zestyping 7 days ago

It looks pretty, but I'm having trouble understanding the use case.

A core part of browsing Hacker News or Reddit is opening the links and reading the articles, which are web pages. Once I'm opening web pages, then I want to be able to bookmark them, arrange them in tabs, find them in my history, have them saved in sessions by my session manager extension, configure how they are handled by my ad blocker, search for related information, and so on. In other words, I want a web browser.

The same issue applies the other way around, too. When I follow a link _to_ Hacker News, I want it to show up consistently. I don't want to end up with some Hacker News pages in browser tabs and some in a separate app, and then have trouble remembering where to find that page I was looking at yesterday.

I get that it can be nice to have a slimmed-down UI for specific purposes. But I'm puzzled by this particular use case because there is no neatly contained navigation sandbox — as soon as you follow a couple of links, you're just browsing the Web.

So why won't there be an inexorable push to expand Yack's feature set until it is a browser? Why won't users eventually switch back to using their regular browsers?

  • ken 6 days ago

    My reaction is pretty much the opposite. This looks like what I've wanted the web to be for years now. It's the best parts of RSS, Gopher, and the web.

    What's terrible about the modern web? Mountains of JavaScript, for trackers, and advertisements, and custom UI so every page acts differently (and slowly) even though they're 99% the same. This appears to cut through that crap, and just give me easy access to articles and comments.

    I want just a 'web browser'. What we've got today are network-native application runtimes that happen to run over the web. There are some cases where that's good, but for "reading an article", it's somewhere between "a waste" and "a channel ripe for abuse".

    You talk about bookmarks, tabs, history, etc. I rarely use those for articles I see on HN. I use web browsers for a few very distinct use cases. (They just all happen to be delivered over the web because, I don't know, nobody wants to write applications any more.) "Reading an article" doesn't require bookmarks/tabs/history. I read it, and then I'm done. I mostly read HN in Private Browsing specifically so it doesn't litter up my history with some article I only want to see once. I mostly use Reader Mode, when possible, because I don't want any other junk besides the article. A full 2019 web browser for reading an article is a liability, not a feature. I rarely follow any links from them.

    Saying that one needs to "configure an ad blocker" to read articles on the internet almost sounds like an admission of failure.

    There shouldn't be an "inexorable" drive to make this into a full web browser, any more than there is for an email program. Email programs display HTML and let you click links, too. They are specific to one type of data, and display it using native controls. Nobody is browsing the web in Mail.app. They are browsing the web in their regular browsers, for the types of online experiences that require that.

    • Accacin 6 days ago

      > Saying that one needs to "configure an ad blocker" to read articles on the internet almost sounds like an admission of failure.

      But having to install a completely new browser for your desktop isn't? Installing uBlock Origin solves all your problems with trackers all over the web. Installing this electron app solves it for a few sites.

      • 0x445442 6 days ago

        In addition to uBlock Origin, if you've got some spare hardware lying around, I highly recommend Pi-Hole. Here's a link of typical numbers from my home LAN. https://imgur.com/YfAJUlv

        • bytematic 6 days ago

          Mine are even higher, more like 30-40% of requests blocked. I have a ROKU tv and it makes constant tracking requests that get blocked. I think I'm over 100k per month at this point

    • VvR-Ox 6 days ago

      Exactly this is just awesome!

      Keeping conversations going and following threads that don't just live inside forums but also commenting sections etc. is something very difficult and annoying with a web browser.

      This could be a solution to keep conversations going longer than one keeps the tab/window with the according thread open.

    • japanoise 6 days ago

      We need a web anti-browser, which only has a "reader mode"

  • CathedralBorrow 7 days ago

    I'm definitely in the target group for this. I consume this content just like a faucet and don't care about bookmarks or tab arranging or that. And I generally like the app experience better for most of the social media I consume, so if someone pulls off a really well made UI that consolidates Reddit and HN I might well end up using it.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Yack has a built in browser with reader mode. You can also configure it to open all links in your default browser. It will also allow you to bookmark (and schedule for later) links, posts, comments.

    In the future, it will allow users to curate their own feed and share it with others. For example; you can create a feed that has posts from specific channels on YouTube, subbreddits on Reddit and people on Twitter.

    • cameronbrown 6 days ago

      To be honest, this would've been much better as a web app/chrome extension.

      • signal 4 days ago

        I'm in this camp - I want to share content with Pocket (and increasingly Notion for personal use, then outward to Twitter/LinkedIn/Automation and all of that is already in my browser.

    • marak830 6 days ago

      Oh yay another browser bundled with software. Why not just handle links out to our own browsers?

trevett 7 days ago

Really like the concept--I think you're on to something in creating a unified UI for all these similar services.

But..getting into the beta was a giant PITA.

1. Enter email

2. Check email

3. Download client

4. Go back to email, copy code

5. Paste code

6. Go back to email, click sign in link

7. Browser asks if it's ok to open Yack

8. Create profile in Yack (at this point I bounced)

Honestly, just let me download the beta directly, open it and have it Just Work. This is a new product and people will be skeptical. Friction is therefore your enemy.

Would it be possible to skip profile creation as well?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Hey, thanks for the feedback.

    Will consider making the Yack profile optional. For the beta version it was necessary because the app has a "Feedback" community, which is built on top of Discourse - This is where users provide feedback and report bugs. Thought about creating a subreddit on Reddit for feedback/bug reports but for users who are on HN or YT, it was necessary to have Yack's own community.

    Creating Yack profile automatically creates an account on Yack's Discourse instance but it never associates plugin accounts (hacker news, reddit, etc) with your Yack profile.

    • AlphaWeaver 7 days ago

      Would second that this should be optional ASAP. I understand your need and desire to collect feedback but I don't think it's a great idea to require users to create a profile for something that is a client.

      There are other ways to collect feedback than a Discourse instance. Why not just stand up a contact form, Twitter account, or email address?

      • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

        Definitely. Received similar feedback from other users as well and will consider making this optional.

    • simonebrunozzi 7 days ago

      You know what would be really impressive? To act on that feedback as fast as possible. Like: now. I agree with the parent poster and I think you should make it damn easy for anybody here to test Yack.

      • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

        I'd love to do this right now, but the thing is that workflow is rather complicated and needs through testing after change. Would adding a download button to landing page suffice ;)

        • simonebrunozzi 7 days ago

          I think it would suffice. It's a start! :)

  • michaelmarion 7 days ago

    I also bounced after step 7, but namely because I kept getting sign-in errors with the email link.

    • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

      what were the errors? Do you mind shooting me an email at max[at]yack.io

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    also, will update the landing page with the download link.

crazygringo 7 days ago

The idea that web communities and content have become standardized enough to have a single look-and-feel client is an intriguing idea. And it looks beautiful.

Unfortunately, I just wouldn't install a native app for that. My browser is plenty performant to handle it, and I want to be able to call it up wherever I am -- on my home computer, work computer, friend's computer, backup work laptop, whatever -- without having to bother to install something. (And some companies don't let you install software.) Also I'd want to hide stories I've already read and want that to be synced, which necessitates a server anyways.

I'm genuinely curious what benefit a native app has here, why that direction was taken? I can honestly only see drawbacks. (I can understand an app on mobile, just not on desktop.)

  • Legogris 7 days ago

    Privacy? With a FOSS (or even just third-party) app, the service operator has less fine-grained tracking and behavioral data for you as a user.

    The UI can also be designed with the user's best interest in mind, as an alternative to the egagement-driven dark UX patterns that have started becoming the status quo on the web in just a few years.

    I use a CLI for Reddit[0] specifically for this reason - I would definitely be potential user for something like Yack. Opening links from the app in an external browser is trivial. Now that you mention it, it'd be a good idea to make it work in the other direction as well. Surely it wouldn't be too tricky to make a browser extension for this?

    [0]: https://github.com/michael-lazar/rtv

  • martinlev 6 days ago

    I also don't get the advantage compared to having, let's say favorites in your browser, or use some browser plugins to augment it.

    What if there is this new community site? You need to develop something again in the unified browser to make it work.

mastercheif 7 days ago

I would focus on making the best Reddit macOS app you can, that will likely be your largest and most receptive audience. You should use the Apollo iOS app as your benchmark as far as responsiveness and feature set is concerned.

I signed up for the beta, the most glaring omissions are:

1. Keyboard shortcuts. You'll probably want to implement arrow key navigation as well as Google Reader shortcuts (J=Next, K=Previous, see Reeder.app). RES is the gold standard you should be shooting for: http://joeross.me/res/

2. Expand at least a few levels of child comments by default. Apollo does a great job with this.

3. Remove avatar placeholders for services that do not have avatars.

4. Increase information density. In the same vertical space that I can see 14 posts on reddit.com, I can only see 10 in the compact view in your app. The comments are in worse shape, you must remove the spacing between the comment "cards".

Overall, I'm impressed with what you've built here and could see using this app. Keyboard shortcuts are a must before I would spend any significant time using it.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Thanks for the feedback. That is my current focus. Keyboard shortcuts & dark theme are the highest priority right now. Glad to hear you like the app. Please let me know if you run into any issues.

stcredzero 7 days ago

Actually, I was just thinking of something like this. In particular, I'd like to be able to keep tabs on a group of YouTube creators, without being dependent on the whims and machinations of what the YouTube team wants to promote. There are also certain creators who post to both YouTube and BitChute, but prefer BitChute, and I'd like to have a browser that will show me the BitChute version preferentially, without my having to think about it.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    what's BitChute? Never heard of it.

    • stcredzero 7 days ago

      Basically, a somewhat decentralized YouTube implemented on top of BitTorrent.

      • codetrotter 7 days ago

        In a similar fashion, there is also PeerTube. A decentralized video hosting network, based on free/libre software.


        I have no involvement with them, but I like the PeerTube project. Might contribute to it in the future.

    • anigbrowl 6 days ago

      Theoretically, a distributed video-hosting platform. In our less perfect reality, the landfill for stuff thrown off YouTube.

kart23 7 days ago

Yack means throw up in many circles. Just be aware of the name.


  • pfraze 7 days ago

    It also means "talk"

    • jersully72 7 days ago

      FWIW, "talk" is what came to my mind.

      But it's social media though, so the other yakking will be involved...

    • seandougall 7 days ago

      I've only ever seen that spelled as "yak", so it took me a while to make that connection.

      • joegahona 6 days ago

        I thought "yak" was the bison animal. And that's what I thought of when I saw the name of this app -- not vomiting.

  • foxrob92 6 days ago

    My immediate thought too. It's definitely got that meaning in Australia.

  • verdverm 7 days ago

    Made me think of YikYak (r.i.p.)

kikki 7 days ago

> One App to replace them all.

You mean like a browser?

> Intuitive UI

I understand I'm probably not the target market for this - but I'm very uninspired by the Slack-copy design trend happening everywhere.

  • toxican 7 days ago

    > You mean like a browser?

    I can see this being a nice alternative to a few browser options for checking the latest across multiple sites. Pinned tabs, "Open All" bookmark folder, loose tabs, etc. Not ideal, imo, so having them all in one place and unified under a single UI might be kind of nice.

    Can't really speak to the UI though since this is unfortunately macOS only :(

    • ProAm 7 days ago

      > I can see this being a nice alternative to a few browser options for checking the latest across multiple site

      It's just another walled garden approach

      • kkarakk 7 days ago

        Which is good coz most of these communities are time sucks so consciously having to open an app instead of just opening a new tab is great.

        Currently i use another browser for this(firefox is for browsing hackernews, chrome is for work since devtools are better)

        • erklik 6 days ago

          > Currently i use another browser for this(firefox is for browsing hackernews, chrome is for work since devtools are better)

          Have you tried Firefox Developer Mode? I find it to be lots better, especially if you are using grid or flexbox.

        • ShinTakuya 7 days ago

          Besides when working with web workers I've actually had an overall better experience with FF dev tools in the recent couple of years. I recommend trying them out again if you haven't already.

    • rovr138 7 days ago

      Sounds like RSS.

      • jddj 7 days ago

        I have to agree.

        Nice work, and looks pretty, but Feedly scratches this itch for me almost perfectly. And it expands well beyond Reddit and HN.

        The only better solution would be if I hosted my own and used an open source app. I'll get around to it.

        • skinnymuch 6 days ago

          Does Feedly/RSS right now with community sites like HN/reddit support all the comments? Do they support comments in blog posts? I may have not played around enough or missed something.

          When I tried rss with Feedly before. I wasn’t getting blog post comments. I don’t think reddit/HN comments either but could be wrong there.

          • jddj 6 days ago

            Nah, no comments.

            You get the title which is a link to the submission, a picture and a link to the comments. I'm on Android so hitting either opens a webview (powered by Firefox) with an X in the top left which leads back to feedly. I also have scrolling past a submission set to mark it as read.

            Admittedly something which handled unread comments and notifications for replies could be more engaging, but I feel like I get enough HN as it is and I want to remain somewhat productive.

      • toxican 7 days ago

        Ha, that's a good point. I never could really get into using RSS feeds for whatever reason. It's possible I'd lose interest in this approach to media consumption for similar reason (whatever they are).

      • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

        will build RSS plugin in the future.

  • gitgud 7 days ago

    It's interesting that the Slack UI design is becoming so popular. Also the VS Code UI (which is very similar to Slack) is another style growing in popularity... Maybe it's easy to find templates for these styles?

rvz 7 days ago

> Do more with less clutter, fewer clicks, less scroll, fewer tabs, fewer pages, fewer buttons, fewer ads, less mess...

Looks very promising if it is really a native desktop app, but then if it is electron, then that is the equivalent to having a fixed set of Chrome tabs open with an ad-blocker on.

I hope when you say 'native' that this app actually is native, otherwise it will be yet another bloated app to add to my collection of electron apps on my MacBook.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    It's a mix of Electron & native code (Swift). I have done so many optimizations to make it lightweight, smooth and fast. If you have an older Mac, try it on it and see how fast it is. I use Apple Mail app for my emails and for my benchmarks so far, Yack works faster and smoother than Apple Mail.

    Give it a try and don't forget to report back here :)

    • deca6cda37d0 7 days ago

      It's really not. Even on my MacBook Air 2019 loading of the different communities is slow. Feedback for example at least takes 3,4,5 seconds. While Apple Mail is measurable in milliseconds.

      Also when logging into hacker news it's loading an internal web view instead of a popup, a popup safari web view would be better because of password autofill.

    • ngold 7 days ago

      Sweet, great work. Does it work on an ipad3?

      • zapzupnz 6 days ago

        Does anything still work on an iPad 3? I would have thought a lot of newer apps target iOS 10 or higher by now.

7961636B6572 7 days ago

Yack! is a native desktop app built for online communities such as Hacker News, Reddit, YouTube, Indie Hackers and many more.

It has an open source plugin architecture which allows anyone to build a plugin for their favorite communities. If you're interested in helping out, shoot me an email at hello[at]yack.io

Looking forward to your feedback :)

  • dewey 7 days ago

    > is a native desktop

    What does native mean in this context? Looks like Electron from the screenshots.

    • deca6cda37d0 7 days ago

      Its a native cross platform app. Not a native Mac app or Windows app.

      • dewey 7 days ago

        It would be better to say it's a cross-platform app then I think. For me native app means it's a native Mac or Windows app.

        • CathedralBorrow 7 days ago

          I'd guess it's written for the normal person rather than someone who understands that cross-platform means.

  • levidxyz 7 days ago

    As far as I can tell, Indie Hackers doesn't have public apis. Just curious, how are you are gathering posts, etc from IH? Nice work!

    • dewey 7 days ago

      Use the website API?

ghobs91 7 days ago

If anything, the biggest inadvertent feature is that its resemblance to Slack means you can browse those things at work and look like you're being productive.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    it's best when you're working on it :)

pratio 6 days ago

I just tried it and i agree with some of the comments here, not as fast or smooth as a native app should be. Now, as far as I understand HN only has a readonly API but reddit can be made completely native. Apollo for ios is the best example there. Personally, i am tired of electron or the mix of electron and native apps that end up using more and more electron code as they grow.

droptablemain 7 days ago

Mac only? Isn't this built with Electron? Why not have a Linux version?

Or is this just for the cool kids in the exclusive Apple community?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    It's a mix of Electron and native code (Swift). Focusing on perfecting the macOS version for the time being. Will release both for Linux and Windows very soon.

    • Zaskoda 7 days ago

      I will be eagerly awaiting the Linux version. =)

AngryData 6 days ago

Not related to the app, but I really hate the sliding pages website UI. I almost closed the site because I thought it was broken at first. My problem is that I don't have my browser at full screen and it starts flipping pages before I can get to the bottom of the current page. And its not like I just had a little slit of a browser either, it is 2/3 of my screen down and 95% the width. Although the only reason I don't have it smaller now is because all the websites with fucked up banner ads and popups that don't scroll at all.

But my screen is large, I don't want or need my browser to be at full resolution, it shouldn't be assumed that it will be.

dotdi 7 days ago

Let's chant it together: dark theme, dark theme, DARK THEME.

  • anigbrowl 6 days ago

    Ancient legend tells of a time when you could set that sort of thing once at the OS level. It's kinda weird how my most advanced desktop UI experience remains Enlightenment ~0.13 around 1999.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    if this comment gets 200 replies, will stay up all night and release it this morning.

    • uniclaude 7 days ago

      Do it with upvotes instead, or it'll probably trigger some flamewar detector!

    • dotdi 7 days ago

      I conjure you, my HN brothers, reply as thou hast never replied in thine life.

      • smokelegend 7 days ago

        Dark mode is not a option but a feature... or it should be marketed as such...

batiudrami 6 days ago

Looks just like Shift [1] which more-or-less promises the same thing for social media and communication (but is just an Electron skin anyway).

[1] https://tryshift.com/

AlchemistCamp 6 days ago

Building on IH is brave. From what I can tell @csallen is basically constantly changing its core interactions. It went from posting articles to both articles and tweet-like "posts" to just posts.

In fact, just looking at the screenshots now, I can see Yack is showing hash tags which were a highly use feature... but Courtland just ripped them out of the app last week!


jccalhoun 7 days ago

This looks nice but "Many Communities, one UI" just doesn't work for me. The way I use hacker news is different than the way I use youtube. And it is different than how I use reddit.

  • ScottFree 7 days ago

    How do you use HN and Reddit that makes them so dissimilar? From a UI standpoint, not a 'quality of the discussions' standpoint.

    • the_watcher 7 days ago

      There are many posts on Reddit where I don't particularly care about the comments, and others where I'm just looking for a specific answer. In contrast, I'm actually far more likely to open an HN link in the first place if it has some comments.

    • jccalhoun 7 days ago

      Like the_watcher said, a lot of times in reddit I will just look at a pic of a meme or something that isn't pure text. Sometimes it is a discussion post or something where I do read comments but it isn't a discussion of something on another site. On HN, I almost always click to read the article and if it is interesting I will read the discussion on HN. I rarely look at something that isn't primarily text on HN.

wyc 7 days ago

I think the implications of an open source API-only access method for these services are huge for user privacy. Taking reliance off of company-provided JavaScript will result in truer control over what actually gets sent to their servers. Advertising would have to be fought for through client acceptance at the API level. The tradeoff for users is access to new features and accepting more responsibility for upgrading/maintaining the interface.

manbearpiggy 6 days ago

I was thinking recently about video streaming sites. There is only one, really, that creators can use. Youtube creators are very vocal about how frustrating YT is becoming. What if creators could use any video streaming site (vimeo, tiktok, whatever) and a single app or site could bring all this together.

This could be the answer, this could solve the problem of monopolies like YouTube.

guessmyname 7 days ago

> If your work isn't ready for people to try out yet, please don't do a Show HN. Once it's ready, come back and do it then.

> Blog posts, sign-up pages, and fundraisers can't be tried out, so they can't be Show HNs.

Read the “Show HN” rules please: https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Hey, thanks for the heads up. The app is ready and can be downloaded and unlocked via the landing page. It's beta at the moment but is very stable based on the feedback we've received from over 1.5k beta testers.

  • Kiro 7 days ago

    You misunderstand. The rule refers to a sign-up page for something that does not yet exist.

codesushi42 7 days ago

Remember RSS readers?

Pepperidge Farms remembers.

  • drexlspivey 7 days ago

    I use feedly with over 100 feeds and an ifttt hook that saves the article to instapaper when I click 'read later' and it works great.

    • skinnymuch 6 days ago

      Can you see comments with RSS feeds? Also do you pay for Feedly?

      • codesushi42 6 days ago

        Comments are supported in the RSS spec.

        And Feedly is free.

        • skinnymuch 6 days ago

          Feedly isn’t free. Site says basic/free is limited to “100 sources and 3 feeds”. It’s freemium. OP says they have over 100 feeds (which would be sources in this case, no clue what feeds are).

          Sorry, I meant if comments are actually available in a majority or even a strong minority of RSS feeds. Last time I tried them, rarely were comments included. And def not for HN, etc.

and0 7 days ago

I can see some issues with trying to unify disparate communities / features for power users, but I would love a streamlined HN / Reddit comment browser with better nesting that sits on my Mac desktop. Signed up for the beta.

EDIT: Oof, not so interesting in making a profile for it, though.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Will consider making the Yack profile optional. For the beta version it was necessary because the app has a "Feedback" community, which is built on top of Discourse - This is where users provide feedback and report bugs.

    Creating Yack profile automatically creates an account on Yack's Discourse instance but it never associates plugin accounts (hacker news, reddit, etc) with your Yack profile.

hiei 7 days ago

I'd be interested if this were browser based.

nestorherre 7 days ago

Looks good. Please make another Show HN once you release for Windows, will use for sure.

1023bytes 7 days ago

That makes my procrastination so efficient you can't even call it procrastinating

philfrasty 7 days ago

Looks cool! Reminds me of (YCs) Station with a focus on online communities. Hint: Says "0 beta users signed up since August 1st 2019" in the bottom left corner. Maybe refresh the cache?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    thanks for the feedback. Yep, currently looking into the issue. There're over 1.5k beta testers so far.

    Didn't know Station was from YC. Yack is a native app with a custom UI/UX built specifically for browsing online communities. As far as I remember, Station was another wrapper that points to actual websites, no?

erklik 6 days ago

I would suggest optimizing the images, or lazy loading them. I have relatively fast internet but the images were taking a while to load.

I'd also suggest using JPEG 2000 or WebP images, as they can be faster to load.

Considering this is shared here, I am willing to wait but usually I would click out if the images are taking too long to load especially considering that images provide major info in terms of whether I want to use this or not.

eric-hu 6 days ago

Feedback: I jumped at this headline because HN, YouTube and Reddit are the main social media sources I consume now. I left the front page because I tend to browse these more on my phone or iPad. I do browse Reddit on my computer more than on iOS, but only because the Reddit mobile webpage is so terrible.

Wish youR Mac app blows up and you make an iOS app one day.

  • thirdsun 6 days ago

    > I do browse Reddit on my computer more than on iOS, but only because the Reddit mobile webpage is so terrible.

    Have your tried Apollo[0]? It's a much better Reddit experience on iPad or iPhone than their official options, whether it's the website or their app.

    [0] https://apolloapp.io/

    • iaml 6 days ago

      Apollo on ipad is torturous. I use it on mobile, but narwhal blows it out of the water on ipad.

      • thirdsun 5 days ago

        What's the problem on iPad? I used Narwhal briefly, before Apollo, but it never particularly impressed me, though I can't name any specific faults either - maybe the design language, which doesn't feel very native or in line with iOS' overall appearance.

        • iaml 5 days ago

          It's not optimized for tablets, just scaled. Narwhal displays a normal ipad-oriented layout like mail.

    • eric-hu 6 days ago

      Downloading it now to give it a whirl. Thank you for the recommendation!

tekacs 7 days ago

This is really promising and I'm fully set up and using it.

One question I have for the author is about keyboard access - there seem to be no keyboard shortcuts at all right now, or even basic navigation (up/down, etc.)

Is there any timeline on those sorts of things being available (or possible to add with a plugin)? Once those are in place it'll be far more practical for me to use Yack day-to-day...

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    thanks for the feedback. Yes, keyboard shortcuts will be in the next release. It's the highest priority item on the list right now.

vmurthy 6 days ago

A great looking app. Just signed up for Beta :-) Went through the website but couldn't find a piece of info: Keyboard shortcuts (preferably vim-like). Is it already there or something in the works? I've been using a plugin for HN for sometime now and would love the same experience on a desktop client as well.

  • 7961636B6572 6 days ago

    keyboard shortcuts is in the works :)

anigbrowl 6 days ago

Super cool, but why would you limit yourself to mac users even in alpha? Oh well.

Anyway, we need more of this sort of thing. Most social websites only have value as endpoints and relying on their own UI is just a vertical trap. CSS and designers have done huge damage to the web; a lot of the blame lies with marketing departments.

diminoten 7 days ago

I'd love a way to interact with each site using many users. E.g. "Comment" button has a dropdown for all the registered users for that site.

I've found having more purpose-driven usernames for some sites to be helpful, but the burden of switching between those users is immense and doesn't feel great.

ghostbrainalpha 7 days ago

I like it. All of my procrastination sites in one app so my browser history doesn't get cluttered by non work stuff.

One of my biggest fears is when I start to type in a URL during a screen share with a client who's website is REGEX.COM, and they will see my auto fill trying to take us to Reddit.com/SEXY_TOE_PARTY

johndubchak 7 days ago

I love the idea...when is the Linux beta?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Focusing on macOS version and building more plugins at the moment, thinking about Stackoverflow and StackExchange next, but also open to suggestions. Let me know what you think :)

    Linux and Windows support will be added with the final release.

    • O_H_E 7 days ago

      Will be waiting for Linux :D

      PS: you mention Windows in the landing page, but not Linux.

oehtXRwMkIs 7 days ago

I'm guessing this is proprietary? Couldn't find any info about the licensing from the website.

vijaybritto 7 days ago

I would like to know the amount of ram it uses since it's gonna be a long running application

qwerty456127 7 days ago

Looks cool. But it should have a Python API letting you wrte your own source drivers so you could add other blogs.

PS: If only everybody were implementing ATOM and doing it properly - we wouldn't have to implement any site-specific clients then.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    It has plugin architecture that allows anyone to build plugins for Yack. Once out of beta, users will be able to install custom plugins directly from GitHub. Plugins must be written in TypeScript though.

    • qwerty456127 7 days ago

      Great. TypeScript doesn't feel as great for this kind of task (I mean content processing) as Python does but still feels a sufficiently reasonable alternative.

      Will you also release Linux and Windows versions or is it meant to be Mac-only?

      • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

        There'll definitely be Windows and Linux versions, but focusing on the macOS version for the time being.

      • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

        Why do you think Python is better than TypeScript?

        • qwerty456127 7 days ago

          Does TypeScript have BeautifulSoup? TypeScript seems very appealing to me (a C# programmer) but it also seems like Python lets you write more concise text/XML/HTML processing code and already has particularly helpful libraries for this. Also, virtually everybody writes at least some Python which makes it a perfect language for user-developed extensions.

          I don't mean TypeScript is much worse. Python just is the first thing to come to my mind as "right tool for the job" when it's about textual content processing. I'm not saying "please implement Python support instead", I'm just explaining why I've mentioned Python first. TypeScript is great too.

zapzupnz 6 days ago

This was all very cool up until I needed to create a Yack account. Yeah, nah.

tyagis 7 days ago

Do you really need "Beta Signup" at 8 different places on a single webpage? Sounds being a little desperate to me.

Not nit picking here, but may put off some of us with mild OCD. :)

Otherwise, great concept! When are sign-ups for Mac opening?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Hey, thanks for the feedback. Sign-ups are open for macOS. As soon as you sign up, you'll receive an email with the invitation code and download link.

rsashwin 7 days ago

What is your business model?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Hey, thanks for the question. Haven't really thought about monetization yet. Want to focus on building the best desktop experience for online communities. Would love to be able to focus on it full time at some point (would be a dream). Maybe will introduce some paid features in the future, but everything in this version will always stay free.

    • rsashwin 6 days ago

      Ok. I will consider adopting this in my life.

taf2 7 days ago

Feels like multiple tabs in a browser window already solve this - at the UI part... Maybe there is a part of this that allows for easier cross referencing between sites?

NilsIRL 7 days ago

Like always centralization seems nice at first except that it is just not possible to have an app that speaks every API fragmenting the user experience even more.

citilife 7 days ago

I'm sorry, but Why do I need this? This honestly seems harder to have meaningful interactions on the web and likely more difficult to find things.

vinceguidry 7 days ago

Wishful thinking, I'm sure, but I'd love to see Quora support. But that's probably totally unfeasible.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    It's feasible and already thinking about Quora plugin. Yack has an open source plugin architecture. Each community in the app, Hacker News, YouTube, Reddit are a plugin. Once out of beta, users will be able to install custom plugins directly from a GitHub url.

    • vinceguidry 7 days ago

      Godspeed. As far as I've been able to tell Quora is actively hostile to anyone trying to improve the experience of using their site. Drives me bonkers.

cshg 7 days ago

Why does it look so much like Slack? :D

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    you can use it at work all day and look productive :P

TomatoTomato 7 days ago

Is there any support for extensions like Reddit Enhancement Suite?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    No, Yack is not a full blown browser. It's a community app, but will support almost all features RES does out of the box. It already supports multiple accounts across all networks. Few things on the roadmap:

    Keyboard Shortcuts Dark Theme Notifications Chat Curated Feeds (Curating posts across multiple networks into a single feed) Plugins for Stackoverflow & StackExchange.

sylvanaar 6 days ago

All I get is a 404 from the download link.

baalimago 6 days ago

How is this different from using a browser?

  • 7961636B6572 6 days ago

    Good question. Yack started out as a native macOS app for Reddit. As I was working on it, I realized most communities are the same, but provide different and somewhat clunky (especially on desktop) experience.

    This lead me into building an open source plugin architecture which allows anyone to bring their favorite communities to Yack.

    Plugin architecture, with the help of some really talented engineers helped me quickly build plugins for my favorite communities (Reddit, YouTube, Indie Hackers and Hacker News).

    As to answer your question, same argument can be made against Apple's Mail app (which has been a big inspiration for designing Yack). People have multiple email accounts, imagine they all had different UI and you had to have multiple tabs open at all times, switching back and forth, each with different UI/UX. That would suck. Even with a single email address, lots of people, including myself use Apple Mail instead of Gmail's website.

    I'm a member of multiple Slack teams, it would suck if each looked different and provided different experience and I'd have to use a web browser to talk to my coworkers. Do you think Slack would take off if it was just a website and didn't provide a desktop experience?

    Yack! combines multiple communities into a single, unified desktop experience and takes full advantage of the desktop platform, including native OS level notifications, keyboard shortcuts, and many more.

ceezuns 5 days ago

A version for Linux would be nice.

fastflo 7 days ago

this "desktop app" somehow doesn't want to run on my linux desktop?

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Focusing on the macOS version for the time being, but will release for Linux & Windows very soon.

julienkervizic 7 days ago

great idea, definitely seems like something I would use.

  • johnmichaels 7 days ago

    Completely agree julien kervizic, it does seems like something that any devout hackernews reader could use.

    • fossuser 7 days ago

      Something is weird with all these new accounts with few comments on this thread supporting this.

      Are you using a bunch of secondary accounts just to comment on your post?

      • elwell 7 days ago

        I have my tinfoil hat on as well.

maximp 7 days ago

Sweet idea! Looking forward to trying this out.

  • 7961636B6572 7 days ago

    Thanks. Don't forget to report back here :)

katttrrr 7 days ago

Looks incredible!

  • johnmichaels 7 days ago

    Agree, Kat, the interface reminds me a bit of slack and having it as a desktop app makes it quite easy to browse when you have a couple of minutes of free time.

robdachshund 7 days ago

I really like the idea, but are you going to port it to windows or browsers?

alpha0mega 7 days ago

Looks neat, will be helpful to have something for linux as well

shomyo 6 days ago

>Yack! is a native desktop app


Another electron wrapper for some website.

Wow! Very cool. (No)

zbushqa 7 days ago

Sweet! Pretty good idea.

  • foobar_ 7 days ago

    You created an account to post this comment, how incredibly noble of you.

    • recov 6 days ago

      Most people create an account to post a comment

awaisraad 3 days ago

You broke my heart with Mac only. I won't forgive you.