bmark-us

Bookie weekly status report: Sept 7 2011

Updates this week

Sorry, I'm late on the weekly report. The holiday weekend threw me off. However, I've got good stuff for you. I completed the port of the fulltext search from being database specific to being Whoosh which is pure Python. This should be cool because it reduces code complexity trying to change things up based on the database used. It also been performing really well. The hosted http://bmark.us site is using it for everyone's content.

Be aware, if you do the migration, it takes a while to run. It has to go through and processes every readable record one by one. So when you upgrade, let it run.

What's next

Aside from that, I started playing with an all Javascript front end using Backbone.js. The idea is to see about setting up a very interactive front end that would allow in place edits of bookmark data easily using the existing API. We'll see how it works out.

Alpha Testing

We have a signup for if you're interested in alpha testing the hosted install at https://bmark.us. If you'd like to try it out fill out the signup form here.

Taking Part

If you care to help or follow along make sure to follow the project on github: http://github.com/mitechie/Bookie

  • Current Chrome Extension: 0.3.16
  • Most recent code updates: develop branch
  • Current working branch: develop

Bookie status report: Aug 28th 2011

Updates this week

With 0.3 out and gone, it's time to move forward on 0.4 tickets. I started out with the big one, edit/add form ui for bookmarks on the page. This now works and when you're browsing urls from your page (/{username}/recent) you'll see a new "E" icon next to the "R" one. You'll also see a "Add" button at the top left.

Once we had the add/edit form, I could setup a bookmarklet to store your current page there. If you log into the site and go to your account page, a bookmarklet url is there for the taking. Drag it to your browser bookmark bar. On some platforms (hey Android!) you can't save a bookmarklet to the bookmarks. You first have to create a normal bookmark, and then edit the link after the fact. To help that out, there's a copy/pastable version of the bookmarklet on the account page. Just long press the text area, select all, and then paste into your bookmark from earlier.

It's my hope that this bookmarklet will help users on Firefox and other browsers use Bookie more. It's not the full extension experience, but hopefully holds people over for now. Note that when storing bookmarks in this way, the content is not immediately available as from the Chrome extension. The cron job that does fulltext parsing runs at 4am each morning.

Next I started some css work. The readable page no longer uses the Cabin font. It's also got some default styles for H1 and such. Let me know if any content looks funny and we can look to add some additional styles going forward.

Next up

For the week ahead, I'll be mainly working on tests. I don't have enough for the new add/edit feature. I'm still working on adding live api tests to the phantom.js test suite. If I get time, I also hope to start work on a private bookmark feature.

Alpha Testing

We have a signup for if you're interested in alpha testing the hosted install at https://bmark.us. If you'd like to try it out fill out the signup form here.

Taking Part

If you care to help or follow along make sure to follow the project on github: http://github.com/mitechie/Bookie

  • Current Chrome Extension: 0.3.16
  • Most recent code updates: develop branch
  • Current working branch: develop

Bookie status report: Aug 22 2011 (0.3 yay!)

Updates this week: 0.3 out the door

We had to do some hacking of dying limbs to get there, but 0.3 is out the door. This was the biggest release cycle since things started up. However, the features of an API and multi user auth were worth it. There were a ton of small tweaks long the way as well. Here's hoping that 0.4 is a bit faster in the moving and releasing

You'll notice that we're backtracking on having a Firefox extension and a mobile site. Both are horribly broken at the moment. I really want to get this going though and they will be specific todo items in up coming releases. Well, except the Firefox extension part. Honestly, every time I try to get started with the Firefox extension I feel like the team there is just damn hostile to developers. It's beyond ridiculous how unable to get a handle on things there it's been. Confusing docs all over the place, an add on sdk that tries to run a virtualenv, but you don't built it from any of your local python's so your fubar if you have the wrong one, the fact that it's all getting redone again in JS and not Python...Sorry. I'm just not willing to be a fulltime firefox dev to make the dippy thing work.

Links

Next up

  • Work on more of the live api tests. It's running via the latest build of phantom.js and working well
  • Start work on the 0.4 todo list
  • Especially the save/edit ui and a bookmarklet for those.

Alpha Testing

We have a signup for if you're interested in alpha testing the hosted install at https://bmark.us. If you'd like to try it out fill out the signup form here.

Taking Part

If you care to help or follow along make sure to follow the project on github: http://github.com/mitechie/Bookie

  • Current Chrome Extension: 0.3.16
  • Most recent code updates: develop branch
  • Current working branch: develop

Bookie status report: Aug 14th 2011

Updates this week

Finally, the new and fancy Bookie API is reworked and better than ever. The live running site is updated to use the new api and there's a new chrome extension that's update for it as well. Make sure you get the latest dev version of the Chrome extension.

With the api updated, it's time to get to work on finishing up 0.3 for release. This means that we need to finish updating the mobile site and some rework of how the readable content is stored. Since we pull the content out of the page based on actual page you see, we should store these separated from user to user. We don't want to leak logged in info from one user to another.

Farewell Firefox

With the api update, the Firefox is so far out of date as to be unusable. There's some work going on to help catch it up, but I think I'm going to remove it as a feature in the docs and such. We just can't claim it at this time.

New testing

With the new api we hit some testing issues. Since there's no good way I've found to functional test the extension, the tests aren't great and reliable. I also don't have tests setup on some shared code like the bookie.api.js code. I'm thinking of setting up a running instance with some live data with the sole purpose of running tests on the JS code against it. We might even go so far as to setup the extension html files as an actual website and write some functional tests around that. After all, I can load popup.html and do some testing of that as a normal web page. We'll be missing the interactions with background.html and such, but might be worth some attempt.

Any ideas and help with this is most welcome.

Alpha Testing

We have a signup for if you're interested in alpha testing the hosted install at https://bmark.us. If you'd like to try it out fill out the signup form here.

Taking Part

If you care to help or follow along make sure to follow the project on github: http://github.com/mitechie/Bookie

  • Current Chrome Extension: 0.3.11
  • Most recent code updates: develop branch
  • Current working branch: develop

Bookie status report: Aug 7th 2011

See, I can do these things once a week, I promise!

Updates this week

Progress this week is all in the api branch. It's taken some time to figure out just what things are going to look like, and I started with the docs. Lots and lots of docs updates for the api. You can check out how things look so far.

  • Gone is the custom json response object. We now send back an http status code and possibly a json message
  • The auth code is all updated. We now use a new api_auth decorator in lib/access.py that will check the api call and take care of the 403 response if things fail.
  • Most of the tests are commented out while we enable/fix them one by one as the new api methods get filled in. Once we're sure thing are where we want, we'll revisit the rest of the apis. Since parts of the functioning site use the api it really needed to be done.
  • The first few new api methods are working correctly and tests are passing in the api branch. This is mostly the /{username}/bmark/XXX urls. So adding, updating, deleting, and getting a bookmark for a user is set.

To make some of the new request changes we needed to update to Pyramid 1.1. This gave us things like request.response.status_int and some changes to the way the http exceptions work.

The goal for the next week is to keep plugging at the api. If you've got any feedback let me know. I'm really hoping to do a really solid job on this updated api and it will help with the extensions, feature updates, and encouraging new developers to get involved.

Alpha Testing

We have a signup for if you're interested in alpha testing the hosted install at https://bmark.us. If you'd like to try it out fill out the signup form here.

Taking Part

If you care to help or follow along make sure to follow the project on github: http://github.com/mitechie/Bookie

  • Current Chrome Extension: 0.3.8
  • Most recent code updates: develop branch
  • Current working branch: feature/api

Bookie Status Report: Jun 22nd 2011

Phew, it's been a good week with Bookie. First, we have some new ways to contact and follow Bookie. There's now a Google Group for better long form discussions and assistance. You have a feature idea, question, or just feedback? Then go ahead and send it to the list. Don't forget to follow BookieBmarks on Twitter. I want to start using these things to bounce ideas off of people as we move forward.

We managed to get user authentication working and added support across the site for routes for each user in the system. This was great because it means that http://bmark.us is a live running instance with a few different real users. So far we're running seven different users on the system. Part of that was getting all the routes updated, the queries, the templates to only show links for import/export if you're logged in, all of that stuff. The extension needed a little bit of updates, but the only big thing is changing your API URL to have your username in it.

We moved the documentation to http://docs.bmark.us and I tried to update the links in the docs as well. Much as Identi.ca is a running instance of Status.net, Bmark.us is a running instance of Bookie. I just can't get a cool url for Bookie such as http://bookie.net.

With the new site I purchased an SSL certificate. So you'll notice that the site is now all behind https. Part of the other sysadmin items were to setup twice daily pgdumps of the data which is sync'd off to S3, munin to monitor the server resources, including plugins for Nginx and Postgresql, and some Nginx config tweaks which I still need to document in the docs.

All of the code updates are available in the develop branch on Github. If you've got any questions feel free to hop into #bookie on irc and let me know.

With all this going on I'm looking for some early alpha testers. If you're interested in Bookie, but couldn't, or didn't want to, setup your own instance, let me know. I'd love to get another 6-10 people on this instance. The feedback of current users has already paid dividends. You can thank them for a pair of new features in the Chrome extension, including a new keyboard shortcut (ctrl-alt-d) and support for helping auto complete recently used tags.

Coming up, we need to work on moving the app forward by adding a user account page, creating add/edit abilities for authenticated users, and a bookmarklet that uses the add ability for mobile devices and other browsers.

If you care to help or follow along make sure to follow the project on github: http://github.com/mitechie/Bookie

  • Current Chrome Extension: 0.3.3
  • Most recent code updates: develop branch
  • Current working branch: feature/auth