SuttaCentral

Bookmark/Favorite button?


#1

Is there a way to use our user account to bookmark or “favorite” the suttas that we don’t want to lose track of? If not, I think that would be so helpful, along with a way to organize those favorited suttas, like the ability to make extra folders within the bookmark section of our account. Then we could make our own little categories for ourselves like “meditation,” “ethics,” “nibbana,” etc. I’m not sure what something like this would entail, but I feel like it would be so useful as well as convenient.


Bookmarks in SC
#2

Sujato’s first commandment of website development:

  • THOU SHALT NOT DUPLICATE IN THY WEBSITE FUNCTIONALITY ALREADY BUILT INTO THY BROWSER.

If the basic bookmarking features of your browser are not enough, there’s a bunch of extensions available. Google’s own bookmark extension for Chrome, for example, offers folders and note-taking abilities.


#3

Haha alright alright I take your point. I was hoping I could just trick you into letting us clutter up your site instead of our bookmark folders ;p


#4

I still think this would be a great idea, and here’s my main reason why: it’s on the cloud!

If I’m just bookmarking pages of suttas to my browser, would I be able to find that same sutta on my friends laptop when I want to show him? I would always need my own computer with that specific browser. And for the webapp on my phone (Android) I don’t even think I can bookmark the page onto a browser. If this were a thing, all I would need to do to find my suttas anywhere in the world on any device in the world would be my username and password. How simple and easy! So a feature like this would vastly increase the site’s practicality and ease of use, and I hope you reconsider it.

Plus that commandment seems a bit too commandment-y. What happened to precepts? Guidelines and principles, not laws laid down by some higher authority? With all due respect Bhante, I’ve even used your example of commandments as pre-school rules and precepts as university guidelines, so what’s with that? If it really is a commandment and it is unbreakable and punishable by damnation, then you broke it yourself! You have a search bar don’t you? My browser has that. I understand if it’s too difficult to implement, but it would really would be a great feature that would help A LOT of readers, including me.

Sorry if I seem pushy. In the end I will still be happy without it and keep using the site, it’s honestly one of the best websites that I’ve ever come into contact with. Everything from the content to the appearance to the entire principle and motivation behind just brings me joy, even rapture at times! So I thank you all who’ve worked on this so much :anjal: , but I still think this feature is inevitable, it seems like the logical next-step. The long-term benefit it would bring so many people is worth thinking about it.

Thanks again!
mettā


#5

It’s a commandment until someone provides a convincing argument otherwise. I’m listening! :ear:

You want to sync your bookmarks? Google also wants you to do that!

https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/165139

I’m not suggesting that you should trust Google with your data: you shouldn’t. But you also shouldn’t trust us with it. Sure, we’re not going to sell it or do anything nefarious with it. But we still have to store it and look after it, and the more data we store, the more likely we are to be hacked.

Currently we have zero information about our users, apart from statistical info on Google Analytics (which also I would like to remove). Discourse, of course, has more data, because you have to log in. But that is made and maintained by third parties, and we trust them to engineer a (relatively) secure system.

Can we also engineer our own (relatively) secure system? Sure. Just take our developers away from the jobs they are doing now and get them to spend a few months doing something else.

Once it is built and launched, of course, it will make the site worse for every future user and developer, except for those who specifically want this feature. Code is bad. It’s complicated, messy, buggy, and you have to download it and parse it and make it work, all of which costs money and electricity and bandwidth. And every generation of future developer has to spend time and effort to maintain and fix and upgrade the functionality.

Stuff that’s in the browser, you already have, and someone else spends the time and money and effort to build and maintain it. That’s why every feature that I can, I offload to the browser. This, by the way, is the motto of our software framework, Polymer: “Use the platform”. And it’s a mantra I keep encouraging our engineers: use basic browser functions whenever possible.

If you trust your browser vendor, let them sync your bookmarks:



https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4026735/microsoft-edge-sync-favorites-and-reading-list

If you want something universal and web-based, try a third-party service. Here is a list of options; I haven’t tried any so I can’t make any recommendations:

I hope that helps, and explains a little more why I am sticking with my commandment :pray:


#6

This is a really good point though @sujato. Some browser functionality is broken by making the site a PWA. Another example: I can no longer ‘find in page’ if I use the PWA version on a phone or tablet.


#7

If there are bugs, report them and we’ll fix them, or at least we’ll try. But any complex software has bugs, and adding more complexity just means more bugs.

I don’t have an Android phone to verify, but I’m afraid I find this a little hard to believe: what has being a PWA got to do with bookmarking? The site just runs in the browser like anything else, just that it does not need an online connection for cached pages.

Again, I find this a little hard to believe: the PWA version is exactly the same, the whole point is that functionality is added, not lost.

Find in page is, indeed, broken on the list of sutta cards, but this is the same everywhere; it is because of a library we use called iron-list, which is being removed from upcoming versions. This is to do with infinite scrolling, not PWA.

From next week I’ll have an Android phone for testing, so I’ll be able to check these cases directly.


#8

When added as a home icon (on Android), it seems to run in a browser (in my case Chrome) engine but stripped of Chrome’s menu bar(where I find Chrome’s find in page and bookmarks functionality. But maybe I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m on Android 6.0.1

Cool. I’ll wait to see how it works for you.

Another useful feature that goes when you don’t have Chrome’s menu is standard Android sharing.


#9

Okay, thanks, I will test this stuff out next week. Good news is, we are on track to update the PWA, so if anything is broken we can look at that.


#10

Yes, this has been my understanding. I’m using an Android phone and have the same user issues you’re talking about.


#11

Okay. Well, this would be a general problem with PWAs in Android, not specific to our site. I’ll do some research.