Wednesday, 9 January 2019

New website monitor / archive utility for Mac arrives at full stable release and is still free

Watchman is an easy-to-use website monitoring / archiving utility.

You can use it to watch a single page, a part of a website or a whole website. It can run on schedule (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly) and alert you to the changes you're interested in, which could be visible text, source, resources appearing on the page, its status, or you can simply leave it to archive all changes to all files. You can set up multiple website configurations, each with their own schedule. It uses the system's launchd, meaning that Watchman doesn't have to be left running, it'll just start as needed.

Watchman uses the same fast, efficient crawling engine as Scrutiny and Integrity, which has been developed over 12 years and offers a huge amount of configuration and tuning. This is coupled with a new web archive format.



Its web archive format can store changes like a Time Machine backup. You can view any page as it appeared on a certain date. When you do so, you're viewing a 'living' version of the page, with its css and javascript running as it was at the time, not a simple screenshot. You can of course export a version of a page as an image, or as a collection of all the files under their original filenames, as they were on that date. You can switch between versions of a page to compare them.

It's a desktop app running on your own Mac, so you own your own data.

It's early days, there are many more features in the pipeline, but for now it's stable and doing invaluable work. And version 1.x is free to download and use. (The next major version may not be free, or may be 'freemium' but the current version will continue to work and remain free.)

I've been flagging the release of Watchman for a while, it's been a long time since I've been so excited about a new project and I believe it'll become a more important title for us than Scrutiny.

https://peacockmedia.software/mac/watchman

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