Omnibear Browser Extension Post - 08Apr2019

I'm creating this post while reading a Hacker News thread from last month that pointed to an article where the author clamored for an alternative web, whatever that means.

Creating lightweight personal websites that can be read with text-based web browsers, such as Lynx, links, and w3m is a glorious web that's an alternative to the bloated web, produced by media orgs.

While reading the HN thread, I launched the IndieWeb-compatible Omnibear web browser extension that I have installed in the Chrome web browser.

I logged into Omnibear months ago via IndieAuth. Omnibear is a Micropub client, and my code that creates and updates content at supports Micropub on the server.

With Omnibear, I can create new posts, like I'm doing here, and I can create reply posts for the websites that I'm reading at the time that I launch Omnibear.

When it's a reply post, Omnibear makes the Micropub post to my code with additional info about the post being a reply. Then my code at sends a Webmention to the website that I'm replying to.

It's multiple moving parts, but it's drop-dead simple when the parts are working. If the site that I'm replying to supports receiving Webmentions, then using a Micropub client, such as Omnibear or an IndieWeb-compatible feed reader, makes it easy to reply to the content that I'm reading.

HN thread

Comment from that thread:

One of the worst mistakes that the original web made was getting rid of the editing component in the early stages ...

HN reply to that comment:

The editing component died out well before that. The original WWW browser was bi-directional: it was as easy to publish or edit sites as it was to view them (much like Wikis are today, but with a WYSIWYG editor). Even up through about 1998 Netscape shipped with Composer, which made it relatively easy to generate & publish HTML without knowing much about technology.

If CMS apps supported Micropub, then it would be easy to create new posts and replies via a browser extension, like Omnibear or a web-based or native editor.

It's not quite what the original web browser from CERN did, but the Omnibear extension gives me something.

I prefer to type raw markup, such as Markdown or Textile, to format my pages. I don't need a WYSIWYG editor, although most writers would want something nicer.

If social media silo users mainly produce short, simple text posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, then an Omnibear browser extension with no fancy editor functions would be okay. It would allow users to create quick posts that could be syndicated to some social media places, such as Twitter via

I'll syndicate this post to my test Twitter account that I only use to test IndieWeb functions.

This is a longish post for Omnibear, which provides a small textarea-like box, only about five lines tall. It's meant for short posts.

Omnibear, Micropub, and the Webmention support other types of posts, besides articles and notes. Webmentions can be replies, bookmarks, likes, reposts, and maybe more.

Even emojis can be added, although I don't think my code supports them. And my code only handles replies. I'm not a fan of the "like" anywhere.

This is the end of this post. Hopefully it works.


Everything worked. The post got created here at, and my code made a Webmention post to, which forwarded it on to my test Twitter account. My tweet indirectly created with the Omnibear web browser extension.

Excellent. Thanks to Keith Grant who created Omnibear and thanks to everyone who has contributed to the principles of the IndieWeb.

It's amazing how often that I read complaints by geeks about something open web-related, and the IndieWeb has the solutions.