Gordita = del.icio.us Tagging for Google Reader

update 4/3/2009: Feh! WordPress.com ate my JavaScript. Sorry y’all!

Google Reader is the greatest, except when it’s not. Take shared items for instance. It’s convenient to simply click the share control while reading an item and to have that item show up on your very own private feed. Distribute the secret feed URL to your friends, syndicate it on your blog, isn’t it peachy!

But what if you are reading an item in Google Reader and you decide delve a bit deeper — navigating onto a blog, or some other site. Now let’s say you find something really cool that you’d like to add to your Google Reader shared items feed. Well you can’t do it — you’re not inside the Google Reader application any more and Google has exposed no external means of adding items to that feed.

But hold on… isn’t del.icio.us really good at this stuff? It’s all about bookmarks and tagging and open RESTy web services. There are a number of applications integrated with del.icio.us including Pukka, Ryan Tomayko’s del.icio.us addresslets, and numerous bookmarklet generators from Ryan and others.

These tools are great for general purpose tagging. The problem is they aren’t integrated with Google Reader. Click your generated bookmarklet while reading an item in Google Reader and you’ll create a tag to Google Reader itself — not the item you’re reading.

To address the lack of Google Reader integration, I’ve created yet another bookmarklet generator. This one generates a Google Reader Del.icio.us Tagging bookmarklet — a Gordita. Click the bookmarklet while you’re reading an item in Google Reader and you’ll tag the current item (using Google Reader’s meta-data). Click the bookmarklet while reading some other site (other than Google Reader) and it works as you’d expect — using the current location and page title for the tag metadata. Enter your del.icio.us username in this form and click the “New Gordita” button. A window will pop up, containing a hyperlink. Drag that hyperlink to your browser’s menu bar and then click that thing when you want to tag an item in Google Reader or just tag any old page. Oh, and in either situation — your current selection gets injected into the notes field of your new entry. (I used the code generated by Ryan Tomayko’s experimental-delicious-thing-generator as a starting point — thanks Ryan!)

del.icio.us username:
PS If you’re running Firefox 2.0 you’ll notice (or not!) that Gordita, and in fact most windows opened by bookmarklets are opening behind the focus window — instead of on top where you’d like ’em. The problem is documented in bugzilla bug 232605 and I’ve verified that the Firefox nightly (burning edge) actually fixes this problem as of 11/4/2006.

PPS The Mac workaround for the Firefox 2.0 bug is to use command-` that’s command-backquote to cycle to the newly opened window. Windows folks can use alt-tab.

Update: September 25, 2007
In response to John’s feedback I’ve tweaked the bookmarket (generator) so that Gordita no longer gives “undefined” as the subject. Let me know if you have any more problems.

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38 Responses to Gordita = del.icio.us Tagging for Google Reader

  1. Pingback: Bill Burcham’s memeRocket :: Mac Workaround for Firefox Popup Bug in Gordita

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  5. Sergio says:

    I think ‘Gordita’ is a strange name. I suposse it is an acronym from ‘Google Reader Del.icio.us Tagging’.
    But in spanish, ‘gorda’ is a fat woman, and ‘gordita’ is a polite/romantic word to say ‘gorda’.

    And create a button to build a new ‘gordita’ is something funny :) Maybe you want change to another name.

  6. bill.burcham says:

    Right on Sergio! You guessed the acronym and proved that the name was “remarkable”. Mission accomplished ;-)

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  8. Florian Schneider says:

    Maybe you should mention more precisely under which circumstances Gordita works. A dumb user like me might klick on the Gordita-Link while there is no item active (the active news item has a thin blue frame around it) in Google Reader and experience that a new del.icio.us post of the Google Reader Website ist generated.

  9. bill.burcham says:

    Good point Florian. There are certain situations where Google Reader will not have a “current” item. In those cases, Gordita will tag Google Reader itself (http://www.google.com/reader/view)

    Actually, the only situation I can find in which Google Reader has no current item is when the page is initially loaded. Once you hit the ‘n’ key or space bar or scroll around at all, Reader wakes up and designates an item. I wonder if it’s a bug that Reader doesn’t initially select the top item as current. Maybe not since making that item current would cause reloads to “consume” (mark as read) the top item each time. I imagine that could be annoying.

    Also, I should point out that Gordita doesn’t know about Google Reader’s “list” view. It only knows about “expanded” view. If you’re in list view, Gordita will tag not the current item, but Google Reader itself.

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  11. Pingback: Hawkeye :: Murali’s Blog » links for 2006-11-27

  12. this is a great app…the only improvement I could think of would be a hybrid of this and pukka, so that I could post from google reader to any one of the mutiple del.icio.us accounts I use.

  13. Pingback: Bill Burcham’s memeRocket :: Pukkadita = del.icio.us Tagging for Google Reader via Pukka

  14. Pingback: Freunde der offenen Gesellschaft » links for 2006-12-04

  15. David Kemp says:

    Bill, if you use document.evalutate, it’s far more concise, and also can work in both list view and expanded view.
    My first stab at it is, but it might need a bit of tweaking….
    javascript:t = document.evaluate( “descendant::h2[@class=’entry-title’]/a”, document.getElementById(‘current-entry’), null, XPathResult.ANY_TYPE, null ).iterateNext();if( t != null ) {q = t.getAttribute(‘href’);p = t.firstChild.innerHTML;} else {q=location.href;p=document.title;}e=window.getSelection();open(‘http://del.icio.us/new/username?jump=close&url=’+escape(q)+’&title=’+escape(p)+’&extended=’+escape(e),’delicious’,’toolbar=no,width=700,height=450,resizable’);void 0;

  16. Bill Burcham says:

    Ooh. Neat David. Does document.evaluate work on all the big browsers? I see it’s there on Firefox and friends.

  17. Awesome! Does exactly what I hoped it would when I went searching for something to do exactly this. :-)

  18. Bill Burcham says:

    David Kemp‘s suggestion is intriguing, though as he pointed out offline — it doesn’t work on IE. My research show you gotta have some ActiveX thingie to do XPaths on IE. Grr.

    I was an “XPath hopeful” for a long time. I found it a bit odd when I came to the web development world and found everyone using this CSS thing with its arbitrarily different selector syntax.

    Along these lines I did consider using Prototype’s $$() but it didn’t work out since I could find no secure, publicly hosted implementation — and didn’t want to host one myself.

  19. Running FF1.5.0.8 & del.icio.us Bookmarks extension 1.3.64 – the one that takes over your local bookmarks and syncs them w/ your del. bookmarks.

    I have “firefox:toolbar” up in my Bookmarks toolbar. Dragging Google Reader’s “Subscribe…” bookmarklet to this toolbar generated the usual “Add Bookmark” dialogue.

    Dragging “Gordita” results in a message box: “del.icio.us account – A del.icio.us account is required to manage your bookmarks. Please sign in or create a new account. Setup your account,” which link kicks me to Tools > Options > Bookmarks (supplied by del.icio.us extension). This shows that I am, in fact, logged in with the same username I supplied to generate the Gordita bookmarklet.

    All of which seems strange….

    Any suggestions?…

    Maybe the Gordita script is too long for del.icio.us?… And this is del.icio.us’s response?… If so, I’d consider it a Bad response, but this may not be what’s going on.

    Looking forward to trying this,

  20. Edward Wiest says:

    Iwas attempting to setup gordita tonight, but can’t drag the link onto the IE7 toolbar. A scrit error icon appears in the new window. Am I missing something?

    Thanks for your help.

  21. Bill Burcham says:

    How meta-circular Matthew! You’re using the del.icio.us extension to store a bookmark that is actually a bookmarklet whose purpose is to make saving bookmarks in del.icio.us more convenient.

    I don’t know why the del.icio.us extension would behave in the way you describe. Are you able to store other bookmarklets in that thing? The only theory I can offer is that the global variables (t,q,p,e) defined by Gordita are colliding with some global variables defined in del.icio.us extension. But for that to be a problem, it woulds seem that the del.icio.us extension must be trying to evaluate the bookmarklet — which doesn’t make sense to me.

  22. Bill Burcham says:

    Edward: is there an IE7 setting that protects against bookmarkets (bookmarks containing executable JavaScript)? If so, you’d need to turn that protection off in order to save a Gordita. Are you able to drag other bookmarklets to your IE7 toolbar?

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  24. i have been using gordita with google reader for some time now. Unfortunately in the past 2 weeks it hasnt been working for me. Any idea what could be wrong?

  25. I would like to publicly thank Bill for his time and effort. He was able to narrow my gordita problem to the fact that I was using the list view instead of expanded view.

    Gordita NOTE: Functions in Expanded View ONLY

    Thanks again Bill.

  26. Pingback: Get the Most out of Google Reader at Kyle’s Cove

  27. Thomas says:

    If you use http://del.icio.us/%5Buser%5D/?v=4&noui=yes&jump=close&url=%5Bcontinue as in the original] as the del.icio.us post URL, the UI is a lot cleaner, and recommended tags are given to you by del.icio.us. It works for me.

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  32. Mike says:

    Sorry, but I don’t get it. I created the Gordita bookmarklet. That was easy enough. I then clicked on the Gordita bookmarklet while viewing a web page and a del.icio.us post window appeared. But I don’t understand how to use that window to add the web page to my Google Reader’s shared items page.

    What am I missing?

  33. aviva says:

    Thank you! I’m enjoying…

  34. John says:

    I get a “unspecified” in the subject heading lately. Any change on the Reader side?

  35. Bill says:

    John: I was seeing the same behavior. Changing an innerHtml call to a nodeValue call cleared it up. Let me know if you have any more problems k?

  36. John says:

    Bill: that fixes the problem indeed.

    Thanks a lot for looking into it!

  37. Adi says:

    I have been using gordita with Google reader for some time now. Unfortunately in the past month it hasn’t been working for me. Do you know where is possible to find the problem ?

  38. Pingback: Google Reader Social Retrospective - NEWS DDC

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