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Website Opener

23 May 2012

Dear friend,

We read a lot of documents coming from the World Wide Web, and we sometimes save entire web sites to our hard disks. This will keep us, Sainte-Force people, from whining when the Internet will come to an end : our documentation will still be with us, far away from the impermanent nature of the web. To copy whole web sites to my computer, I either use wget or Site Sucker.

The problem is that when your copy is done, you are left with only a plain folder containing many files. Whenever you want to read the web site, you must :

  • find the folder, which doesn't differ from other folders;
  • and find the index.html, which is surrounded with other files that also look the same.

This lengthy operation isn't respectful of a modern knight, who deserves a one-click operation to access his precious readings. The Sainte-Force has heard you ! You can now use Website Opener (Mac OS X 10.6+). This little application will open any website, provided that :

  • this website is enclosed in a folder whose extension is .website;
  • and a file with a name like index.html is enclosed in this very folder.

Let's see what happens after you just download some website, say Wikipedia. You get a folder called Wikipedia, with some files in it, and particularly a index.html. If your Website Opener is in your Applications folder, then you just have to rename the folder Wikipedia to Wikipedia.website, and the icon changes, indicating that your plain and dull folder is now a pimped website !

A boring folder containing hundreds of HTML files (on the left) can turn into a pretty thing (on the right) that will open your saved website if you double-click on it.
A boring folder containing hundreds of HTML files (on the left) can turn into a pretty thing (on the right) that will open your saved website if you double-click on it.

Just double-click it and the site is opened in your favorite browser. If you want to change the favorite browser, just open the Website Opener application and use the Preferences menu.

Take care, it has only been tested on Lion. Tell me if something goes wrong.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Hubert Sainte-Force