Introducing Clippi!

11 months ago April 29, 2023 - 12:04 am

It's been a hot minute since I last posted on this blog, despite telling myself that paying monthly for server and domain costs would help motivate me to update this more often. I do plan on posting and sharing more stuff with you all in the future. But lately, I've been quite curious about Electron and creating applications on desktop platforms in general. Back then, I developed desktop apps using C# and .NET. It was quite easy to get into and the drag and drop nature of creating user interfaces made implementing an initial concept much easier.

A simple text blaster application I created that uses Vonage API to send SMS messages.

A simple text blaster application I created that uses Vonage API to send SMS messages.

But C# and .NET are chained to the Windows operating system. Good luck creating Linux and MacOS desktop applications with it. So I turned to the other two options that I know of. Python with PyQT and Electron JS.

Working with PyQT was fun. I once used it to create a simple counter that counted the number of cases. The versatility of it amazes me. Integrating APIs into the application was a piece of cake. I managed to put this application into a Raspberry Pi 3. I wanted to make a tabletop counter using the Pi and a LCD screen but lacked the means to 3D print the casing at the time. Perhaps I will get back to it when I finally have the space and cash to afford one.

But with how prevalent Electron apps have become, I couldn't help but consider it for my next application idea. A simple app that extracts all the bookmarks and highlights in the "My Clippings.txt" file. I found that there is no other website or application that does this without needing to pay up monthly. Needing a reason to use Electron, I couldn't help but seize the opportunity and after a month of on and off development, an initial implementation was finished.

I'm not a UI designer, how can you tell?

I'm not a UI designer, how can you tell?

It was quite a struggle wrapping my head around how Electron worked, especially handling communication between the renderer and the main process. I still have a lot to learn as I do not feel this is the most optimized version it could be directory size-wise but for now, it does what I need it to do and I am satisfied with that. Development is definitely not done, the UI still needs to be improved and there might be some edge cases I haven't encountered and fixed yet. 

If you are a fellow Kindle user and realize you have a need for this sort of application, it is free, open source and ready to be downloaded and used.