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Show HN: QuikPub – Write, Publish and Share rich text via short URLs (quikpub.co)
104 points by DarrenDev 74 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 47 comments



Hi everyone. I’m Darren and I built QuikPub over the past couple of weeks.

The quickest way to explain QuikPub in a way everyone should get is to describe it as “Imgur for text.”

I’ve felt for a long time that there was no easy way to quickly publish short or long form rich text without going down the blog route. Blogging -- by design — comes with a history of posts and comments. Too much information when all you want to do is post about something that has nothing to do with your blogging persona or area of expertise.

QuikPub lets you post anonymously (or add your name) and share a short URL to that content anywhere you want (just like Imgur). It comes with a slightly longer edit URL so that you can change or delete the post later.

There’s no link or connection to other posts you make. There’s no public list of “new posts.” Your QuikPub post is invisible to Google and to casual browsers until you choose to share it.

There was a Show HN yesterday about a new product called Haven that seems to be targeting a similar user base, though their solution was very different. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26013715) While reading the comments I felt that many of those commenting would benefit from a simple publishing app like QuikPub.

Feedback is very welcome. I’m not a UI designer, and I’m aware that the UI is a bit on the weak side, but that’s something I hope to improve over time.

Here’s a few examples of posts I made myself earlier:

https://quikpub.co/3K5MIPZGWP

https://quikpub.co/THMWJII2AW

https://quikpub.co/XL3HHFCFQF

https://quikpub.co/SMP42QPSQ1

Thanks


> I’ve felt for a long time that there was no easy way to quickly publish short or long form rich text without going down the blog route.

There is with write.as (e.g. <https://write.as/hjr5ogk4f0wnw.md>), which uses the same engine as WriteFreely, a blogging alternative to Medium, and is operated by the WriteFreely maintainer.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18432327


I've tried write.as , but it doesn't seem to support richtext.


That's true. It uses Markdown.


Nice. I hadn't heard of write.as before. Very minimalist feel to it.


>when all you want to do is post about something that has nothing to do with your blogging persona.

Cool project. I've been looking for this kind of service for a long time.

I would like to report a bug regarding your rich-text editor. I'm trying to post several images, but everything is vanished when i publish it. See here : https://streamable.com/wpm5mh

I'm currently working on a personal project similar like this too, but now focusing in making a simpler javascript-based WYSIWYG rich-text editor (now supporting : bold, italic, underline, add link, paste image)

Screenshot : https://github.com/altilunium/rtnF/blob/main/rtnf_screenshot...

Github Repo : https://github.com/altilunium/rtnF

Maybe you can use it as a component for this service.


> I'm not currently allowing embedded images in posts

Oh, sorry. I haven't read your thread comment below. At least you probably should tell it directly to the users on the landing page (no image support yet), or hide the "image" icon on the richtext editor, and disable the paste-image feature on the richtext editor. Some users are probably expecting your service can handle the image feature, just like the usual blogging platform.


You can link to images, but I'm not allowing embedded images -- no dragging and dropping from your desktop... data:image


How long do the posts last can we keep track of them...???


Nice work. Seems pretty decent. Do you intent to make money out of it though?

Also, how do you plan to promote it? Apart of HN.


When I starting fleshing out the idea a couple of weeks ago I came up with a three stage development plan (I come up with a lot of three or four stage plans!!), with stage 1 being where it's at now - a very basic MVP.

How far I get with stages 2 and 3 depends on the kind of feedback I get from people over the coming weeks.

I have ideas about how to extend it to a paid for app, but the short answer is I haven't decided yet if that direction has legs. Too early to say.

As for promotion, I'm reaching out to different types of potential users right now. I have some older desktop products in the creative writing field, and have a lot of users of those products, so that's another avenue for feedback and potential users.


Much nicer than just plaintext pastebins...

However, there's some issues with the editor and backend that allow injecting javascript. I was able to do that with the image insert. I suspect the link insert has a similar issue. Seems like you need something to scrub out that sort of thing on submit or display.

See https://quikpub.co/NPU1KDYKXK


Thanks. I'll look into that. I thought I was stripping out all scripts, but I wasn't checking the image and link insertion. Much appreciated.


Definitely use a battle-tested HTML sanitization library if possible. There's a million different pitfalls and footguns with XSS. See: Some of the insane XSS polyglots out there that can be used for testing.

https://github.com/0xsobky/HackVault/wiki/Unleashing-an-Ulti...


Also the stricter the content security policy the more xss holes you can plug.


Thanks for the advice. It's number 1 on my list now.


Haha, I've built something similar to this before as a student project! Except I've described it as a 'shareable index card'. Check it out here: http://drop-info.live/

Two pieces of advice for you if you are intending to take this to market. I suggest writing/investing in some good moderation tools to prevent spammers and other undesirables from using your site for illegal stuff. Also, get yourself a lawyer and write terms of service to protect your project from liability.


Thanks for the advice nexthash. It is something that's been concerning me, and is one of the reasons I'm not currently allowing embedded images in posts -- I don't want to have to deal with hosting pornography and all the pains that come with that.

Shady content, potential copyright infringements, it's a can of worms all right.


Yep, and also linking to other websites can be an issue, like phishing, porn, malware, etc. It is a very big can of worms but from my experience the second spammers discover your site it becomes their new home base and will get your domain blacklisted pretty quickly.


Did you find solutions to that yourself with your own app?


Personally my project never was the type to require such vigilance - 'content moderation' consisted of sshing into the server and deleting any objectionable posts directly. The factor you have to consider is shareability - the links are private, but if they are shared enough they might put your site under scrutiny. Never mattered for me, if anything I would just take my project offline and reset it. A while back there was a fruitful discussion about this topic for a new link-sharing service, and could give you some pointers:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25870504

A quick skim reveals some link-filtering services and libraries do exist, such as:

http://uribl.com/ https://www.spamhaus.org/

Good luck!


What about libel?


Allow audio uploads and you can deal with slander, too!


Hey, this looks awesome! Definitely echoing the abuse potential concerns shared by other commentators.

You might want to consider hosting content published on a different domain from your main site, otherwise search engines and site lists could flag the domain as a bad actor if something gets through.


That's a good idea. Thanks.


Reminds me of https://telegra.ph/


Very minimalist.


Maybe proactively get a list of bad domains from here http://www.malwaredomainlist.com/forums/index.php?topic=3270... and shadowban any IP/user that adds any of those domains to any text. For the shadowban, add a delay that increases with the number of views of the document, so that it's not immediately visible;


Thanks for that. I'll check it out.


I usually use github gists for this. Though I'm probably in the minority preferring markdown over wysiwyg.


What will your policy be on content moderation / censorship? Where are you based? What are your political biases?

The normalization of deplatforming and censorship is one of the most dangerous turns in recent times. I don’t wish to support any platform which will remove content that isn’t explicitly illegal.


Nice..

After publishing, the page is more wider than phone screen, & user can't scroll horizontally to see the whole page or published link https://quikpub.co/763Q4EX52G


Thanks davchana. I'm aware of that and will be fixing it soon.


Plenty of others have said it, but to add to the concern - great site and easy to use but you are going to make yourself a target for spammers and scammers if you don't at least have a plan now: Key word flagging Ip restrictions Rate limiting Etc

You don't need to build these things today, but you need a backlog of clear plans or at least plans for investigation, and some sort of tech in place now to warn you of potential risks (very popular pages, loads of use from one Ip, etc etc)


Looks like gist.github.com with a wysiwyg, cool stuff.


Thanks.


There are many online services like this one, but what makes any of them stand out is posterity. Most of them disappear within a year or two which makes them useless for a lot of use cases. My long-running favorite so far is telegra.ph, which is still online presumably since it's backed by Telegram.


i measured 1.6MB uncompressed (and I'm adblocking statscounter.js).

Anything that can be done about reducing the load on this?


in comparison: hackernews is 15kB uncompressed


That's on the main page, which loads a large third party library and a theme library. I do plan to get this down when I see about dropping the full libraries and just pulling in what's required for the page.

The individual content (QuikPub) view page is a lot less as it doesn't contain any of the JS library scripts.


Just publish static html for view page and you will render in < 20ms


Can one edit or remove a post after creating it?

How long are posts guaranteed to stay available?

Do your future plans for the service include creating an authentication method so that users can edit/remove earlier posts or download all of their content and move it to another server if necessary?

How do you plan to deal with libel claims?


>Can one edit or remove a post after creating it?

There's an edit/delete url as well as a share url.

>How long are posts guaranteed to stay available?

Hopefully for ever. But it's early days now on a two week project, so I don't have answers for that far in the future.

>or download all of their content and move it to another server if necessary?

That would definitely be on the plan, but wouldn't be implemented until a log in / user account mechanism was in place.

>How do you plan to deal with libel claims?

I haven't fleshed out that far ahead yet. Today I'm focused on getting a working app out there. Next week, once I see if anyone is using the app in earnest I'll have more time to get a handle on what to do about illicit or potentially harmful content.


Congrats! Nice and clean design. You can tell you put in the time on the design and explaining the service.

I say keep it text only for people to publish. No images.

Make the footer a bit smaller and also include a link to report the post. Just to cover your bases.

Just minor feedback. Nice work.


Title text wrapping is broken?

https://quikpub.co/EDBMWVQSDH


I just saw that. I pushed a fix for something else half an hour ago and broke it. Should be ok now.

Thanks


Ah cool. Used Google Docs in the past for that reason.




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