Disclaimer: I am the author of WebScrapBook and ScrapBook X.
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 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:
- It tends to be larger in size and loads slower due to the nature of data URI.
- 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).
- 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 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:
- Firefox Desktop only and no cross-platform support.
- The collaborating backend server is local only and isn't ready for remote hosting yet.
- Capture functionality is rather basic. Many pages just cannot be captured faithfully.
- 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 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.