⛵ The Styx is the limit

The everyday normal developer story of Kindle Highlight Tosser:

Amazon syncs your Kindle clippings (highlights, notes), and you can access them on Kindle Cloud Reader. But it only does this for books that were purchased from their store. It’s a great incentive to buy from Amazon and not from somewhere else. Also, why would you go anywhere else? Everything is just there. It’s there, if you read in English!

It's a bummer for me, who reads literature in Hungarian, sometimes human science books in Romanian. You just can't find those books on Amazon. It's a whole lot of trouble sometimes to buy an ebook from a small Hungarian publisher. Things are not one search away, so fuck their incentive, if that was their plan all along.

The not so bad news is that if you connect your Kindle via USB to your computer, then you can download a text file (like it's 2000) that contains all the clippings.

Of course, if you had a Kindle for years, this is not news for you, but I have it for like six months. I assume you also know about Clippings.io, which works well for many.

The shortcoming of it is that it does not offer an API to export your highlights. Evernote export is great, but I don’t use it, and from the beginning, I wanted to feed my highlights to some static site generator or somewhere.

What I like about Clippings.io, is that you can add notes to the imported highlights. I’m mostly writing my notes in Hungarian, and I dare you to write with accented characters with the Kindle on-screen keyboard. Highlighting on the Kindle, additional notes later using my keyboard with Hungarian layout sounded a decent workflow to me.

The ideal services or tool might exist, but I gave up after half an hour of duckduckgoing. Nevertheless, I found many parsers written in Python that transformed the text file in a more manageable format. (Which turned out to be a blessing and gave me a headstart because I could use the regex they come up with.) Still, a part of the puzzle was missing; I had no idea how to keep notes together with the highlights.

Coincidently, I dealt with this when I started reading about layered software architecture and DDD and similar topics. After two days and another unsuccessful duckduckgoing, my inner developer won. The good thing is that I needed a toy project anyhow to put into practice some of the things I learned.

With the Kindle Highlight Tosser, I'm going to import that text file I was talking about, then browse, search the highlights, add notes if I want to, then export or make available a subset of the highlights to others systems. That is the plan.

Meglehet, hogy túl szigorúan ítélem meg a helyzetet, ahogy A. mondja, vagy szeretek nagy feneket keríteni bizonyos dolgoknak, ahogy A. (valójában) gondolja, de akkor is. Vagy csoportérdek szem előtt tartása van vagy sem, vagy decentralizált működés megteremtése van vagy sem. Itt a sem van, nem először.

Matthias Noback after giving a code example:

Although I would never write such code today, when I look at the Page class now, I don’t feel ashamed about what I did back then. It’s clear to me that I wasn’t struggling to get things working (because everything just worked, I always did a good job in that respect). Rather, I was struggling to get things organized.

I can relate to this! Where the fuck do I put this DTO?

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