Adventures in bookmarklet land

Do you use bookmarklets? They're little bits of javascript that you save as bookmarks, that do something to the page you're on when you click on them. Today I made a bookmarklet to change the formatting on any Project Gutenberg HTML book.

To see it in action, drag this link to your bookmarks bar: Format Gutenberg - then go to any Project Gutenberg book as an HTML page - try this one to begin with - then scroll down to the main text and click on your bookmarklet.

A bit of background:

I read and wrote a lot of fanfiction as a teenager, and (I suppose largely out of nostalgia) have some particular preferences about text formatting. Nowadays, I find 13px Verdana on a white background, with minimal margins and no indenting, to be the easiest to concentrate on. People talk a lot about how it's difficult to read from a computer screen (hence the rise of e-ink) but personally I suspect it's easier for me to read fiction when it's just another tab on my browser. Project Gutenberg is a massive online library of out-of-copyright literature.

I'm moving house this weekend, my exams start this Wednesday and in general, I'm pretty stressed out. I'm having a quiet evening watching comedy with my brother Pete and, as usual when I'm under pressure, obsessively coding. I've always thought bookmarklets were pretty cool (if fairly mysterious), so I had a look at some source code and had a go at working it out (I'm sure there are lots of tutorials on the internet, but I was looking for a puzzle).

My general strategy and some code: Continue reading Adventures in bookmarklet land