Hacker News API

Today we’re excited to launch an official Hacker News API. We’ve partnered up with Firebase (YC S11) so that the data we’re making available will be near real time, which should be a huge improvement for developers who had to rely on scraping the site for this info.

The API is available at https://hacker-news.firebaseio.com/ with some initial documentation and a few examples written by our own Nick Sivo on the Hacker News Github account. Currently, it’s read only, but we hope to improve it over time and may later enable access to private per-user data using OAuth.

Most importantly, the reason we released an API is so that we can start modernizing the markup on Hacker News. Because there are a lot of apps and projects out there that rely on scraping the site to access the data inside it, we decided it would be best to release a proper API and give everyone time to convert their code before we launch any new HTML. 

Our goal is to switch to a new rendering engine (still powered by Arc) in three weeks (Oct 28). This new markup will allow us to iterate faster on the frontend and finally make Hacker News mobile optimized.

This is one of the reasons why we chose to partner with Firebase. In addition to giving developers near real-time access to our data, we got out of the box well designed, easy to use SDKs for iOS, Android and the Web, in addition to a REST API for developers building server apps. It should hopefully make switching your apps fairly painless.

Many thanks to the YC Software Team for making this happen (specifically kogir, dang and sctb). If you have any questions or feedback about the API, you can send them over to api@ycombinator.com.

New Y Combinator Website

Our website got a facelift.

The content is pretty much the same. Since the old site was mostly text, I did my best to just make that text easier to digest and hopefully entice people to get through more of it. A lot of the best content on the site like What Happens at Y Combinator and How to Apply Successfully went largely unread because a number of people were either intimidated by the wall of text or didn't have the patience to read through it.

The new site is responsive, but if you're viewing it on a mobile phone right now, I want you to know my favorite way to go through it is on a  large monitor. For posterity, we preserved the old version of the site at http://old.ycombinator.com. If what you see makes you worried for Hacker News, I want you to know that I have very different design goals for HN

Many thanks to Nick Sivo for helping me dig through the server to find everything I need. We're still making tweaks and changes, so if you have feedback on things you think we should improve, please let us know!