New in Labs: tiny.write.as

As I mentioned in a post yesterday, I’ve been playing around with an alternative reading interface for Write.as blogs. It significantly trims down the “weight,” or amount of data, that a blog takes up, so pages load faster.

The blogs rendered here are also more accessible. To get technical: instead of relying on CSS to space text out in a specific way, we use HTML, which shouldn’t trip up screen readers.

Getting Started

To try it out, you can navigate to: https://tiny.write.as/your-blog-name, replacing your-blog-name with your actual blog name. For example, mine would be: https://tiny.write.as/matt.

You can then send people to this URL instead of your normal one, if you want them to have a lighter way to read your blog.

Status

Note that this is mostly a proof of concept that I just wanted to share, since I figured it might be interesting and start a conversation! Some things don’t fully work as you’d expect, like subscribing via email or viewing paywalled content. I might fix those in the future, especially if people enjoy this.

Also, this only works for blogs hosted on write.as – not a custom domain or writeas.com subdomain. This will definitely be fixed in the near future.

Feedback?

What do you think? Is this useful for you? Did it spark any ideas or thoughts? Let me know!

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this is really cool! I like how my blogs look on this (especially since I just switched back to the basic theme + default font). Upvote! :slight_smile:

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Really glad you like it, @tmo!

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I do! Also, if it returned all results on a single page, it could act as a blog’s archive :wink: archive.write.as/tmo would be useful (to me and others, too, probably)

This is pretty cool!

I did try navigating to https://tiny.write.as/dino/, but for some reason, it redirects me to my normal site.

Hey @dino I think that happens because of this:

Looking forward to the fix to see this for my blog (as well as Dino’s)!

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Oh my, I can’t believe I glossed over that. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

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I kind of like this! Keeps it minimal and to the point. I would like to see this as theme too.

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This is awesome! Can’t wait till it works with the custom domains. I was looking for this for a while now. I would use it as a standard interface. I would have one request though: images and videos and embed should be centered and stretch to text width please. Saw your example here and my OCD got triggered a bit :slight_smile:.

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Is WriteFreely/Witere.as not fast enough now? Ditch CSS and go back to pure HTML is not a wise choice. Simple and crude are not the same thing. This experimental feature reminds us, isn’t it urgent to add archiving to writeFreely /write.as? I sincerely hope that WriteFreely continues to be built, as it is missing too many features (comment system, searching, archiving, tag navigation, photo uploading, migration between WriteFreely instances, etc.). Now, it’s time, as you’ve said in the past, to integrate the great existing projects into a more unified and powerful product.

My take on this is that it will eventually replace the convoluted CSS that there is right now, as it is historically/hysterically grown. Future customization could then be based on this new system. Which would make it much cleaner and easier to maintain.

I would agree though, there are still features I would love to see. Maybe I missed it, but I would still like to see some kind of roadmap, to get a sense of direction where the project is going :slight_smile:. Feature additional feel unfortunately very random.

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What bother me is the lack of the option to disable is (I’m working on a PR to that :slight_smile: ), this feature together with a smaller CSS will make a huge difference on page load.

This is great! I will totally use this feature once it works with custom domains!

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Oh, I just realized something. Do you already know how you want to handle posts without a title? I use my main blog as a “micro blog” and would like to suggest to maybe abbreviate the first line with maybe 3 (or 5) words and an ellipses. If the first line is an embed, like a video or tweet (via iframe or similar), I would suggest to skip it and abbreviate the next line.

That’s right, this is mostly a step on the way to something else.

We do handle titles here like we do in the rest of the app. So if you look at your blog’s metadata, you’ll see we automatically pull out a title for posts that don’t have an explicit one – and it’s close to the logic you’re describing. So we’re reusing that for the post titles here.

And to your earlier comment, images and embeds will be centered in our next update!

Oh yeah, I remember when it changed (to the better). The way it was done before was very long and I was thinking about creating a logic for it in my scripts. Then it changed all out of a sudden and was already the way I wanted it :+1: :grin:

Woohoo! :partying_face:

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Latest changes are out now!

  • Support for custom domain blogs and *.writeas.com blogs
  • Centered embeds
  • Link to the “full” version from your blog’s footer

I’ve also added this to the Write.as Labs page, where you can now easily open the “tiny page” version of your blog.

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Wonderful!

Nice! Activated! :slight_smile:. Is it planned to make it configurable as the default view for custom domains in the next version? So, when I go to https://micro.jason.re i would get the tiny view by default? It makes it already so much cleaner :+1: