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I made a Quotebacks plugin for Marked

Quotebacks is a combination of a chrome extension which can be used to collect quotes from websites, and a little library which renders those quotes in a particular style. I wanted to use it for this website, but I didn’t want to use the existing rendering code1, so I built a plugin for the popular JavaScript library marked.

The web is still a very young medium, and it has been influenced more than anything else by print media design. There is so much more that can be done with text on a screen than is being done today. Citations, drawing, chat, speech-to-text. There are opportunities everywhere, and the bar is low! If we are serious about unlocking the value of knowledge we should consider how to improve every part of the knowledge production stack, and that includes reading. As Laurel Schwulst says: “Imaginative functionality is important, even if it’s only a trace of what was, as it’s still a sketch for a more ideal world.”

The code is on github here and the package is published to npm here. It looks for markdown in the exact format exported by the browser extension, and then tries to render the quotes in the same style as the existing tool.

I'm currently using Quotebacks to help write a blogpost where I collect the most incomprehensible quotes from Adrian Chiles’ column. So that’s something to look forward to.

1 Why? Well, mainly I couldn't figure out how to make it work with what I had. I looked at the code, when I saw it I first thought ‘wow this is totally wild’, and then I realised that by becoming a ‘professional software engineer’ I lost the ability to write and understand some types of code, then I felt a bit weird and sad. YOLO.


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