I’ve been pretty busy lately, and haven’t had anytime for some good old fashioned hacking. I’ve also been copping some flack for letting my ruby-fu lapse (it seems a lot can happen in three months. Actually a lot happens in three minutes), so I decided to clear a couple of hours last weekend to have a play with GitHub, haml and sass, and just to generally get friendly with ruby again.
I recently read a couple of articles about the doom and gloom around URL shorteners and how if a couple of the big ones collapsed the entire intergoop would fall on it’s face. Whilst that is a little bit of an over exaggeration, there is some food for thought in that statement. I was also reading about the collapse of magnolia (I know – old news. Sue me). Many an innocent bystander lost many months or years of bookmarking just because one site went down. Whilst I’m a fan of the cloud, I’m also a bit of a control freak, so this was a little scary.
I’ve been using del.icio.us for a while, but only for the bookmarking facilities, not the social part. And even though Yahoo probably won’t go broke any time soon, I was wondering what would happen if they decided to close the big bookmarker in the sky down. So meftos.com was born.
meftos.com is a personal bookmarker and url shortener built in Rails. It only has one user (you), and you host it yourself. From a URL shortening point of view, there is no one point of failure – sure if a number of individuals remove their servers, you will have some broken links, but that if far less impact than one mega site bombing.
If you have a server that can run Rails, you too can install your own copy – feel free to skin it, and change it’s same. All of the source code is on GitHub, and I’m told you can nearly use it out of the box on Heroku. Play around, feel free to kick the tyres. There is still some stuff to do – namely search, better user management (There is no simple user management gems in Ruby any more – I’ll probably have to write my own) and some other bits and pieces, but it seems to work ok.
More importantly, I got a little glimpse again of why coding makes me happy. That should keep me warm on those cold, winter nights…