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The last Firefox (Quantum) could not maintain back-compatibility for some add-ons (to understand the reason, see an explanation, but it's not needed for answering the question).

The Scrapbook extension was one of the add-ons to go. And as it appear, it won't come back any time soon.

For those who didn't know the extension, it was basically a way of saving web-pages or scraps of them. You got a left column with a list of scraps (similar to a list of bookmarks), that you could navigate through offline, and also annotate them. You could highlight parts of the scraps. That is, it was like taking notes of bits of information that you were reading online, and you could work further on them. Besides annotating, you could also organize them in folders, change names easily, delete bits of them.

Anyway, is there any software, not necessarily as an Firefox extension, that could provide the same functionality?

Maybe it would be even better to get a tool that's independent of any browser.

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Pierre, I am not sure if your question still stays. For Firefox 60 and later there is an add-on called ScrapBee that provides pretty much the same functionality like the Scrapbook add-on and has a similar sidebar and search functionality in contrast to the WebScrapBook add-on that works differently. The ScrapBee add-on supports multiple RDF files, and the RDF file containing your data from the Scrapbook add-on could be one of them. It works great for me on Firefox 60.5.1esr with my data build by the Scrapbook add-on. If you face difficulties with the setup, take a look at the documentation. Good Luck!

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  • This one seems serious, but incomplete. Scrapbook had more functions for deleting parts of saved page, disabling js, text highlighting. – Pierre B Feb 23 '19 at 0:07
  • I don't think there is software that is 100% equivalent to Scrapbook at the moment, or at least I haven't found anything publicly available that is closer than this add-on. If the missed features are really important for you, you could challenge the add-on author to implement them for you. Alternatively, you can hire someone to build an add-on for you from the scratch. I am not the author, neither related to them, neither a candidate for building add-ons. I just want to bring some ideas hoping they could be of help. – Alex Feb 28 '19 at 0:36
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Disclaimer: I am the author of WebScrapBook and ScrapBook X.

WebScrapBook

WebScrapBook is the successor of ScrapBook X, which is a legacy Firefox add-on that has implemented lots of improvements over legacy ScrapBook.

Due to the limitation of the WebExtension framework, some features like organizing captured pages, highlighting, and taking notes requires a collaborating backend server, which can be set up using PyWebScrapBook. PyWebScrapBook is feature rich and has implemented most essential features for remote hosting, such as SSL, HTTP authorization, CSRF protection, reverse proxy support, and can host multiple scrapbooks in a single server app.

Scraps from legacy ScrapBook can be imported into WebScrapBook. However, new pages captured from WebScrapBook cannot be directly used in legacy ScrapBook.

WebScrapBook also implemented several improvements, such as better multi-scrapbook support, and MAFF archive support, etc. A quick summary is available here.

The main target of WebScrapBook is to be a cross-platform, remote and mobile accessible, faithful, flexible, and reusable web page capturing and note taking tool. You can visit the documentation wiki for a quick start.

Porting ScrapBook to WebExtension is a very large work. The development of WebScrapBook has been 3 years and there are still many features of legacy ScrapBook that are not yet implemented. But we've already implemented most key features as well as many improvements, and are still proceeding.

Here is a review of several similar tools, and my personal comments about them:

SingleFile

SingleFile is a cross-platform browser extension for web page capture. The key difference from WebScrapBook is that it captures a web page into a single HTML file rather than a folder of files. The faithfulness of a captured page is very good and comparable with WebScrapBook (there are margin cases that it works better than and worse than WebScrapBook, respectively). SingleFile can optionally add highlights and annotations before a capture.

SingleFile also implements many good features such as auto capture, multi-profile support and site-specific capture configs, and saving captured data to Google Drive, etc.

WebScrapBook also supports saving page into a single HTML file, but not primarily, due to it's limitations by nature:

  1. It tends to be larger in size and loads slower due to the nature of data URI.
  2. It cannot preserve certain complicated data structure, and it's almost impossible to store multiple pages in a single HTML (e.g. in-depth capture of legacy ScrapBook).
  3. Saved resources cannot be easily extracted and reused as they are embedded in the HTML file.

For that, SingleFile has implemented many fancy modern techniques to reduce page size, and, as a result, the original page may be slightly altered. Additionally, a web page captured by SingleFile may be largely broken in an older browser, even if which works fine with the original version.

Additionally, SingleFile does not implement a mechanism to search and organize captured pages, and captured pages cannot be edited and saved again.

Save Page WE

Save Page WE is also a cross-platform browser extension that saves web page in a single HTML file. It provides a nice review of all saved resources, otherwise most of its features are generally covered by SingleFile. Also, its source code repository is not open.

MaoXian Web Clipper

MaoXian Web Clipper is also a cross-platform web page capturing tool. It captures web pages into files structurally, in a very different way from legacy ScrapBook, in the download folder. It also provides a mechanism to review them via the download history, and can optionally merge history with the help of an assistant app.

It seems to focus more on clipping part of a page than saving an entire page. It also supports saving a web page into markdown format.

There's no support for page organizing, page highlight and annotation, fulltext search, and remote access, however.

ScrapBee

ScrapBee is a Firefox add-on that aims to support accessing legacy ScrapBook data. A legacy ScrapBook folder can be accessed by ScrapBee and vise versa. It requires installation of a collaborating native server app to work. Features like web page capturing, page organizing, page highlight and annotation, and fulltext search are implemented.

There are cons, however:

  1. Firefox Desktop only and no cross-platform support.
  2. The collaborating backend server is local only and isn't ready for remote hosting yet.
  3. Capture functionality is rather basic. Many pages just cannot be captured faithfully.
  4. Non-open source. At the time of writing, its source repository isn't updated in sync with the published Firefox add-on. The source code of the latest version of its local backend application is therefore non-public and security unconfirmed.

ScrapYard

ScrapYard is a Firefox add-on that captures a web page into local browser storage. It also provides bookmark integration.

For a browser-extension-only approach, ScrapYard is probably the one that most resembles legacy ScrapBook in the view of page capturing, organizing, and note taking.

Its code is based on ScrapBee and its capture functionality is similarly limited.

Note, however, local browser storage is quite different from filesystem. There are many limitation for browser storage, and its safety and reliability still awaits for prove. Be sure to confirm its export/import functionality before using it in production.

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I too enjoyed the Scrapbook add-on for many years. I am now using OneNote 2016 as a replacement. Onenote 2016 does most of the things I relied on Scrapbook to do. It is available as an add-on for the major browsers but, what I like the most is the standalone version.

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Scrapyard is aimed to be a usable ScrapBook alternative for Firefox Quantum which does not depend on external helper applications. It has number of great additional features, such as Firefox bookmark integration, cloud bookmarking or markdown/org-mode formatted bookmark/archive notes. Please, give it a try.

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