Week 41 (9–15 October 2023)


Still recovering from my climbing injury. I walk almost normally and carefully went bouldering again, sticking to the grade below my level. But we spent most of the week at home—beyond the mobility issues we needed the rest after our trip last week.

So I coded. C and I have a small ongoing project to build a sort of Pocket alternative (a bookmarking service) because Pocket doesn't have the features we want, plus we don't want to pay $10/month1 only to find ourselves locked to Pocket for the foreseeable future2. And it's fun.

This week we got the project to a working version! This is how it works in a nutshell:

  • for saving article we use a custom bookmarklet. I packed all of mozilla/readability into it with Rollup. The bookmarklet sends the article to a cloud function (a Cloudflare Worker)
  • the function authorizes the request using dumb HTTP Basic Auth and saves the article in a Cloudflare D1 database, sort of a hosted, serverless sqlite (picked this because it's nicely integrated with Workers, but I should probably start hosting Postgres or something)
  • there's a web app (vanilla JS!) (deployed to Cloudflare Pages) that allows users (2 MAUs!) to fetch their saved articles, read them on a nice interface (C designed it so it's nicer than this website, promise), and favorite and/or archive them

The next big step is to add highlighting+annotation features, which unlike Hypothes.is won't be vulnerable to link rot since article content is saved to the DB. But in the meantime we both use the thing already for simple bookmarking/reading!


Saw Tokyo Vice, it had been a while we hadn't watched a series! (There's more coming.) (Can't actually remember the last one we watched just now, probably a few months ago?3)


After a long wait my turn came to rent the third (audio)book of R. F. Kuang's Poppy Wars trilogy on Libby. It's 24-hours long, I'm about a third through it and have 7 days left before the next person gets it. Homework.


  1. Pocket is free for bookmarking, but highlighting articles for example is a premium feature. Hypothes.is is great for highlighting/annotating (though not immune to link rot) but it's not designed to save bookmarks. Instapaper is probably the closest thing to what we'd like to build

  2. Pocket's export feature is incredibly underwhelming. It only exports an HTML page with a list of URLs without any metadata (source site name, article length, date it was saved), without a way to access the article content except by accessing the URL (link rot warning), without tags, without highlights. I wonder what they do when someone requests their data under GDPR (let's see!)

  3. C reminds me we saw the first season of Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (2016) recently-ish, there's a theme