Hacker News is a social news website focusing on computer science and entrepreneurship, and has become the front page of the web for many people (me included). “I have not found a public internet forum with better technical commentary” and I would usually prefer reading comments on HN rather than on the original website. I would often find myself searching for the HN thread on the pages I visit, or when someone sent me a link to an article or resource and because this was happening so often, I had to do something about it; I had to ease this painful process that takes more than 3 clicks.
Hacker News Lookup is a minimal and non-intrusive Chrome extension that allows you to lookup on Hacker News the page that you are currently viewing, and browse for the related topics. It is simple, fast and beautiful :-)
It only runs when you click on the extension button and queries the algolia api. It does not track any of your browsing history.
The extension is doing the bare minimum; however, I believe there could be more to it than just showing hits on Hacker News. I would like to allow people to browse the web as part of a community (adding adapters for other sources, like Reddit), but I am not sure yet if I will structure the codebase in that direction or if that will be part of another project.
Building a chrome extension with ClojureScript
I had already developed a Chrome extension in the past, but the development process was cumbersome.
Below is a 20 seconds video example of what the development workflow looks like (look at the extension on the right as I change and evaluate the code)
Here is what happens in the video:
- Evaluation of the code directly in the editor (the selected code is sent in the live REPL at the bottom of the editor)
- The code evaluated is connected to the chrome extension, and changes the current state of the app
- Modifications to the loading component are hot reloaded
- Errors and warnings are intercepted and sent to the page