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Show HN: Hacker News in real-time (hackerstream.com)
68 points by akkartik on March 8, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 26 comments

Neat. "Shortlist" might not be the most apt title for the watched threads, though. . . calling it something like "Watchlist" or even just "Watch" might make it more clear at first glance.

Good idea, thanks. Done.

good point.

Well designed site, but if you do not mind my saying, what prevents me from returning to hackerstream.com is that the text in the left column moves while I am reading it. (I'd be OK BTW with my having to hit a refresh button to get an update.)

But thanks for trying to improve the "HN ecosystem".

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I've looked at a few options for that problem. There's twitter's approach, which is to never update the page, just a link at the top. There's the friendfeed approach, which is a pause button. Hackerstream's approach - clicking on a post to copy into the shortlist - is experimental. Do you like one of those more than the others? Is there a fourth (or fifth) option I haven't thought of?

I'm still not convinced the shortlist is pulling its weight.

It would be great if every website have an open analytics section where you can see a live stream of activity across the website, a map with real time user activity... i don't know it would be cool.

With what and how did you implement this?

Simplest way possible: python+beautifulSoup crawler, sqlite db, rails, jquery. I worked with mitultiwari, and the two of us spent a couple of leisurely weekends hanging out and hacking on this.

/second. Curious to know the tech behind it. Node? Or something else?

It's Rails and it's polling.

Love it! You've actually managed to make HN harder to navigate away from!

Thanks! I'd love to hear gripes over the next few days. Hold on, let me add a contact link to the site.

When we (Digg) released our Streaming API, I threw together a similar site for Digg. You can see it at http://tigris.duruk.net and the code lives at http://github.com/cduruk/tigris

It's essentially a Apache redirect and bunch of JavaScript.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing!

I'm getting a 502 Bad Gateway message...

Yeah, traffic issues :/ Hitting reload seems to help some of the time. I didn't expect this much interest. Trying to fix now..

Update: should be fixed now. Let me know if you see it again.

You post a HN related site on HN, you better be ready for some action! :P

Feedback: Allow me to provide it without firing up my e-mail client.


- Let me turn comments on and off, globally and for each story.

- Adding an item to the watchlist adds only that comment, unless I click on the parent story in the stream. I want to add the parent story to the watchlist, not the comment. Besides, it also opens the link to the HN thread. Not sure if I want that.. I mean, two functions in one.

- "new" and "comments" take me to HN. Perhaps they should have a functionality inside your site. Maybe related to the previous point.

- Favicon? Perhaps "Yrt"? (Y real time)

Great work!!

Great comments. Watch this space :)

Re UI for 'new' and 'comments': It's a good question how immersive an experience this alternative UI should be. Our initial ambition was just an alternative view, a different random sampling of HN, to augment the HN UI rather than replace it.[1] This is why the UI mimics HN, and we link back everywhere that it makes sense. But this exchange has given me some ideas to expand my ambitions, so thank you.

[1] Especially since we can't let you vote or reply directly on hackerstream (due to security restrictions in browser AJAX).

It wasn't updating in real time for me in Chrome, I'll give it another try later. Sweet idea!

Oh I see, it's polling every 30 seconds :)

I've tried Orbited on Rails with success, it does fake comet with an easy-to-use Javascript API so you can push messages to subscribed clients. Also looked at Hookbox, which is by the same guy who made Orbited. They're both realllly easy to integrate and use in Rails, and Hookbox can be used from the public HostedHookbox service, meaning you don't actually have to install a Hookbox server if you just want to try it out.

^In case you'd like to add a push feel to this

Thanks for the tip! Yeah we may move to that (and I want to try it out :) but for HN's content-creation frequency polling seems to suffice.

Obligatory: oh great, another way for me to be completely distracted by HN while at work!


It would be interesting to have a "pop-out" for my watch list, like a G-Chat has - so I can have that little watch window as an applet of sorts on the screen to the right.

Is there any way to indicate when someone replies to a comment I made? (An orangered copy ala reddit)

Yeah that's a good idea. We still have no customization based on your username, but it's on the roadmap.

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