How can I save a topic for offline access/archive purpose?

I’m using other forums which based on Discourse and some of them have great discussion that I want to save/archive for future reference.

I can think of 1 way: start at the first discussion, scroll all the way back to the last messages, then save the page. But it’s very time consuming and not efficient. Especially when there are more discussion to come after my save, I have to repeat the whole process again.

Is there anyway I can do using Linux command line? Or is there any tool that is useful for this purpose?

Thank you very much. I’d appreciate your suggestion.

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Discourse has a good print stylesheet for topics. Use a browser or extension that can print to a PDF.

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Cmd+P in Chrome works perfectly for me

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Does that work for long Topics? I get about 5-10 pages that look great and the rest are blank; I tried this on several long topics.

works great for a very long topic. I can archive a 100-page topic.

OK let’s use this topic for example:

When I Print to PDF with Chrome, i get this output, which omits much of the original discussion. What do you get?

Topic List Previews - plugin - Discourse Meta.pdf (2.5 MB)

Here is another way to do this for Discourse and just about any other webpage:

Also available for Chrome. It takes a complete webpage as it currently appears in the browser and saves it as an HTML file with all images and other static content preserved.

To view the archive, you just open up the HTML file from your computer in a web browser.

That’s very unlikely to work with Discourse, because the page dynamically loads as you scroll down and we unload earlier content, all via JavaScript.

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This by itself would not be a problem, because the Save Page WE extension captures the current state of the DOM…

…but this will cause an incomplete archive, yes.

Ctrl+P is not working for me either, I get one cut-off reply on the first page and a blank second page. Given the JS-scroll behavior I think this wouldn’t work either.

I also tried loading a thread with JavaScript disabled. This gives a very simplified display with 20 posts shown.

Did you try using Cmd+P or Ctrl+P?

With the print shortcut, Discourse switches to a printer friendly version of the style sheet, shows you a preview and then opens up the print dialog.

Other way you can see it in action is by just appending “print” to the end of the topic URL. And then printing it the way you want. When I do this in Safari on my iPad for the topic you shared, it shows me a preview of a 115-page PDF in a printer friendly format.

Well that is interesting

Yes I was using Cmd-P; that brings up the same dialog as your “/print” suggestion.

What is interesting though is I was not waiting for the full preview to load until I proceeded to print to PDF. That seems to be why I got an incomplete 7-page / 2Mb report.

On Chrome with my iMac and 32Gb RAM, it eventually fails with this message:

But on my Mac Pro with 128Gb RAM, if I am patient the full 101 page / 42 Mb printout appears and is beautiful:

So yes, you are right that you can print from PDF with Chrome - but on long threads, it is resource intensive. I am surprised that on the 32Gb Mac it just fails rather than swapping to disk and finishing the job.

I am pretty sure it is not resource intensive. I have had no trouble loading the previews in machines with RAM as low as 4GB, including the iPad I mentioned which is the cheapest of them all. It may be something to do with your browser configuration or some extensions you may be using. But I will let you figure that out.

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That is possible -I do have a bunch of windows open and quite a few extensions.

Thanks for the suggestions

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I’m just curious but when I open that page on iPhone and use Print function of Safari, it just shows 8 pages. I also tested on my iPad but it only shows 9 pages.

Could you please show me the steps you took to get a preview of that 115-page PDF? I just want to learn if I miss something.

Tested devices & softwares:

  • iPad 5, iOS version 12.1.4
  • iPhone 7, iOS version 12.1.4
  • Safari, Chrome for iOS

Here: https://share.icloud.com/photos/04yLel9GILJ3SwdaGAdt32Pfw

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I see. I have to add /print at the end of URL or else it won’t work

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