Programming language: Go
License: BSD 2-clause "Simplified" License
Tags: Bookmarks & Link Sharing     Firefox Auth Server    

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Geekmarks: API-Driven, Geeky Bookmarking Service

So I wrote a new bookmarking service. We already have a lot of those, so why bother writing another one? Good question.


In short, I want my bookmarking service:

  • To be very quick to use;
  • To provide a way to organize my bookmarks in a powerful way.

I tried a lot of existing bookmarking services, and I wasn't satisfied by any of them, for a variety of reasons.

Let me elaborate on the organization part first. The simplest way to organize bookmarks is to introduce folders to group them. This still poses a well-known problem though: some bookmarks can logically belong to multiple folders. In order to address this issue, some services use tags: now we can tag a bookmark with more than one tag. So far so good.

Now, assume I have a generic tag programming, and a couple of more specific tags: python and c. I definitely want my bookmarking service to be smart enough to figure that if I tag some article with either python or c, it means programming as well; I don't want to add the tag programming manually every single time. So, what we need is a hierarchy of tags. Surprisingly enough, I failed to find a service which would support that.

This hierarchical tags thing was a major motivation for me to start Geekmarks.

Another important thing is that I want bookmarking service to be very quick to use. I don't want to go through these heavy user interfaces and look at all the eye candy. In my daily life I just want to either add a bookmark or find one, and I want to do that quickly: like, just a few keystrokes, and I'm done.

So, meet Geekmarks! A free, open-source, API-driven bookmarking service.

Building and running server locally

You'll need Go 1.6 or higher, docker and docker-compose.

You'll also need to create Google OAuth credentials, in order for the authentication to work (at the moment, authentication is only via Google account). You can create OAuth credentials in the Google Cloud Console, click Create credentials -> OAuth client ID -> Web application, and add two authorized redirect URIs there:

  • https://fblmllolgliioiodenckffkphokpalnd.chromiumapp.org/ - for the unpacked extension;
  • https://nhiodffdihhkdlkfmpmmnanekkbbfkgk.chromiumapp.org/ - for the extension from Chrome Web Store.

Here's a screenshot of how the whole thing looks:

Then, create a file /var/tmp/geekmarks_dev/main/google_oauth_creds.yaml on your machine with the following contents:

client_id: "your-google-client-id"
client_secret: "your-google-client-secret"

Of course, replace placeholders with your actual OAuth credentials.

Install the dependencies needed to compile and run the server:

go get github.com/jteeuwen/go-bindata/...
go get github.com/elazarl/go-bindata-assetfs/...

Now, make sure you have $GOPATH set, clone the repository as $GOPATH/src/dmitryfrank.com/geekmarks, and then from the root of the repo:

$ make -C server/envs/dev

It will start two containers: posgresql (will be downloaded if needed) and geekmarks (will be built). Geekmarks backend will listen at the port 4000.

All data will be stored in /var/tmp/geekmarks_dev/posgresql.


In the event that you see the following error:

go install runtime/internal/sys: mkdir /usr/lib/go-1.9/pkg/linux_amd64_race: permission denied
Makefile:9: recipe for target 'docker-build' failed
make[1]: *** [docker-build] Error 1

you will need to create this folder as root and give your current user permissions to write to it:

sudo mkdir /usr/lib/go-1.9/pkg/linux_amd64_race
sudo chown -R $YOUR_USER /usr/lib/go-1.9/pkg/linux_amd64_race

Running tests

There are unit tests and integration tests.

For unit tests, only Go is required. For integration tests, docker and docker-compose are also required.

To run all tests:

$ make -C server/envs/test

To run unit or integration tests:

$ make -C server/envs/test unit-test
$ make -C server/envs/test integration-test