Online bookmarks with sharing option (SiteBar)

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brablc
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Online bookmarks with sharing option (SiteBar)

Post by brablc »

This is a fork of the original topic: <a href='http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=30840'>Extension request: Online bookmarks.html</a>.

While the original topic is now devoted to a simple extension for online storage of bookmarks.html (see the initial post on this topic), this topic is about an application for online storage of bookmarks with <b>sharing</b> possibility and seemless integration to Mozilla Firebird.

Currently we have one candidate for this task in beta phase: <a href='http://links.mozdev.org/'>WebLinks</a> frontend + <a href='http://www.sitebar.org'>SiteBar</a> bookmark server backend.

Bookmarks server is runnning on: http://brablc.com/sitebar/
Experimental version of WebLinks can be downloaded here: http://brablc.com/download.php?filename=weblinks.xpi

=== 2004-05-02 ===
Please read more recent posts. We have new SiteBar sidebar extension additionally to backedn support for WebLinks.
Last edited by brablc on May 2nd, 2004, 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
brablc
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Post by brablc »

This is reply on septhin post in the topic before the fork.

sephtin wrote:Some feedback:
1) Edit Links still points to links.mozdev.org, which no longer serves as backend.

As I said weblinks.xpi is an experimental version just to show that everything works as it should. I have too many plans on my todo for SiteBar that I cannot work on an additional frontend.

sephtin wrote:2) Would it be possible to add an option to "Add Current page" either under :: Sitebar Commander :: or maybe where Edit Links is?
(I assume this needs to be done client side.. so I'm guessing it needs to be under "Load Links/Edit Links"... ?)

It seems that I like very much the idea of configuring the menu by sending appropriate bookmarklets (links with javascript code). When we can solve some security issues than this would be the ideal way of deploying SiteBar+WebLinks. You would not need to upgrade WebLinks that often. If WebLinks is improved generally enough then it should be possible to host multiple types of bookmarks servers each providing different subset of functions.

sephtin wrote:3) Suggestion. It's not clear how to sign up for an account for a new user. Possible to add a link to say something like "Create a new account" under the normal login screen? This was a suggestion for Sitebar (stand-alone) as well, btw.


Of course this is no problem, but lets assume we are now working about the idea in general, not preparing final release for public use. (Please be more specific offline for the SiteBar sign-up procedure unclearness).

Ondrej
sephtin
Posts: 20
Joined: September 18th, 2003, 8:41 pm

Post by sephtin »

First of all, I just want to post that I am extremely pleased with the initial effort... and it appears to work great! Ondrej, this is very nice.

All-
I know both Biju and Ondrej are extremely busy, but want to thank both of you for taking time to work on this. This is the answer I've been looking for regarding Online bookmarks!
I could easily see this as something that could be the online bookmark solution for everyone from newbie (Just want to be able to keep bookmarks from multiple machines in ONE place) to advanced (sharing/folder structures/lots more)!!!

Thanks,
John
bilbobanta
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Joined: March 13th, 2004, 10:05 am

Post by bilbobanta »

I am very interested in the bookmark server model.

I think sitebar is great.

I have also looked at:

del.icio.us

This is a great concept and nice and fast, doesn't rely on javascript etc. and is aimed at community bookmarking, while I like this site, the catagorization method is a bit clumsy and also there are no acl methods.

The easiest tool for me to use is the boomark manager built into the browser - and although there are many tools to sync bookmarks on clients, they ultimately are too much of a pain.

The server model is good, but how many users could one server support? From setting up a sitebar server I notice that there isn't much security and privacy built in. My concern here is that I wouldn't wish a system admin look at my bookmarks (through the mysql tables), so I think there needs to be some kind of cryptography involved - would this impeed performance?

Using an extension like weblinks sounds good, but it isn't ideal if I am forced into using a browser elsewhere - that is unless extensions were adopted widely by all browsers.

I am surprised that there isn't a bookmark standard in general- perhaps in XML format. Would this be because the boomark file would be too big? If your bookmark file was in XML then you could upload it as you close the browser via ftp or http. You could then feed it elsewhere maybe?

Ultimately bookmarking needs to be fast, simple and portable. For instance I help out in a cybercafe with clients that don't have a home pc, these people would need a sytem that was browser independent and simple to use.
brablc
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Post by brablc »

I think Sitebar can handle at the moment without hassle for admin up to 50 or 100 users. We have plans how to make administration of servers with more users easier. Technically there is no limits I would say. If you do not trust your admin, then you should run your own server. But of course, I do not say that we would not try in the future on the privacy field harder.

I'm afraid that you want too much, you want to have native support from all browsers on all platforms to be able to sync bookmarks with your HTTP server (FTP is not practical because of proxies, firewalls and related problems). Microsoft would indeed want you to use its Passport authentication.

I can see many problems with auto sync, what if you do not close your browser, you would have to sync every 60 minutes for example. What if you by mistake delete bookmarks, it will then sync deletion to all browsers?

As an author of SiteBar I cannot be objective, but I think that any other concept then web based application for bookmark manager does not make sense.
sephtin
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Joined: September 18th, 2003, 8:41 pm

Post by sephtin »

First of all, I wanted to just note that this thread is a little old. :P The post previous to that of bilbobanta 's was in November of last year. :(

<snip>
... My concern here is that I wouldn't wish a system admin look at my bookmarks (through the mysql tables), so I think there needs to be some kind of cryptography involved - would this impeed performance?
</snip>
Uhmm, if you're that paranoid, that you don't want an admin to look at your bookmarks, then there's a problem.
An email admin can look at your email. If you host a web page, the admin of that server can see all content. Server administration of bookmarks is no different.
As Ondrej (brablc) replied previously.. if you don't like the thought of someone looking at your content, host it yourself. (I do. *shrug* :)

Yes, it would take resources on the server to decrypt the string, there for, there would likely be a hit on performance. It would also could make it slightly more painful for admins to support a shared bookmark server, as it would add a level of complexity.

Now, as for security of bookmarks for other WEB users. The administrative abilities of SiteBar are incredible. You can secure it to your hearts content. If you haven't played with the advanced settings, I strongly suggest you take a look. :)

<snip>
Using an extension like weblinks sounds good, but it isn't ideal if I am forced into using a browser elsewhere - that is unless extensions were adopted widely by all browsers.
</snip>
Actually... to tell you the truth, I've found that using sitebar within a sidebar isn't painful at all, and since I haven't seen any real forward momentum with weblink integration from the weblinks author (unless I missed it... ?).. I've simply begun to use sitebar for myself. I don't know what I'd do with out it! All my bookmarks are in the same place. It's EXACTLY what I was looking for.

<snip>
I am surprised that there isn't a bookmark standard in general- perhaps in XML format. Would this be because the boomark file would be too big? If your bookmark file was in XML then you could upload it as you close the browser via ftp or http. You could then feed it elsewhere maybe?
</snip>
There are all kinds of ideas that have been brought up, and some attempted. Last time I hit google for online bookmarking, I found tons of ideas, and even some implementations. In my opinion, none were as good as sitebar, but there were some out there.
The problem is, that one size does NOT fit all when it comes to shared bookmarks. Some people want them for use in a small business environment, where everyone can share some, while each having their own personal bookmarks, etc. While others want an extremely simple implementation that just uploads what they have to a server (implementation integrated into the browser).
You also need to think about the limitation of not being on the web. What then? (Laptop users for example).
The person that comes up with a solution that works for everyone will be my hero. :P
For now.. the hero's are Ondrej and David for writing sitebar. It does what I need (and more).

<snip>
Ultimately bookmarking needs to be fast, simple and portable. For instance I help out in a cybercafe with clients that don't have a home pc, these people would need a sytem that was browser independent and simple to use.
</snip>
Again, different solutions for different requirements. I like what you have listed there above, and would say that sitebar does every one of those things. If you disagree, please let me know where, as it's likely that you haven't enough time with it yet...

John
cshabazian
Posts: 6
Joined: March 18th, 2004, 12:05 pm

Post by cshabazian »

>First of all, I wanted to just note that this thread is a little old.

it WAS old, but looks like it's active again :D

Personally, SiteBar is the perfect solution for me, although I would LOVE to see it "cached" on my machine so that in case my server was down or unreachable, I would still have access to my bookmarks. This isn't much of a problem for ME as I host my own sitebar server on my box at a colo that has to meet SLA's for other clients in the facility (among them, companies like Yahoo and eBay). That said, I think this would be good functionality to add......

Additionally, I sure would like to use weblinks, but it is hard coded to http://brablc.com/sitebar/ and I just don't have the knowledge to change it. If someone could tell me HOW to, that would be great. Even better, if it could be made a VARIABLE so that anyone could use it, that would be BEST, but posting instructions here on how to change the server would at least be archived for anyone else who wanted to go through the trouble....

As for the person who wants his bookmarks encrypted, I doubt that it is TECHNICALLY difficult, and the only issue *I* would have as a sysadmin is the additional CPU overhead, I doubt it would impact most modern servers too much, but I probably wouldn't enable that capability on MY box unless people were willing to pay me for the additional resources I would be using (including the possibility of having to install another server). But like others have pointed out, if you are THAT paranoid, you probably shouldn't even be on the net at all!

Chip
brablc
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Post by brablc »

If you want to use WebLinks with your own installation, you can use following link:

http://www.sitebar.org/plugin/firefox/W ... st/sitebar

Please replace the url parameter with your own path to sitebar. In release 3.2 you will be able to download customized plugin from your index page as it is done now with MyIE2 plugins (this is an excuse for download interface :-).

After installing the plugin the Firefox crashed. I have no idea, why, may be it would need some change, as it was designed for Firebird. But I'm not going to overtake WebLinks development and after restart, which would be needed anyway, it worked.

The customized plugin solution took me two hours.
Last edited by brablc on May 1st, 2004, 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
brablc
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Post by brablc »

I just wanted to say, that I can easily imagine, that WebLinks extension would put the loaded file from SiteBar to local cache and keep it there until forced to reload the data. This way you would have your bookmarks even when your SiteBar server would be down.

If you want SiteBar to be cached, you can try to add

header("Cache-Control: max-age=". 60*60*24*30);

To sitebar.php method drawHeader(), before Page::head(). This will cache SiteBar 30 days. Any click on reload should bring new version. I will test this and probably add it to 3.2 as default or with possibility of user defined expiration.
cshabazian
Posts: 6
Joined: March 18th, 2004, 12:05 pm

Customized weblinks

Post by cshabazian »

>http://www.sitebar.org/plugin/weblinks/WebLinks_for_SiteBar.xpi?url=http://localhost/sitebar

AWESOME, Works PERFECT...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.....

Chip
brablc
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Post by brablc »

Thanks to the Bas Burger we have another extension in beta phase for SiteBar and Firefox. The extension is called SiteBar and can be downloaded here:

http://www.sitebar.org/plugin/firefox/S ... st/sitebar

You will have to replace the url with the address of your server. In forthcoming release 3.2, user will be able to download customized extension with one mouse click from index.php of their SiteBar installation.

What the plugin does:

- adds real sidebar to the Firefox with button in the toolbar to toggle it on or off,
- adds "Add Page" button to the toolbar and the page context menu.

Both buttons can be freely moved in the toolbar as any other button.

Known problems:

- neither middle-click nor ctrl-click work at the moment, users that want to open page in new TAB would have to create the tab with Ctrl+T and then simply click the link.
brablc
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Post by brablc »

The above mentioned problem has been solved in 0.2.1. Additionally middle-click on folder name or icon opens all direct child links in TABs.
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