Frank Ridderbusch

About things, that are of interest to me (in English and in German).

Bookmarks - From Services to Markdown

Of course in the beginning of the web everything started with managing your bookmarks within the browser. There wasn’t not too much content, that you couldn’t cope with it through the browsers bookmark management. However syncing your bookmarks between work and home was already a problem. At the time I used, which was later bought by Lastpass. That would have been around 2006 and 2007.

Firefox was my browser of choice then, which must have been the versions 1.5 and 2.0.

This post basically lists the various stations of my bookmark keeping and explains, what I choose as my final solution. and then

The next step was using When I started to use, which must have been around 2007 or 2008, there was already quite a bit of momentum behind the site. I saved fair a number of links due to the social nature of the site. I saw, what other people liked and found tons of good stuff.

Then, towards the end of 2010, the news made the rounds, that, how it was now called, is going to close down.

Apparenty this has not been completely true, since the delicious web page is still around. Even my links, which I exported are still there, however it does not appears to be very actively used.


At the time, when was to close down, I had already started to use Springpad in particular for collecting cooking recipes. I found Springpad to be really good for this purpose.

When the supposed shutting down of delicious approached, Springpad was fairly quick to offer the import of all your delicious bookmarks, which I did.

I used Springpad until it closed on June 25th, 2014 as my primary note taking and link collecting utility and also as my recipe management solution.

There is an interesting article “146 Startup Failure Post-Mortems”, which also lists the failure of Springpad.


With the imminent demise of Springpad, Evernote offered Springpad users the option to import all their Springpad data. I used this option as well.

I’ve been using Evernote for a little more than a year since then. Their Webclipper is really good. If you select the appropriate options, Webclipper does a pretty good job to extract the contents of the web page into your note. So even, if the originating link would go away, you would still have the contents of the page.

Anyway, I still didn’t really feel at home in Evernote. In particular the online editor for editing notes, which all looks really nice with pleasing design and so on, but somehow this online WYSIWYG editing is not my thing.

And Evernote is another online service, which might get in trouble in time to come (or not) and then I’m in the same position as I was with Springpad and delicious.

I culled my more then 800 bookmarks (some of those originating from the delicious days) down to about 500 because being outdated or the sites don’t exist any more and then exported them from Evernote into an ENEX XML file and with some XSL transformation created this Markdown file:

Intermezzo: Getprismatic

In parallel to above services I’ve been using Prismatic. Prismatic was launched sometime in 2012. I still remember that I first heard from them in a show on Leo Laportes network. I immediately signed up and entered my areas of interests (web stuff, programming, linux, EDM music, d.i.y. and cooking) and each day Prismatic would offer me links to articles, recipes, etc that the service deduced to be of interest to me. During my usage time until it closed down on Dec 20th, 2015 I collected roughly about 520 links with recipes alone not counting the other technology oriented links. I’m really missing Prismatic, they were really, really good at suggesting interesting stuff to me. At least, when they closed down, I could export my link collection I saved within Prismatic as a CSV file to my local computer.

OwnCloud 7 Bookmarks

Having switched from Google Reader to TT-RSS running on my Synology NAS at home, I found the 700Mhz single core ARM processor in the NAS box simply to slow. Therefore I installed TT-RSS on a ODROID C1 (then without the “+” postfix), which is a 1.5GHz quad core ARM cpu (running Arch Linux). In addition to TT-RSS I installed OwnCloud 7 as my primary cloud file sharing solution, therefore keeping all my data under my personal control.

Anyway, with version 7 of OwnCloud, the bookmark add-on application was working really great. It has a bookmarklet, which made the collection of bookmarks or links really pleasant. However with Owncloud 8 this nicely working OwnCloud app broke due to internal API changes and has not yet completely recovered. The OwnCloud folks are still constantly working on it, but IMHO the app is at best beta quality. It does not have a high priority to fix bugs.

And here are some issue tracker comments from the above mentioned bug, which really put me off OwnCloud bookmarks, an application, which is basically officially marketed through OwnCloud Apps:

Well, ownCloud’s core functionality is file sync and share. Apps like Bookmarks are community contributed ;-)

As long as nobody cares to fixes this, this will stay this way.

People are not forced to upgrade to v8. There are many apps around which are not ready for v8. Core apps are ready. Please consider to create a bounty for wanted issue.

If they had announced from the start, that this is not really an official OwnCloud application, everything would have been fine.

Apparently, once again I was to early to put my eggs into this basket. And once again I’m left with a Markdown file after having applied some XSL transformation to the HTML export. Many of these bookmarks I saved in the OwnCloud bookmark app were suggested to me by Prismatic.

Final solution: simple Markdown files

So, what I’m doing now? Since I’ve rediscovered Emacs recently, which is basically now running all the time and deft having it configured to an OwnCloud synced directory, I’m simply adding new links in one of these four simple Markdown text files.

The Markdown sources are then copied into the Hugo site content directory through a Makefile and then, after site regeneration, uploaded to the web site.

As simple as it can be. And everything is in my private Git repository located on the above mentioned ODROID C1 mini server.