NewTab Notes Extension
Published on 2020-03-31
Today I published a new Chrome Extension in the Chrome Web Store. This extension replaces the New Tab page with a rendered markdown page that you can edit. It’s customizable too!
I made it open-source as well.
I’ve been trying to get in the habit of taking more notes and writing notes down before I forget about them. I also use the Chrome browser. The way I look for information in Chrome is by opening a new tab and start typing away for the question. What if the new tab had some information on it that I could stow away?
There’s plenty of existing extensions out there and I tried about 5 or 6 of them but they didn’t suite my taste or needs. If it didn’t sync between Chrome devices, then my notes would be scattered across machines – no go. Often times, the markdown syntax it provided was vanilla Markdown, but I’m used to newer features and extensions offered by GitHub Flavored Markdown, such as task lists, tables, and autolinking. If it didn’t support GFM – no go.
I’m working on a project using Elixir, Vue, and Tailwind CSS, and I wanted to practice using those frameworks so I can understand them more. It’s all about the repetition for learning.
Chrome needs a
manifest.jsonto specify the icon, description, and permissions it needs to operate within Chrome.
- In the manifest, you specify the entry point HTML. In my case, I needed the new tab page.
There are some Chrome APIs you can use. The only one that I care about is
chrome.storage.sync. This handles storing small data related to your extension and handles offline and online capabilities. If you’re offline, then it’s ok and will store the data in local storage until you’re online again, which then it will sync through the net and update your other devices.
Maybe one day I can make it more like vimwiki which offers multi-page linking, but for now it’s fine.