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Re: Yet another browser extension for capturing notes - LinkRemark

From: Maxim Nikulin
Subject: Re: Yet another browser extension for capturing notes - LinkRemark
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2020 18:49:19 +0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

On 25/12/2020, Ihor Radchenko wrote:

Reading through the code, I can see that you are familiar with metadata
conventions. Do you know good references about what og: metadata is
commonly used? I looked through the official OpenGraph specification,
but popular websites appear to ignore most of the conventions.

I just inspected pages on several sites using developer tools and added
code that handles noticed elements.

I have not tried to find any resources on metadata (OK, once I searched for LD+JSON, essentially the outcome was the link to schema.org that I have seen in data already). Looking into page source, I realized that almost nobody cares if the site has metadata of appropriate quality. I think, search engines are advanced enough to work without metadata and even decrease page rank if something suspicious was added by SEO. The only force to add some formal data is "share" buttons. Maybe some guides for web developers from social networks or search engines could be more useful than formal references, but I have not had a closer look.

Also, org-capture-ref does not really force the user to put BiBTeX into
the capture. Individual metadata fields are available using
org-capture-ref-get-bibtex-field (which extracts data from internal
alist structure). It's just that I mostly had BiBTeX in mind (with
distant goal of supporting export to LaTeX) for my use-cases.

I do not have clear vision how to use collected data for queries. Certainly I want to have more human-friendly representation than BibTeX entries (maybe in addition to machine-parsable data) adjacent to my notes.

Personally, I would prefer to avoid http queries from Emacs. Sometimes it is better to have current DOM state, not page source, that is why I decided to gather data inside browser, despite security fences that are placed quite strangely in some cases.

From my point of view, you should be happy with any of projects you mentioned below. Are all of them have some problems critical for you?

Technically it should be possible to push e.g. raw document.head.innerHtml to any external metadata parser using native messaging (to deal with sites requiring authorization). However it could cause an alarm during review before publication of the extension to the browser catalogues.

Finally, would you be interested to join efforts on metadata parsing?

Could you, please, share a bit more details on your ideas? There is some room for improvement, but I do not think that quality of metadata for ordinary sites could be dramatically better. The case that is not handled it all is scientific publications, unfortunately currently I have quite little interest in it. Definitely results should be stored in some structured format such as BibTeX. I have seen huge <head> elements describing even all references. Certainly such lists are not for general-purpose notes (at least without explicit request from the user), they should be handled by some bibliography software to display citation graphs in the local library. On the other hand it is not a problem to feed such data to some tool using native messaging protocol. I have no idea if various publisher provide such data in a uniform way, I just hope that pressure from citation indices and bibliography management software has positive influence on standardization.

I am not going to blow up the code with recipes for particular sites. However I realize that some special cases still should be handled. I am not ready to adapt user script model used by Greasemonkey/Violentmonkey/Tampermonkey. I believe, it is better to create dedicated extension(s) that either adds and overwrites existing meta elements or allows to query gathered data using sendMessage webextensions interface. By the way, scripts for above mentioned extensions could be used as well. It should alleviate cases when some site with insane metadata is important for particular user.

P.S. Some links I collected myself when working on org-capture-ref. They
might also be of interest for you:

- https://github.com/ageitgey/node-unfluff
- https://github.com/gabceb/node-metainspector
- https://github.com/wikimedia/html-metadata
- https://github.com/microlinkhq/metascraper
- https://github.com/hboisgibault/unicontent

Thank you for the links. I should have a closer look at that projects. E.g. I considered itemprop="author" elements but postponed implementation of such features. For some reason I even did not tried to find existing projects for metadata extraction. Maybe I still hope that quite simple implementation could handle most of the cases.

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