Announcement: Niwt (Nifty Integrated Web Tools)

Alright, I’ve been working my ass off lately on this project, which I haven’t wanted to say a lot about until i had something reasonable to show for it. I now feel that I’ve reached this point (barely, and depending on your point of view).

Niwt is a project that aims to (eventually) reproduce most of the functionality of GNU Wget (and some additional), but with a radically different design philosophy—namely, that it is built entirely around Unix pipelines, and facilities to easily swap out or extend every existing piece of functionality with an alternative (or additional) program that offers equivalent (or improved) functionality. It is expected that this will result in a big trade-off between, the relative efficiency, lower resource consumption, and portability to other systems that Wget enjoys (which Niwt will certainly not), versus extreme and relatively easy customization. If a highly customizable tool is what you need, Niwt may (when it’s finished) fit your needs; if efficiency and general leanness are what is called for, it most likely will not.

In terms of functionality, Niwt has virtually nothing to offer at the moment. It can download files. It doesn’t have Wget’s automatic connection recovery (yet), nor does it have timestamping or recursion (yet). The point of this pre-pre-pre-prerelease is not to demonstrate what Niwt does, but what it could eventually do, and how it will allow you to do it. Every bit of Niwt’s operation is open and transparent to the user, and modifiable in every way.

To find out more about this project, please visit, and especially to get an idea of how it works (though that page is best enjoyed with your copy of niwt already installed, which you can get from

I’ve set up an IRC channel, #niwt @, where I’ll try to be available when I can, and a users’ discussion mailing list at .

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Niwt’s source code is free and open source software, and is available under the MIT (simple BSD-style) license.