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Hacker News mobile web app

Note: If you think this README is lame, try this awesome landing page.

This is one of my silly mini-projects. I create this initially to try out iOS 5 Mobile Safari's new -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch CSS support. I need some sort of content for scrolling, so why not Hacker News' stories? I'm also trying something called Fake it 'til you make it which I make the web app looks (and feels) like a native mobile app. In this case, like a native iOS app.

As I continue developing this app, it turns out pretty good. Currently it has very basic features:

  • View 'front page' stories from Hacker News.
  • View individual story with all its comments, threaded.

Here are some screenshots. Click to see them in their full retina glory.

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 1

More recent screenshots can be viewed on the landing page.

Also, read my two-part blog post on how I built this web app:

Technical stuff

This mobile web app primarily works on iOS 5 Mobile Safari. It uses these wonderful scripts:

Also uses the unofficial Hacker News API, open-sourced.

More technical stuff

Running a local server

git clone
cd hnmobile
node server.js -noappcache

The -noappcache argument is to prevent browsers from caching everything in the Application Cache.

Changes to scripts

If there are changes in the /js folder, run this to regenerate scripts.js (skip the npm install if uglify-js is already installed):

npm install uglify-js
node make-scripts.js

Changes to templates

If there are changes in the /templates folder, run this to regenerate templates.js (skip the npm install if uglify-js and hogan.js are already installed):

npm install uglify-js
npm install git://
node make-templates.js

Contributing and Feedback

Feel free to fork, file some issues or tweet your feedback to me.

Do check out these awesome contributions as well:

Other platforms?

The current focus is iOS. I have plans to make this app look native on other mobile platforms once I fork our some money and get my hands on a number of non-iOS devices (Android, Windows Phone, etc) for development and testing. Contact me if you feel generous enough to donate some devices to me :)


Licensed under the MIT License.

Other similar apps

This is the not the first third-party app for Hacker News. Others have tried doing the same thing, despite some slight differences. I've compiled a list of apps here.

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