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Show HN: Stringmark – Chrome extension that makes online research easier (stringmark.com)
108 points by johanznsdn 67 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments



Stringmark maker here!

I developed Stringmark based on my own needs: I sometimes have to do research very intensively and in a very short period of time. Often then, I have a lot of tabs open and every time I come across a sentence/paragraph that interests me, I add the webpage to my Bookmarks or to my Reading List to be able to go deeper later.

But more than 30 bookmarks later, I don't remember why I saved a specific webpage, which sentence or paragraph interests me and I end up losing productivity and time.

Yes, after doing some research I saw some extensions that offers similar features, but all of them have either a complicated user interface, or too many useless features (personal opinion) AND most of them require login…

In my opinion, it should be as simple as using the default Bookmark and Reading List features of the browser.

That's why I developed Stringmark, a small and easy-to-use Chrome Extension that allows you to save a piece of text and the URL from any webpage. And thanks to Chrome Text Fragment feature, your selected text is highlighted when you click on any link from Stringmark.

I already plan to add new useful features and I am of course open for feedback. Please check it out and let me know what you think (no login required)!


Hey guys!

I apologize for the lack of precision concerning where the data is saved.

I'll just copy paste one of my comment here:

"In my opinion, it’s a pain to have recurring cost for small extensions/apps like Stringmark. But as @razemio said, it’s (most of the time) necessary when the service uses a backend. As I said, I want to avoid recurring cost and that’s why I decided to use chrome.storage. Also, as another comment and @razemio said here, the sync storage of Chrome is limited in size: ~100kb which is roughly 370 highlights in Stringmark because the text you are able to save is limited in size (~120 characters). Also, the local storage of Chrome is unlimited in size.

It means that you can have ~370 highlights that are synced through your devices. Honestly, I think that it is enough but you guys are right I should precise it in my website, I’ll update it ASAP!

@bruth that is the reason why the product will never go away since I don’t have backend costs!

In order to attenuate this sync storage size limitation I plan to add these features: Limit the number of highlights per list; Let the users decide to save a specific list locally or using chrome sync; Export lists by email and/or in various file format in order to free up space; Import lists easily

The other solution is to add another premium plan with a recurring cost and where I would use a database backend for these users so that they can really have ‘unlimited’ highlights synced.

Tell me what you guys think about these solutions!"


I'ld love to use this, but there is no Firefox version...


Yes... I'll try to make a Firefox version ASAP! (Chrome extensions are compatible with Opera/Edge...)


Awesome, please yes. It would be great to have a Firefox version.


most of the chrome extensions should work easily with firefox. Because chrome=browser in manifest v2 at firefox (I don't think manifest v3 has arrived in firefox)

However what I can tell is making extension in firefox is more fun than chrome in manifest v2.


I don't know if you'll see this comment... but the Firefox is now out! https://www.stringmark.com/download


Could you say a bit about how the sync happens and how/where the data is stored?

Unrelated, you probably don't want to be selling 'lifetime premium' anything, even when it's not clear what that means at an early stage. It's a small and low-priced thing as it is, painting yourself into a 'lifetime' corner with potential customers is not worth the certain future hassle and misunderstandings.


Thanks for your feedback pvg!

The data is stored using 'chrome.storage'. So it's either stored locally if you aren't signed in to Chrome Browser or stored in the Google servers if you are signed in. So the sync happens using your Google account. (https://developer.chrome.com/docs/extensions/reference/stora...)

Concerning the 'lifetime' word, I get your point. I just wanted to highlight the fact that you only pay once for the premium features and that it's not a 'subscription business model'.


Isn't storage.sync limited to something tiny like 100 Kb? Or has that changed?


You're totally right.

"In my opinion, it’s a pain to have recurring cost for small extensions/apps like Stringmark. But as @razemio said, it’s (most of the time) necessary when the service uses a backend. As I said, I want to avoid recurring cost and that’s why I decided to use chrome.storage. Also, as another comment and @razemio said here, the sync storage of Chrome is limited in size: ~100kb which is roughly 370 highlights in Stringmark because the text you are able to save is limited in size (~120 characters). Also, the local storage of Chrome is unlimited in size.

It means that you can have ~370 highlights that are synced through your devices. Honestly, I think that it is enough but you guys are right I should precise it in my website, I’ll update it ASAP!

@bruth that is the reason why the product will never go away since I don’t have backend costs!

In order to attenuate this sync storage size limitation I plan to add these features: Limit the number of highlights per list; Let the users decide to save a specific list locally or using chrome sync; Export lists by email and/or in various file format in order to free up space; Import lists easily

The other solution is to add another premium plan with a recurring cost and where I would use a database backend for these users so that they can really have ‘unlimited’ highlights synced.

Tell me what you guys think about these solutions!"


Looks great! But as mentioned in another comment; where are my data stored?

Also, the free version seems pretty useless if there is no way for me to export my data and it only shows the three first lines of an annotation

Since you ask for feedback, here are some ideas:

  * Group highlights from the same url
  * Save all open tabs as a list
  * Reader mode
  * Archive the urls in my lists in some way; preferably as a single html file


Thanks for your feedback.

Concerning the free version, I get your point I'll think about it!

Concerning the data : "The data is stored using 'chrome.storage'. So it's either stored locally if you aren't signed in to Chrome Browser or stored in the Google servers if you are signed in. So the sync happens using your Google account. (https://developer.chrome.com/docs/extensions/reference/stora...)"

Thank you so much for the ideas :)


Another idea: show on Stringmark's icon, if I have anything saved from the current page.


Looks cool! I’ve been waiting for a better bookmark feature and something for making highlights on pages for a while, but the solutions I’ve found all fall a bit short.

> No login required, no useless features.

Does this mean there’s also no dependency on an external server? That’d be super refreshing.

Can’t wait for the Firefox version.


Thank you :) No dependency on an external server indeed. I'm only using an external small server to check if a user has a premium or free plan!


Looks cool. I’d love to see a mobile version of this. That’s when I typically make these types of notes, sitting on the couch at the end of the day. I currently either text myself the quote and link, or keep track of the same using the Notes app or GitHub issues if it’s related to a project.


Thanks ezekg! Great idea, I'll think about making a mobile version, thanks :)


Decent, will there be Firefox version?


Thanks! I'll try to make a version for Firefox very soon!


I'm currently using LINER and I would love to test your app if a Safari extension is released


Cool. This looks nice - can’t wait to try it out. I made something like this but it’s a bad prototype that I never took the time to improve. Based on one of your comments, sorry if you ended up trying to use it!


Oh thanks! What is your prototype?


Why is it 3.99 for a lifetime payment?

My cynical self tells me the product won't improve or your intention is generate enough hype to make a quick exit and the product will go away.

You should make this is a recurring cost.


What? I think it makes much more sense for this to be a one-time payment. I am actually surprised to see anybody advocating for a subscription over a one-time payment.

Plenty of products I have used have had one time payments and it has worked out fine. Sometimes in the future they switch to a subscription model or add other paid features but that usually doesn't happen until they start to have investors and have pressure to generate more revenue.

Pocketcasts is an example of this. They had a one time fee for each platform you bought their product on. Eventually many years later they switched to a subscription model but allowed people who had the original one-time fee to keep it forever which was nice.


For me it depends on the service. Since this (should) store data and use a backend, I am very skeptical about having the option for a lifetime license. Most of these services shutdown sooner or later and your "lifetime license" is gone. OP already explained that it uses Google sync to store the data across devices which is a totally different problem, there are very strict storage size limitations.


In my opinion, it’s a pain to have recurring cost for small extensions/apps like Stringmark. But as @razemio said, it’s (most of the time) necessary when the service uses a backend.

As I said, I want to avoid recurring cost and that’s why I decided to use chrome.storage. Also, as another comment and @razemio said here, the sync storage of Chrome is limited in size: ~100kb which is roughly 370 highlights in Stringmark because the text you are able to save is limited in size (~120 characters). Also, the local storage of Chrome is unlimited in size.

It means that you can have ~370 highlights that are synced through your devices. Honestly, I think that it is enough but you guys are right I should precise it in my website, I’ll update it ASAP!

@bruth that is the reason why the product will never go away since I don’t have backend costs!

In order to attenuate this sync storage size limitation I plan to add these features: Limit the number of highlights per list; Let the users decide to save a specific list locally or using chrome sync; Export lists by email and/or in various file format in order to free up space; Import lists easily

The other solution is to add another premium plan with a recurring cost and where I would use a database backend for these users so that they can really have ‘unlimited’ highlights synced.

Tell me what you guys think about these solutions!


I appreciate the response! My first thought and assumption was indeed there are backend costs given the size limitations you mentioned. But I suppose if that is sufficient for some folks, then they can benefit from that without requiring a subscription.


I can understand your point a bit more about wondering about one-time fee versus subscription as you were operating under the assumptions of recurring server costs.

I was aware they were using Chrome.Sync and that it did not impose a cost so that changed things in my head.


Is it similar to furl? Anyone still remember furl? It allowed for saving the content of your bookmarks as well as allowing you to search within their content.


Can you send a link? I think I'm too young to know furl lol :)


It's defunct now. It was a service that popped up during the web 2.0 wave so circa 2004.


Purchased inside of 2 minutes. Nice and simple. Wish I'd thought of it. Looking forward to the Firefox version.


Wow thank you so much :)


What are the open source alternatives to this kind of thing?


How do you handle payments?


I'm using Stripe!


directly? how do you make sure paid users get more functionality?




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