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Thursday, 07 December 2006

BookM is a simple, easy to use bookmark system. It's available at http://bookm.vangilz.com. It allows you to create bookmarks, describe them, categorize them and add them to a view. Each view can in turn be tuned to allow for proper display on any device. When viewing BookM on a mobile phone or PDA, you'll probably not care about fancy graphics that take up precious real estate and possibly add to your phone bill. In contrast, on your PC, you'll want to see a page that looks nice.

Whether you're at work or at home, you'll likely be interested in a different set of bookmarks. Different members of you family can easily switch to their preferred set of bookmarks. Alternatively, each member could create their own account.

Start using BookM by going to to the Setup menu. You'll have the possibility to create bookmarks, categories, and views. Lastly it's possible to set the current view. Start by creating a view (such as Home or Work). Then create one or more categories (Games, News, Travel, etc.). Lastly, create bookmarks. You must have at least one category to be able to create a bookmark.

The concepts of BookM

Image There are three concepts in BookM. Bookmarks, Categories and Views. All can be created and edited from the Setup menu. When you select one of the concepts, you'll be presented by a list. If you more than 20 items, you'll get paging links at the bottom. There's also a button to create a new item. By clicking on the items, you'll start editing them. It's also possible to click the small pencil icon next to the item. The cross icon deletes that item. If you've entered invalid data on a particular page, you'll be presented with the error and you'll have the opportunity to go back to correct it. All items have the option to enter a Description. This is where you can describe the item in full detail. It will be displayed as a popup balloon when your mouse hovers over the item.

The new/edit bookmark page allows the following information to be entered. URL. This is where you fill in the URL to the site. If you don't include "http://", it will be added for you. The URL field is always required, with one exception: Notes (see the special section). Name is another essential field. This is how the link show up on the main page. It should be short (no more than a few words) describing the link. Category sets the category to which the bookmark belongs. You must choose one value. Finally, a list of views is presented. Check the views in which you want the bookmark to be active.

Categories represent the group in which the bookmarks are placed. Bookmarks that belong to the same category are grouped and displayed together. Categories have a Name. This descibes the group and also determines the group header. By default, the Type of a category is set to Bookmark. This can be changed to Gadget or Note (see the special section). Width and Height have no meaning for bookmark categories.

Views represent a selection of bookmarks and -- since bookmarks belong to a category -- a category as well. You can use views to create multiple pages, pages for different locations (such as Work or Home), or pages for display on different devices (PC, cell phone, PSP, console). Views, too, have a display name. They also have a Style. So far 6 styles have been defined.

Image Earl Grey Image
Image Shock Image
Blue Bird
Halloween Image

The default style is Blue Bird. Column Size sets the number of bookmarks before a new column is started. The number of categories also add towards the size of the column. You can use this feature to determine how many columns you'll end up getting. Some experimentation might be needed here, but typical values range from 20 to 30. When Show Header is selected, a header bar is displayed at the top of the main page. This bar contains links to change the active view, enter the setup page, and switch to edit mode.

Main page

This is your home page. All bookmarks of the active view are displayed grouped per category. Click on a link to go to the site. There are two special icons next to the category name. The fist is a down arrow (or rather, a triangle pointing down). Click it to collapse the group and create more space on the page. The icon will change into a right pointing triangle. Click it to expand the category. Click the star to create a new bookmark directly in that category (and the active view). It's an easy and quick way to create a new bookmark. When you've created the bookmark (feel free to add additional views or even change the category), you'll be taken back to the main page. At the top of the page is the header bar (if you're using a view with Show Header enabled). If the view has Show Header disabled, an extra group is created at end of the page. It contains the BookM links (Setup, Edit, Sign out).

Edit mode

ImageThe purpose of this mode is to rearrange all items on the page. This mode is activated by clicking the Edit link. The main page is re-displayed with some extra features. The bookmark links will take you to the edit page for that bookmark. The category names link to the category edit page. To the left of all bookmarks and categories, up arrow icons can be found. Clicking these will move the bookmark or entire category group up one position. To move a category or bookmark down one position, move the one below it up. The cross icon behind each bookmark link will permanently delete the bookmark. When you're done, click Done (where the Edit link used to be).

Signing in/out

To create an account, click the Create a new account link. An e-mail will be sent to the address you supply, so please make sure it's correct. The e-mail will contain a confirmation link. Click it to activate the account. After activation, you may need to use your username and password to sign in. The username is case-insensitive. The Remember me on this computer causes you to remain signed in even when your browser is closed. This sign-in will last for exactly one year. Certain network configurations can cause your session to end even when the Remember me option is active. This typically happens when you're behind a proxy server or use a dynamic IP address. When this happens, you'll be prompted to log in again. If the Remember me option is disabled, This will be the default behavior. Sign out signs you out and takes you back to the login screen.


Mini Forms
When your URL starts with <form, it is used directly on the page. This is useful for creating little search boxes on your page. The following example creates a google search box.
<form method="get" action="http://www.google.com/search"><input name="q" size="6"><input type="submit" value="Google"></form>

A gadget is a small web application running within your main page. This could be a little game, clock, another website, or anything else. A gadget takes up an entire category group. To add a gadget to your page, do the following:
- Create a new category and set its type to Gadget. The width and height properties are important. The values to be entered are in pixels. A value of 0 indicates a default value for the width or height. If only the width is an issue, you could leave the height at 0.
- Create a new bookmark. The URL should point to your gadget. This could be, for example, a swf file. Choose the category created in the previous step (and select at least one view).

Notes are the equivalent of those yellow sticky bits of paper. The nice thing about notes is that the text you enter is stored. This means that if you view your BookM page from another location, your note will still be there. You could use the notes to send messages between people. To add a note to your page, do the following:

- Create a new category and set its type to Note. The width and height properties are important. The values to be entered are in characters.

- Create a new bookmark. The URL should be left empty. Choose the category created in the previous step (and select at least one view).


BookM makes use of cookies and JavaScript. Both should be enabled in your browser.

There's a hidden extra login page at http://bookm.vangilz.com/login.php. This page is very simple and more appropriate for devices with small displays such as cell phones.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 07 May 2007 )
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