Rookmarks — Live RSS Bookmarks


Rookmarks is an appli­ca­tion that allows one or more peo­ple to admin­is­ter Firefix-style Live-RSS Bookmarks. It allows one or more edi­tors to con­trol a list of book­marks that will appear in a subscriber’s browser.

The orig­i­nal application’s audi­ence was the play­ers of Alternate Reality Games, where new sites or new pages on exist­ing sites are uncov­ered by solv­ing clues. The Rookmarks appli­ca­tion itself can be used by any­one who wants to man­age RSS book­marks.

There are a few design ideas and goals behind Rookmarks. These are:

  • Minimal instal­la­tion require­ments. The appli­ca­tion runs on PHP with a filesystem-based data repos­i­tory, as opposed to a MySQL data­base. This low­ers the bar of entry and lets almost any­one set up their own server.
  • It is assumed that there will be a dozen or fewer users. In this case, “users” means “peo­ple who admin­is­ter the sys­tem and add book­marks.” There can be an unlim­ited num­ber of peo­ple who sub­scribe to the book­mark list (within the lim­its of your server and band­width.) It is also assumed that the edi­tors will be using the sys­tem with min­i­mal con­cur­rency.
  • The RSS file itself is a sta­tic file that is gen­er­ated by the Rookmark sys­tem. This is to min­i­mize server load. Since the data changes rarely and since a poten­tially large audi­ence is request­ing that data, it makes more sense to have the RSS XML file a sta­tic file, rather than code that gets run with each request.
  • There are two user lev­els: admin­is­tra­tor and edi­tor. Administrators can created/delete/modify users and edi­tors can’t. Otherwise, they are both the same. Typically, the site owner is set up as an admin­is­tra­tor and will add edi­tors to help main­tain book­marks.
  • Both admin and edi­tor users are gen­er­ally trust­wor­thy. The sub­scrib­ing audi­ence at large might not be.


A read-only exam­ple has been set up. You can log in as “admin” with the pass­word “pass­word” but you will be unable to actu­ally make changes to the sys­tem.


Help Wanted

The appli­ca­tion can be spruced up in a few places–for exam­ple:

  • Better Web-Two-Point-Oh-iness with a cleaner UI and CSS.
  • The abil­ity for an admin to force-set any user’s pass­word.
  • Better sep­a­ra­tion of data and code (both are stored in /lib cur­rently.
  • Better doc­u­men­ta­tion and meta-site

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