About external improvements

Do you know Outline?

Lately, I started using it to skip over so called soft paywalls. It works most of the times.

But today, unexpectedly, it resuscitated dead content too!

Look at the following snapshot of a passage in an interesting article about software architecture with microservices:

https://segment.com/blog/goodbye-microservices/

Look at how the second paragraph ends: “A sample payload looks like the following:” and how the next paragraph begins: “As events were consumed from the queue,“. Something is clearly missing. Where is the payload sample? Nowhere to be found.

Completely unrelated to that issue, I decided to open the page in outline, because I remembered I had seen it was possible to add annotations to transformed pages.

To open a page in Outline is extremely simple, just prefix its full URL with “https://outline.com/” and the service will present to you the transformed page at that URL.

What a surprise when I scrolled through the same passage and saw this:

https://outline.com/asskU

For some reason, Outline was able to resuscitate the dead content, but it got the section title wrong. (sigh, a minor drawback).

Do you know the Web Archive?

I researched a bit in its captures of the microservices article (almost 200, as of today) and found out that the payload content died between the 28th of March 2020 and the 23rd of April 2020, as yo can see from these captures:

28 March 2020

https://web.archive.org/web/20200328190530/https://segment.com/blog/goodbye-microservices/

23 April 2020

https://web.archive.org/web/20200423005607/https://segment.com/blog/goodbye-microservices/

But, wait a moment. Look at the section title in the capture of the 28th of March: “Why Microservices work worked”. Outline’s error seems so much minor now. So much so that the original page got it wrong too.

Do you know Hypothes.is?

I was going to end this article with a link to the Outline page with my worthy annotations, but it turns out that Outline URLs are broken, apparently. This page https://outline.com/asskU doesn’t work today.

However, the annotation service is provided by Hypothes.is. If you have Google Chrome, you can install their excellent browser extension, and navigate to the “official” Segment article to see my annotations, and add yours, if you like.

My annotation is here

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