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Anchr - Image uploads, bookmarks and shortlink service

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Anchr is a useful little helper or toolbox or the like for common tasks on the internet. It comes with an Android App for Anchr link collections.

🗒 What does it do?

The idea arised when someday I considered it useful to have a collection of web links or bookmarks – like those you have in Chrome or Firefox – accessible from everywhere without needing to synchronize your browser profile. Just like if you’re anywhere on an other PC, find a useful article on the internet and want to save it quickly for later at home. This is what Anchr’s collections feature does. It saves links – with an optional description for easier search and separated into seperate categories / collections.

The second feature is to upload images. You can easily upload one or more photos from your computer oder mobile device and send them to friends or include them into forum posts or the like. Special with Anchr’s image hosting is that users are given the opportunity to client-sided encrypt images with a password. As a result no one without the password will ever see their photos’ content.

The last feature are shortlinks – actually not any different from those you know from goo.gl or bit.ly. They’re useful if you have a very long web link including many query parameters, access tokens, session ids, special characters and the like and want to share them. Often special characters break the linking or your chat application has a maximum length for hyperlinks. Or you just want to keep clarity in your document or emails. In this case it can be very helpful to make the links as short as any possible. Additionally, shortlinks are checked against Google's Safe Browsing API to prevent your site to reference phishing sites or the like.

Anchr’s focus is on ease and quickness of use – short loading times, flat menu hierarchies, etc. There's also a Chrome extension out there, which you can use to save or shorten links directly from the website.

📡 How to host it myself?

Prerequisites

In order to host Anchr on your own, you need a few things.

  • Node.js 8.x
  • A MongoDB 3.4 database (you can use mlab.com to get a free, hosted MongoDB)
  • Optionally, but recommended: A webserver as a reverse proxy (e.g. nginx) to enable compression and SSL encryption

Configuration

  1. $ git clone https://github.com/n1try/anchr
  2. Copy .env.example to .env and edit the contents to set environment variables:
    • PORT: TCP port to start the server on (default: 3000)
    • ANCHR_DB_URL: Connection URL to MongoDB (default: mongodb://localhost:27017/anchr)
    • ANCHR_UPLOAD_DIR: Absolute path to a file system directory (must exist!) to persist uploaded images to (default: /var/data/anchr)
    • ANCHR_SECRET: A (preferably long), random character sequence to be used for the JSON Web Token (default: shhh)
    • ANCHR_LOG_PATH: Absolute file path for access logs (directory must exist!) (default: /var/log/anchr/access.log)
    • ANCHR_ERROR_LOG_PATH: Absolute file path for error logs (directory must exist!) (default: /var/log/anchr/error.log)
    • ANCHR_GOOGLE_API_KEY: Your API key for Google APIs (required for safe browse checking incoming shortlinks), which you get at the Developers Console
    • ANCHR_FB_CLIENT_ID and ANCHR_FB_SECRET: OAuth credentials for Facebook Login
    • ANCHR_GOOGLE_SECRET and ANCHR_GOOGLE_API_KEY: OAuth credentials for Google Login
    • ANCHR_ALLOW_SIGNUP: Whether or not to allow sign up of new users (default: true)

⚙️ Run

Setup

  1. $ source env.sh
  2. $ yarn
  3. $ cd public && ../node_modules/bower/bin/bower install && cd ..

Option 1: Run Natively

For development
  1. Run backend $ yarn start (from root folder)
  2. Run frontend $ grunt serve (from public folder)
  3. Go to http://localhost:9000 and enjoy live reload
In production
  1. $ yarn run build (to build frontend)
  2. $ yarn run production

Option 2: Run with Docker

  1. docker-compose up

NOTE: The current Docker Compose configuration does not include spinning up the MongoDB database (see #10). It is assumed that a Mongo instance is already running and accessible publicly.

🧩 Project State

This project is still maintained, but considered feature-complete. Dependencies are updated occasionally. Since the project started in 2014, the out-dated JavaScript ES5 syntax is used alongside tools like Grunt and Bower, which are not considered state-of-the-art in web dev anymore. However, to keep consistency with existing code, the original code style should still be followed in new contributions. Please don't use const and let, template string, arrow functions, async / await etc.

📓 License

GNU General Public License v3 (GPL-3) @ Ferdinand Mütsch

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⚓️ Anchr provides you with a toolbox for tiny tasks on the internet, especially bookmark collections

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