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Author Topic: FARR as bookmark manager?  (Read 3345 times)

gezley

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FARR as bookmark manager?
« on: April 08, 2015, 07:56:51 PM »
Perhaps using FARR as a bookmark manager is ridiculously easy to do, but I'm having a hard time visualizing how to do it. What I want to do is something like this: type "bsd" (without quotation marks) to filter the search and restrict it to an alias containing multiple local and web BSD links; then type "netbsd" to restrict search further, filtering out FreeBSD and OpenBSD URLs and files, for example; then type "web" to restrict the search to NetBSD-related web and ftp URLs, for example, thus filtering out links to **local** files on computer (NetBSD help files in PDF format, for example); and so on.

I just can't get my head around this, but I'm sure FARR itself can be used as a bookmark manager, without needing a plugin to consult browser bookmarks. I would prefer to keep bookmarks in FARR rather than the browser. The advantage of course is that with FARR you have a single set of bookmarks you can use for a number of browsers - Sleipnir, Pale Moon, etc.

Can this be done, or am I wasting my time? I feel as though I need to chain several "restartsearch" keywords together, but I'm more than likely wrong. I'd appreciate someone throwing a bit of light on this as I'm going around in circles here trying to conceptualize what I want FARR to do and how to do it.

phitsc

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2015, 01:38:41 AM »
You say you don't want to consult browser bookmarks. But the bookmarks need to come from somewhere. They need to be stored somewhere. I'm not aware of FARR being able to store arbitrary information. It mainly queries the file system. A plugin would be perfectly able to do what you want though.

justice

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2015, 03:06:27 AM »
I was looking at the possibilities of writing a plugin but I'm not familiar enough with Visual Studio to update the Csharp SDK to supported VS versions. :(

gezley

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2015, 08:18:05 AM »
You say you don't want to consult browser bookmarks. But the bookmarks need to come from somewhere. They need to be stored somewhere. I'm not aware of FARR being able to store arbitrary information. It mainly queries the file system.

I see. Thank you.

Saving them as aliases would be impracticable I suppose (copy link to FARR box | context menu | add to group alias)?

phitsc

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2015, 09:05:33 AM »
You say you don't want to consult browser bookmarks. But the bookmarks need to come from somewhere. They need to be stored somewhere. I'm not aware of FARR being able to store arbitrary information. It mainly queries the file system.

I see. Thank you.

Saving them as aliases would be impracticable I suppose (copy link to FARR box | context menu | add to group alias)?
Well, I guess that depends on how often you want to add/edit/remove bookmarks. If it's only a few which you want to launch over and over again that could be a viable solution. Also managing them in a FARR alias file.

mouser

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2015, 11:36:52 AM »
The special #filecontents command might be useful to you -- it will let you specify the list of items to search through in a simple text file, so you can make a simple alias and then edit your standalone text file with your bookmark urls.
See the tutorial here: http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=17270.0 (and maybe this thread as well).

I did at one point make a firefox bookmark searcher plugin, but it's harder to use now that firefox changed their bookmark storage format (http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=7919.0)
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 11:52:41 AM by mouser »

gezley

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2015, 04:19:55 PM »
Thank you for the replies, and sorry about the delay getting back to you. In the meantime I've been trying out alternative software as a bookmark manager, and found a note-taking application which fits my workflow. I will continue to use FARR as a launcher, which is its primary purpose.

Nod5

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 01:56:40 PM »
You could save bookmarks as .url files on your computer and put tags in the url file names.
FARR and FARR aliases can then be used to search among those bookmarks.
Long ago I made the tool Tourl to do just that.

Two caveats: 1. to be able to search not only the title of the bookmarked page but also its url you need to put (parts of) the url in the filename. Tourl has hotkeys for doing that. 2. Tourl is old, maybe some parts of the code need an update to run with the latest version of Autohotkey. But you can try it out and the source is included in the download.

IainB

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 05:40:37 AM »
You could save bookmarks as .url files on your computer and put tags in the url file names.
FARR and FARR aliases can then be used to search among those bookmarks.
Long ago I made the tool Tourl to do just that.

Two caveats:
  • 1. to be able to search not only the title of the bookmarked page but also its url you need to put (parts of) the url in the filename. Tourl has hotkeys for doing that.
  • 2. Tourl is old, maybe some parts of the code need an update to run with the latest version of Autohotkey. But you can try it out and the source is included in the download.


This comment caught my attention because it referred to some of the things (including capture and linking of content, keywords and bookmark/URL) that I was after in this request: Feature request: select/display Grid column data > horizontal rows in Memo pane. (Though I did not specifically state in that post what my requirements were.)
I am intending to use CHS (Clipboard Help & Spell) as my de facto bookmarks database for all browsers.

The background to this:
My view is that bookmarks are arguably an archaism. They were probably undeniably a "good idea" - and quite useful too - for whatever our "requirements" were construed to have been at the time they were invented, but they would not seem to have really evolved all that much since then to meet what our requirements might have evolved into today. In other words, bookmarks would seem to be more of a customary hangover from the days when our requirements were otherwise than what they might be today.
Nowadays though, look what happens when I, for example, bookmark this page in Firefox: (press Ctrl+D)

Bookmark 01 - Firefox.jpg

This current manifestation of this bookmark form in Firefox v38.0 Beta includes:
1. A field containing the string "page name" (data captured at this point) for edit/acceptance.
2. A field containing the string"URL" (data captured at this point) for edit/acceptance.
3. A field displaying the Folder name for storing the bookmark (the user either accepts the default or selects another folder).
4. A field for entering string(s) for "Tag name" - an optional data entry/edit/selection field.
5. A field for entering string(s) for "Keyword" - an optional data entry/edit/selection field.
6. A field for entering the string "Description" - the de facto page subject name, with optional data edit/entry.

This website page bookmark data/metadata is stored in a proprietary Firefox bookmark database, which is apparently different to the proprietary IE bookmark database, which is apparently different to the proprietary Google Chrome bookmark database, etc.
Since one may understandably wish to use the same bookmarks in the same browser but using different PCs in different physical locations, or across different browsers in the same or different PCs, then there is a potential problem - in that this is a recipe for potential bookmark duplication, loss and confusion.
The problem is compounded when one realises how one has to use a search system peculiar to each browser if one wants to access those bookmarks in those proprietary browser bookmark databases. Then, of course, there's the problem of syncing or backup/recovery of those proprietary browser bookmark databases. It's all a manmade PITA, but at least it's avoidable - which is why I pretty much abandoned the use of those proprietary browser bookmark databases, though they are useful for my children's browsing.

I refuse to accept being locked-in to any given browser like that, as I use up to 3 browsers, and I want to be able to standardise the use of bookmarks across browsers, without having to worry about tripping over duplication/loss, differing standards or other idiosyncrasies.
Thus, one of the objectives of my CHS feature request (above) is that one could perhaps start to move towards having a "browser-agnostic" bookmark database holding a common set of bookmarks for all browsers to use.
Certainly, CHS would seem a logical tool to capture the bookmark data and store it, and as for accessing it for use in a browser, then possibly (say) FARR could even be the medium of access linking to CHS for this database. There is after all a "set" of DC tools that could possibly be integrated to provide the required functionality to meet a given requirement:

For example:
Re: Feature request : input field
...
let me consider the possibility of having chs interact or hand off to another tool as it pastes -- that might make it easy to do what you want and keep chs from getting over complicated.

I thought this looked very positive.    :Thmbsup:
We shall see.

Nod5

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2015, 06:43:27 AM »
I like many of your ideas IanB. Let me just add that separate .url files can probably be used as building blocks. Because as long as the file starts with two lines like these
[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=40610.new#new
it seems possible to add whatever other lines we like below that, e.g.
[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=40610.new#new
Tag=brainstorming,DC,computers
Date=2015-04-17
Comment=IanB has good ideas on bookmarking
and the .url file can still be doubleclicked and the url opens in the default browser. The modified file can be dragged and dropped on a browser to open the url too (tried Firefox and Chrome).

There are no such extra fields added by Tourl but it would be simple for anyone to modify the Tourl code to do that. Some other indexing tool could then be made to regularly update a database by parsing such .url files.

One thing I find handy with separate .url files is that if you have a project folder on the harddrive with some files (txt, pdf, doc and so on) you can also put some important links as .url in the same folder and get a visible overview of all components as you browse the folder.

IainB

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2015, 02:25:33 PM »
...One thing I find handy with separate .url files is that if you have a project folder on the harddrive with some files (txt, pdf, doc and so on) you can also put some important links as .url in the same folder and get a visible overview of all components as you browse the folder.

After thinking about what you say in that quote, I can see why you might have that as a requirement for improving (say) project file/folder categorisation and management on the hard drive, but it's apparently not relevant to the requirements as stated in the opening post by@gezley - which merely refers to the possibility of using FARR as some kind of a bookmarks manager.

One of the points I was making (perhaps not very well) in my comments above is that CHS looks like it could be a potential/de facto bookmarks manager already.
CHS offers up to 3 information view panes:
  • Tree:  (Can be set to auto-hide.) This enables the construction of a relatively sophisticated relationship/categorisation hierarchy tree, with embedded SQL search logic. It is very flexible, though the SQL implementation seems to have been constrained somewhat and does not enable "condition-action" - i.e., action on certain logical conditions being met - such as (say) setting a Flag if a certain condition is met.

  • Grid: - displays up to 24 user-selectable metadata columns (attributes/fields): These can be displayed in the CHS grid (of metadata) and can be selected and moved about in changed order, via a nifty little drop-down selector. Great thought seems to have gone into making this rather complex selection feature as simple and flexible to use as possible.

  • Memo: (Can be set to auto-hide.) This shows the Title column as a heading, and below that the Clip Text.

So, for example, if, in Firefox I take a clip into CHS of your quote above, the data/metadata that ends up in CHS columns/panes includes:
  • The quoted text (per above), in the Memo pane.
  • The page/window title: "FARR as bookmark manager? - DonationCoder.com - Mozilla Firefox" in the WindowTitle column.
  • The URL (in the Notes column. This is, however, apparently not editable/copyable by the user.
  • The date/time of capture.
  • The application name "Firefox" in the Application column.

Thus:
  • Keywords/Tags: There is arguably no need for "keywords" or "tags" as the salient references are likely already captured. However, if one insisted in having separate "keywords" or "tags", then one could insert them in the Keyword or Flag or Type columns - which seem to be user-editable. In any event, these could be superfluous and it might be more efficient to append any extra keywords/tags to the body of the clip text, preceded by (say) a special character such as a "#" or something. For example, this is a practice recommended in the clipboard info.manager NoteFrog - as a manual edit - and it was automated in the PIM Lotus Agenda. There's also a predefined Ratings column (with a user-selectable ratings dropdown menu) in CHS, which could be put to some use.

  • Finding bookmarks: Since the bookmarks would already be in a database in CHS, with search and SQL enquiry capability, then one could rapidly find the bookmarks using CHS search/SQL. I'm not sure whether the SQL search capability necessarily extends to all the fields/columns though. It may be that FARR could play a role here, by "injecting" the search enquiry into CHS and displaying the result in FARR.

There's probably more that could be said about this, but I think this now should better convey the general idea of what I was attempting to suggest in my earlier comments.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2015, 04:47:36 AM by IainB, Reason: Minor edits. »

IainB

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Re: FARR as bookmark manager?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2015, 04:37:08 AM »
Apropos of tags, from this post: Re: NoteFrog Pro (clipboard information manager) - Mini-Review
Quote
Some points I would make:
Berry (NoteFrog author) stated that the NF software is intended to be an Information Manager, rather than a Clipboard Manager. I think the original prototype for it was ClipGuru - a clipboard manager. I thus class it as a PIM (Personal Information Manager). (By comparison, CHS is apparently a Clipboard Manager that started out life as being intended as a PIM.)
NF is a WIP, and will be slowly getting there with each successive release. ...
...
Searches/hyperlinks:
  • NF searches can be saved for re-use. (Similar to CHS, which uses saved SQL searches as "Favorites".) The effect in NF and CHS can be rather akin to "tagging" if you use special strings in text as tags - e.g., "#this is a tag", but you have to set each and every tag, which would be tedious in the extreme. Both NF and CHS could benefit significantly from automatic bulk text insertion/removal of the same text string into/from many clips.
  • NF uses "Stacks", and I discovered that it had the ability to hyperlink content within an individual stack and between different stacks. This was apparently not intended as a design feature, and has been disabled. Still, it would be great to have. For example, OneNote has hyperlinking, and it works a treat - is very useful. You can hyperlink within a single OneNote Notebook, across multiple Notebooks, and externally - e.g., to a file on a local or network drive, or a Cloud drive, or a URL on the Internet.