The timeless modern web experience (minus the creepy parts)

../ r

2022-05-20

Note that these projects are intended for viewing content, not so much for active participation. You do not need to run javascript to use either of these.

A friend of mine raised a good point regarding the open sea which is the internet and its various corporate enclaves. "I may not like what they do, but I'd still very much like to know what they do so that I may know where they'll strike next."

Similarly to my short guide on the luakit browser, I will not play the part of a privacy advocate. While the primary reason why you should know about the following projects is undoubtably concerning your privacy, there are other more practical cases.

Maybe you do find some malevolence in the fact that someone is still attempting to construct your perfect copy that may be studied in an effort to serve you tailor-made content despite you refusing such services, but maybe, in a much less tinfoil-hatty approach, you'd simply like to view someone's tweet without the need to register an account of your own or visit a reddit thread without downloading half the internet. Or you're like me and watching a video on youtube sends you down its algorhytmic spiral - once you finish watching the sixth recommended video that you don't really know why you watched, you don't even remember what you were watching in the first place.

I write this from the perspective of an old tech enthusiast who refuses to be 'gatekept' by awful internet practices, dopamine overloading web design and blatant disregard of basic functionality.

The fundamental purpose of the internet is to serve text. Someone should inform its new generation of architects.

teddit.net | old.reddit sucks

Disregarding the culture of reddit itself, its not-so-recent reimagining of what the user experience should be clearly sent a message to its authors, since old.reddit.com still exists and does everything the new one can, while retaining the vastly superior user experience and simple web design. Alas, the only reason you should be using old.reddit is if you have an account of your own which you use to post. For everything else there is teddit.net.

teddit is an opensource project that works as a front-end to reddit. What it does is serve you reddit content without the need to use reddit whatsoever. But it is not just a reddit browser! It can locally store your subscribed subreddits so that you may customize what is shown to you.

The beauty of its simplicity is in the method by which you can now access reddit content. Say that you find a reddit link that you would very much like to open. Take the link that will look a little something like:

https://reddit.com/somestuff

and change the address to look like this:

https://teddit.net/somestuff

You're changing 4 letters to get a javascript free, tracker free, poor-ui free reddit experience. Now that's not a whole lot of work for such a trade off, if you ask me.

A pattern emerges which makes all the services I mention here extremely handy and easy to use.

nitter.net | twitter

To keep things short - nitter.net does very much the same things teddit does, only for twitter. Want to visit a twitter link? Change the twitter.com/ part of the URL to nitter.net/. Use it for profiles of your favorite tweeters, use it for direct links that your local news station posted as a source of their recent claims, use it to read replies to a tweet that would otherwise be accessible to you only if you had a twitter account, use it to not use twitter.

invidious.io | youtube

The best for last? invidious is THE front end to youtube. Not only can you safely watch any link to a youtube video you come across, you can create an account and subscribe to your favorite creators. invidious is highly customizable and will offer you the perfect blend of functionality and distraction free experience. No algorhytms here mean the related videos will stay related to the video you're watching. There are a bunch of other useful tools invidious offers, but I leave that to you to discover.

Unlike nitter and teddit, invidious is a project that exists in many independent instances, hosted by freedom enthusiasts. You could host your own or pick one of the many from the officially curated list(see Resources below).

Just to make things clear - you have a youtube link:

https://youtu.be/watchAVIDEO

replace the youtube part with the instance of your choosing. ie:

https://yewtu.be/watchAVIDEO

Bonus points

If you're like me, either a degenerate or a minimalist, you will appreciate that these projects are the perfect matches for text browsers such as my all time favorite links. Happy browsing, dear reader.

Resources

triapul.cz