[sclug] Using a Wiki to store bookmarks

ed ed at s5h.net
Fri Jan 25 19:23:53 UTC 2008

Spencer Collyer wrote:
> Hi,
> I've got a slightly-left-field usage of a wiki planned, and I'm wondering if anyone could recommend a good one to use to implement it.
> Basically, I want to store my web browser bookmarks in a wiki. This makes more sense to me than having them on a menu, for a couple of reasons.
> Firstly, I use several computers around the house - one in the office, and a couple of laptops - so having one central repository for my bookmarks makes sense. I don't see any point using one of the online bookmark repositories, as I've no interest in sharing them.
> Secondly, I have a *lot* of bookmarks, and have them heavily categorised on my bookmark menu, so sometimes I have to go down three or four menu levels to get to the category I want. This is fine if it's just one bookmark from that submenu, but gets annoying if (as often happens) I'm working my way through a load of pages on the same or related menus, so having them all on a tab I keep permanently open would make a lot of sense.
> Thirdly, if they are on a web page, I can easily add comments alongside the actual links, just as a quick reminder if I need one of what the page is about and so on.
> In order to make this easier, I have a couple of requirements.
> 1) I want to be able to easily convert my bookmarks into a set of pages (one per sub-menu) that I can easily load into the wiki. To do this I'll probably write a Perl script to parse the bookmarks.html file and generate a set of wiki pages ready to be used. So ideally it would be easy to get the Wiki to accept externally generated content like this.

I think, because things change with the wiki backed, that it's easiest
to use WWW::Mechanize to publish the data using a web browser style
interface to the pages.

Once upon a time I tried a few things to create pages via the Mediawiki
database, but gave up as I was missing something somewhere and decided
that I was going about it the wrong way. It's probably easier to use the
web pages to create items. We know what the format is going to be like,
so why duplicate efforts?

> 2) I want to be able to write a Firefox extension that will allow me to emulate the current 'bookmark page' functionality, but store the bookmark in the appropriate wiki page. I'm probablygoing to need an API that external programs can use for this, or some other way to get externally-generated changes into the wiki? I know I can cut'n'paste the bookmark, but it would be nicer if it could be done by emulating current bookmarking.

I really don't know much at all about extensions for firefox. What I can
tell you however is that I've moved completely away from firefox because
it's just too slow now as a browser. Iceape is the way forward for me.

This sort of extension would have to either contact the wiki
pages/database once or on N minutes to obtain a (extensive) database of
your links.

If this happens just by category it might be ok, e.g. getting the root
categories only, and then each submenu as required. This could create a
bit of network latency for you, I don't know.

There is an alternative solution that I've seen for firefox that syncs
bookmarks with a FTP server of your choice. I'm not certain of it's
concurrency, e.g. if two people (A and B) are sharing the same bookmarks
and A and B update at the same time etc, it's probably last write wins.

> Thanks in advance for your attention.
> Spencer Collyer

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