What I intend to do and why

I’ve been using h. in the past weeks, and I like the tool. It created/uses a W3C protocol and has an API I can use with a token connected to my account.
I want to integrate annotations I make with my notes I keep locally better. This points towards using h. ‘headless’ in the sense I push things to and pull things from the API, rather than do my annotations in browser. This would reduce friction in my note making flow.

There are several things I can think of, at different levels of difficulty to achieve.

  • Being able to submit urls with a page wide annotation, tied to how I save webpages and a motivation for saving with a markdown clipper.
  • Being able to annotate a page saved in my notes, and send the annotations to the right url in h.
  • Being able to update annotations.

The first is the most straightforward, and the first I will try to achieve.

Steps taken

Save new page annotations

  • Envisioned path:
    • Use markdownload to save a page in markdown in an Obsidian folder. Alter the template to have the relevant info in a predictable spot (h post status, URL, web archive url and motivation for saving)
    • Run a script that checks for new files in that folder and filters those with a status of not yet posted to h.
    • Run API calls to submit the selected notes to h.
    • Change the status of the notes in Obsidian to published to h.
  • Steps taken
  • Steps to take
    • Try out the minimal JSON / POST structure in Postman to get it right
    • Try out the same JSON / POST re-using an earlier micropub script to post from PHP to h.
    • Find out how to evaluate the response and then set the status in the Obsidian note, re-using the script I use to blog from my notes to WP.

I want to make it easy to publish lists of books I am reading and have read, or any other list. And do so without using centralised platforms like e.g. Goodreads (Amazon). A book list is a small library.
The route I am currently on, is publishing a machine readable list others can easily incorporate. These lists are in OPML, an exchange format for outlines. It’s the same format generally used to share lists of RSS feed subscriptions.

Current situation and usage: automated lists
Currently I am able to directly automatically create the lists in OPML from my individual book notes in Obsidian.md (which I use for PKM).
In Q1 2022 I experienced that creating lists and posting them works nicely and smoothly, with no friction. I do currently only create a few lists (fiction and non-fiction in the running year, antilibrary). I’m also working through the books I’ve read in the last decade or so, and gradually creating those lists. I’m not generating those as OPML however, they currently are just a list in my own notes.

Next steps: consuming other lists
Next steps will look at how to do the federating itself: how can I ‘consume’, or even include in my own lists, the OPML, ActivityPub or JSON lists of others in a meaningful way? I think a first step is consuming one list published by someone else, treating it as a recommendation list perhaps or some other form of input, much like I’m reading feeds. It might be useful to be able to pick out mentions about books I’ve already read, are in my anti-library, match an author I like, or match my interests while being unknown to me. I suspect a slightly tweaked parser for every new list might be needed, as using a list depends both on format and on content fields.

Ealier steps: proof of concept and data model
In 2020 I came across a posting by Tom Critchlow on this topic, and a year later I started looking into using OPML to create the lists.

I created a proof of concept, with a data format.
Using that I created a webform to update a book list by hand with a new entry.
Then I automated generating the lists (code on GitHub).
All as proofs of concept.

There are multiple ways to access Kindle highlights.

  • For e-books I loaded myself onto my e-ink Kindle (e.g. using Calibre), and for the hightlights made on a specific e-ink Kindle: connect that Kindle to laptop, and copy the file myclippings.txt
  • For highlights from all the e-books I bought (actually leased) through Amazon, regardless of Kindle devices or apps: https://read.amazon.com/kp/notebook
  • For highlights from Kindle e-books, I use the Obsidian Kindle plugin to import highlights into my notes automatically
  • While reading a book on an e-ink Kindle, open the three dot menu, select Notes, and export notes, and it will be send to the e-mail address connected to my Amazon account.
  • There are multiple ways to access Nova2 highlights/notes:

  • Attach device over USB and download files to disk or to e.g. Zotero
  • Sync note files to Evernote and export/process from there.
  • This page lists some things on Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). In 2021 I’m mostly focused on processing material collected through my information strategies.
    Therefore I’m mostly listing some of the things I wrote in the last 2 years about note taking.