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A simple, responsive web app enabling you to

  1. keep a reading list (of links to articles you're planning to read),
  2. maintain a searchable archive of articles you've read, along with a list of favorites and the ability to highlight quotes you find especially resonant,
  3. and analyze when, what, and how much you've read in a given time period.

Don't expect anything fancy – ReAD is written in an old-fashioned subset of PHP and queries a decidedly unsexy MySQL database. That's because I started this project in 2013, when I had only just begun learning how to program properly, and it's been in maintenance-plus-very-occasional-and-minor-additions mode ever since.

Up next: Take a look at some annotated screenshots or scroll further down for a setup guide and various notes.

Main view

This is the view you'll be seeing most of the time: a list of articles with a pair of action buttons corresponding to the current section of the app. An estimated reading time (ERT) is displayed next to each article. If you've amassed a large number of unread ones, ReAD will suggest one of the older articles at the top of the "Unread" section shown here.

ReAD isn't desktop-only (nor desktop-first) by any means – and of course there's a dark mode that adapts to your system.

Search

Search has come in handy many times over the years – I'm glad I added it. If you switch sections from the current "Archive" to, say, "Starred", you won't leave search mode.

Reading view

You can read articles inline – without going to their corresponding website. A progress bar at the top of the page allows you to gauge how much there's left. Not pictured: Select some text, click the "Add Highlighted Quote" button that will appear, and the thusly highlighted bit will be shown alongside the article in the main view or search results, reminding you of particularly juicy bits.

Stats

Statistics are interesting, which is why the "Stats" section is one of the more complex parts of this simple app. You can freely select any time period for which a number of statistics are then presented to you – only a few of them are shown in these screenshots.

Setup

  1. Clone this repository to a web server running PHP 7.2 or later and a recent version of MySQL/MariaDB.
  2. Import setup/import.sql into some database.
  3. Copy setup/config.php.example to config.php and enter your database info. If you want to keep things private (recommended), set a password.

That's it, your ReAD install should now be accessible via any web browser! Consider the following optional steps as well:

  • Take a look at the other config options and tune them to taste: most notably, enter your reading speed for more accurate reading time estimates. Also, setting ARTICLES_PER_TIME_GRAPH_STEP_SIZE = "weeks"; might be more interesting after a few months.
  • You could add <your base URL>/index.php?state=archived&s=<search query placeholder> as a new search engine in your browser (substitute archived with unread or starred depending on your primary use case).
  • If you don't trust my homegrown authentication mechanism (and, honestly, why would you), I won't fault you for using .htaccess) or similar.

Notes

  • Regarding the name: Originally, ReAD was supposed to be called "RAD", but since that'd be too silly, I snuck an "e" in there. It also makes for an excellent and only very hubristic NeXT reference.
  • The font used in the logo is Iosevka, with a minor modification of the letter "e" to keep its terminal socially distanced from the adjacent "A".
  • The graph at the bottom of every page, as well as the statistics page, won't become very useful until you've been using ReAD for a while.
  • You can log out by simply appending &logout to any URL – in my own use (see next point), this action is too uncommon to warrant a UI element.
  • Similarly hidden is a (very) simple API – once your set the API_KEY constant in config.php, you can add articles by requesting api.php?key=<key>&action=add_unread&url=<url>, which returns a JSON value indicating success of failure. My impetus for adding this API was the release of iOS 12 and the Shortcuts app, where I defined a shortcut that takes the clipboard content (unless the shortcut has received a direct input) and, if it turns out to be a URL, calls the API to add the URL to my ReAD instance. You can find this shortcut as utils/Add to ReAD.shortcut.
  • The API also provides stats data for a Scriptable widget.
  • Note that I'm the only known active (but very much so) user of this thing, so improvements and bug fixes will be implemented whenever I find time and motivation. For a rough roadmap, see TODO.md.
  • This tool was born out of my despair at the demise of QUOTE.fm, paired with my discontent with existing services aiming to solve the same problem.
  • The license does not apply to files in the deps/ directory: those are used with permission and come with their own licenses, which are usually noted at the the top of each file or in a central LICENSE file.

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A PHP-based reading list for web articles. Maintains a searchable archive and computes lots of stats.

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