I love me some Instapaper, but want better searching…

I really like being able to archive links for later review, and Instaper is a new toy I’ve found to handle that nicely. I really feel like there’s a lot of cool stuff that I can accomplish with it in the future.

Tonight (Feb 9, 2012), I joined Instapaper as a paying customer so I could use the Search capabilities (searching your links on the web site is only available to those customer who sign up for the $1 per month subscriber account). But, after signing up and finally getting to use Search, it does not appear to be searching the way I was expecting… In fact, I couldn’t get the Search feature to return anything. Evar!

No results.” it said… (which is not true, in that I have links with HTML5 in the title, url, summary, etc.)


“No Results” ?!?!?!  What the heck is going on here? I know there are some links in my account that have this text in the URL, Title, and/or Description. Why won’t the Instapaper web site find any results?

I want to be able to do a search on the URL, Title, and Summary of the bookmarks, (not the actual contents of the link pages, which I don’t expect it to search anyway). I think most of us usually remember some keyword or tags as we save the links, so I expected to be able to search my links on the Instapaper site and search for “CSS’” or “HTML” or “GIT” or something like that to find links that I’ve stored.

So, I’m going to try to do something about this…. I’ve applied for an oAuth application token to see if I can build a better searching and filtering interface than the one they have now.

This will be a good exercise to sharpen my Ruby on Rails skills.

Boy, I sure hope they approve me…

Update 2012-02-10:

Instapaper sent me my app tokens later on in the same day. (Man, that was fast). And I found a gem on github (https://github.com/spagalloco/instapaper) that provides a nice wrapper around the Instapaper API, and I’ve already banged out a few lines of Ruby code which use the gem to connect to my Instapper account and post a few dummy links. Now I can move on the real work of pulling down all the bookmarks from an account, and providing a search/filter interface for searching through them for keywords or tags in the URL, Title, or Description.

3 thoughts on “I love me some Instapaper, but want better searching…”

  1. below is the email i had sent to Marco…. on march 29th 2011

    Hi Marco,
    I am Keshav Murthy from Melbourne Australia.

    I have been working on a personal itch(Idea) which I think complements Instapaper. I love reading. When there is a situation with friends or family, I say…. hey I read this article other day, you should read it. They ask, how do I find it? I reply, google for blah blah and they can’t find it as there has been so much new content created by then. I created a rest api that can index text content of the url and makes it searchable. When searched it returns the url(s).
    Technologies used:
    RiakSearch: dynamo inspire KV + Lucene (written in erlang)

    I think this would be great to have in instapaper, Even if you think this does not complement Instapaper, do reply and let me know.


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