Simple, reliable sharing: by URL and a referrer-based bookmark

There are a growing number of problem reports which are caused by the current bookmarklet failing (looks like about 63 currently) and they seem to boil down to two major problems: the first being that the current sharing bookmarklet uses a big block of JavaScript which provides a much better experience except when it conflicts with something on the page (e.g. duplicate jQuery errors on and lately there’s been a large increase in the number of popular sites like which use Content-Security-Policy to prevent injected code from loading third-party scripts at all. CSP is becoming popular because it eats into adware, ISP tampering, etc. and I expect that trend to continue.

Here’s a suggestion for how to address this.

  1. Add a page on where you can share any URL, so people have a fallback matter how broken the page environment gets.
  2. Make that page use the HTTP referer so a really simple bookmarklet could simply set document.location.href (which is still allowed even with CSP) to the sharing page and it’ll autofill the URL and snag the contents server-side (and, of course, always do the entire thing over HTTPS so the browser won’t strip the referer header).
  3. Have the rich sharing bookmarklet use either an error handler, timer, etc. to fall back to the previous approach if the full UI can’t be loaded — or maybe just do something as simple as setting a variable to check whether the user’s already tried to share the page and assume the second time won’t work any better.
1 Like

CSP is growing to be the default security practice for most sites on the web, so this idea makes me very happy. While newsblur is about feeds, feeds from other newsblur users are just as interesting as RSS, it’s why I love newsblur.

Hey, thanks for posting this Chris. I’m afraid to admit that I didn’t see this proposal when you posted it for whatever reason, but I’m going to act on this immediately.

  1. I think this is a great idea and I’ll add it somehow.
  2. Another good idea
  3. These would be two separate bookmarklets. They’re just fundamentally different. This new bookmarklet would just take the URL and whatever extracted story content it might be able to read and then punt you over to a dialog. I’m thinking in the existing UI, so I can combine 1. and 2.

Excellent news – I have certain sites where I have to launder links through Instapaper just to share them here and it’d be great to lose the Insta-fetch step.

Ok, in trying to launch notifications I’m not going to have a chance to build this. I tried stubbing it out but it’s a bit more work than I had hoped for. I’m going to put it on the priority board so it will eventually get built. And if anybody else wants to see this, please chime in here.

The ticket: