Etherpad Prototype

Etherpad Prototype

Overview’s Etherpad Prototype uses the web monetization API. This technology uses a browser extension to make micropayments to an online service provider. This allows that service provider to become free from advertising revenue, as the micropayments pay for the service. 

This exciting innovation allows you to create a Permanent account, use Etherpad, and store your pad automatically to Permanent, all without ever giving your credit card information to Permanent.

An active Coil account and browser extension are required for the Permanent Etherpad Prototype to sync to a Permanent account.

Install Coil Extension

The main web monetization provider is Coil. To use the Coil extension costs $5 a month. That subscription can be cancelled at any time. Visit to find the correct extension for your browser. For instance, here is the Google Chrome extension.  

Create a Staging Account

Now that you have your Coil extension set up, let’s try out the prototype! We are hosting the prototype on Permanent’s staging platform. This is a copy of our existing website where we try out new features and bugfixes. Navigate to in your web browser to set up an account on our staging server.

Note that an account created on our staging server will be distinct from any existing Permanent account created at Permanent’s staging instance is not the same as Your staging account and any contents of an archive on the staging server will not be saved permanently. You should not upload anything to Permanent’s staging instance that you don’t want to lose. 

Create a Pad

Once you set up a staging account and have your Coil extension installed, you’re ready to try out Etherpad! Next navigate to, and you should be greeted with this screen. 

Go ahead and enter a name for your pad and click “OK.” You should now be greeted by your brand new pad. 

Enable Syncing

You’ll notice in the top right corner there are several buttons. These buttons are the management controls for Etherpad, and they tell you a lot of useful information. 

If you click the leftmost button, you’ll get a dropdown menu for importing and exporting pads that contains Permanent’s Etherpad integration. 

Clicking “Enable” under the logo will make your pad save to your Permanent archive after successive edits to the pad. You must click enable on each individual pad you create to save it to your Permanent archive. 

Your monthly subscription rate with Coil does not depend on how many etherpad versions you save to Permanent. You will never be charged more than $5 per month from Coil. This works out because Etherpad files are extremely small.

Finding Your Saved Etherpad Documents

Once you’ve enabled syncing, navigate back to your Permanent archive at You’ll notice a new “Etherpad” button on the left side of your archive. Clicking that button will bring you to your saved pads. 

Every time you make a change to your pad, the revised document will appear in your Permanent archive. This means that each set of revisions will save an additional document in your Archive. These documents will save as simple text documents with a format of “document_title.rX,” where “r” stands for revision and “X” is a number associated with the revision. The higher the number, the newer the synced document will be. 

That concludes this Etherpad Prototype How-To. If you have any questions or thoughts on Permanent’s Etherpad Integration, please email We hope you enjoy using it, and we look forward to integrating Etherpad into Permanent’s main website. 
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