Tag Archive: “pinboard”

XML Parsing in AppleScript

I recently wrote a script that posts bookmarks from Yojimbo to Pinboard. Now that I have a nice system for posting links, I find that I’d like even more integration. For instance, I’d like to be able to keep Yojimbo in sync by downloading any links I post to Pinboard via other interfaces.

The Pinboard/Delicious API provides a variety of methods for retrieving link information, but there isn’t a straightforward way to parse the results in AppleScript. In my posting script, I just search the response for code="done". This is sufficient to tell if the add method succeeded, but methods that return more detailed information need more rigorous handling.

Incidentally, AppleScript supports direct interaction with SOAP or XML-RPC web services; see the documentation here. However, the Pinboard API uses a different architecture, REST (sort of).

Essentially, a query is represented as a URL, with parameters, and the XML results are returned by the server like the content of any other web page. (I use do shell script and curl to make the request and get the raw results; I don’t know if there is a better AppleScript idiom for general HTTP transactions. URL Access Scripting is dusty and requires writing temporary files.) The task is to extract the relevant bookmark information from the response.

As it turns out, the System Events scripting dictionary includes an XML suite, pictured above. Some experiments based on the examples given in this discussion at MacScripter confirm that it can be used to parse data returned by the Pinboard API. So, all the pieces necessary to implement a more sophisticated AppleScript bookmark syncing system are available.

Posted on Saturday, February 20th, 2010.

Safari, NetNewsWire, Yojimbo, and Pinboard

Bookmark Page in Yojimbo

This is a script for Safari. It’s a variation on my Bookmark in Yojimbo script. The original “Bookmark & Edit” option has been replaced with “Bookmark & Post to Pinboard”. I rarely want to edit a bookmark or its properties, but soon I might start sharing some links on Pinboard.

Bookmark News in Yojimbo

This is a script for NetNewsWire, a free feed reader for Mac OS X. It works just like the above script for Safari. It saves a bookmark to the current news item, and provides an option to spread the news by posting the bookmark to Pinboard. This is what I’m going to do instead of sharing items in Google Reader.

Post Bookmark to Pinboard

This is a script for Yojimbo, the program I use to save bookmarks and other bits of information. It posts the selected bookmark items to Pinboard. This script is invoked [and thus required] by the “Bookmark & Post to Pinboard” option in both scripts listed above.

Before posting a bookmark, the script prompts you to enter a description. The initial value of the description is based on the Yojimbo item comments. If you click “Post”, the bookmark will be posted with the given description but the Yojimbo item comments will not be changed; “Post & Update Comments” will change the item comments to match the entered description.

To help you keep track of what you’ve shared, items posted to Pinboard are added to a “Pinboard” collection, which will be created if it doesn’t already exist. As an example, here’s what my collection looks like at the moment:

And here’s how it looks on Pinboard:


These scripts don’t deal with tags, labels, stars, or other features offered by Yojimbo or Pinboard. These scripts aren’t likely to be very useful if you’re not me. I don’t know exactly what happens if you post the same bookmark to Pinboard twice; I think it’s updated automatically.

There are bugs.


Download all three scripts here (24 KB)


Some assembly is required. I recommend installing the scripts in the following locations (create the directories if they don’t already exist). Run them with FastScripts or the regular script menu.

~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Safari/Bookmark Page in Yojimbo.scpt
~/Library/Scripts/Applications/NetNewsWire/Bookmark News in Yojimbo.scpt
~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Yojimbo/Post Bookmark to Pinboard.scpt

Edit the _pinboard_script_path property at the top of both “Bookmark in Yojimbo” scripts to identify the full path to your copy of the Pinboard script. In my case, this reads:

property _pinboard_script_path : "/Users/anoved/Library/Scripts/Applications/Yojimbo/Post Bookmark to Pinboard.scpt"

Lastly, edit the _API_username and _API_password properties at the top of the Pinboard script to reflect your Pinboard login information. Since the Pinboard API is essentially a clone of the Delicious API, it should be straightforward to modify this script to work with Delicious – but unfortunately I haven’t quite got it working. Don’t hold your breath for an update, but please do share any fixes or improvements.


The code to post to Pinboard is derived from this NetNewsWire to Delicious script by Larry and Andrew. My sketchy URL encoding code is lifted from this example at Mac OS X Automation.

Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2010.