there.

This is all just to make an attempt at maintaining sanity with the Chat Tool proliferation. Wonder how others are handling it.

My exact same route and experience, although I heartily detest Signal's phone number required misfeature and the agressively forced contact sharing.

Yes, you raise a difficult point about the phone number required feature. And you're at least the second person I hear (legitimately) complain about it; the other was from a technical friend, during an in-person conversation.

I realize that requiring phone number compromises the anonymity aspect (despite Signal's unparalleled privacy, given the alternatives). But I was giving (and still do) Signal the benefit of doubt and assume they're also going to implement username / password scheme – not sure if it's a good idea or not.

Telegram has a similar service called telegra.ph - free of charge. It doesn't support written markdown, but has a built-in WYSIWYG editor.

And your credit card form is accessible over http.

Writt is different from telegra.ph because you cannot write posts to telegraph from telegram, you have to use the web interface, which makes Writt's use cases very different, even though some of them might coincide

You don't even have a domain and are already charging $19 for "unlimited" notes? I like the app, it's not a bad idea, but the business model is not great.

Just storing notes isn't a great feature, there are thousands of note-taking apps out there. On Telegram itself you can just send messages to yourself and they will be stored, editable and deletable.

Hmmm... What would you recommend instead?

FOSS with donations. I'm not sure if people would want to pay to use this, but if it looked nice and was FOSS then people would probably donate.

agree because paying 19$ for this product is not worthy. as telegram already provides telegra.ph which is free of cost. FOSS with donations is a perfect monetisation strategy.

> FOSS with donations is a perfect monetisation strategy.

Only if your monetization goal is less than a few bucks per month.

That's some serious Shit HN Says. Thanks for the chuckle.

> Only if your monetization goal is less than a few bucks per month.

It's a service that exists solely through a platform that already provides a competing service for free. A few bucks per month is as good as it's going to get.

Interesting. Tried it on some very simple example text and it seems well-executed. I'm intrigued by the concept of chatting to write. I wonder if the medium can stimulate thoughts in a way a traditional text editor can't.

Great work, and good luck!

Thank you

Indeed, notes in the form of multiple texts and chatting could make things more interesting.

Reminds me of Tap by Wattpad. That could be a great market for you.


Why is telegram suddenly so popular? AFAIK it doesn’t provide proper decentralised cryptography and yet everyone in the crypto coin community is up in arms about it.

Nice. Do I need it though that's the question....

I like how this works. Need to use more extensively to understand cons.

but I cannot edit the text?

Editing with a web interface is in the pipeline, for now you can rewrite by using the $ sign. /help for details.

Isn't Telegram compromised by the Russian government..?

No, they have refused to provide the encryption keys to Russian security agencies.

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