Navigate around Articles with the new Table of Contents in Clibu V2.00.14

Another shiny new Clibu update has been released. The main new feature in V2.00.14 is the ability to access a Table of Contents for each Article, select an item and position to it.

Articles can get quite long and finding what you want inside them can be more difficult than it should be. This is where the Table of Contents (TOC) is very, very useful.

When you click/tap on the new TOC button the current article is scanned and all content that is formatted as headings is gathered and displayed in a drop down menu as shown here.

Note that the numbers 1-10 in this example are in the actual article headings.

Selecting a TOC item scrolls it into view and briefly highlights it, making moving around articles much quicker. Whilst editing the cursor is positioned at the end of the selected item.

When you open Clibu it now restores the current Article to the last article you viewed in each Tab in the previous session. This is in addition to restoring and running the last query.  So you start back exactly where you last left off.

This is something I’ve personally been wanting for a while now. It is all about workflows and getting back in the zone as effortlessly as possible.

Various issues with Clibu’s Annotations (pop up Notes) which crept into V2 have been fixed along with a few illusive, hard to track down and annoying bugs.

See the complete Release Notes for details. which you can also access from the Clibu User Menu.

– Neville

Clibu V2.00.11 Released, Quick Tour, Click to edit are back

This release brings back a few things we temporarily removed when moving from Clibu V1 to Version 2 .

First of all the Quick Tour has been updated and rejigged to work on Smartphones and Tablets. And first time users prompted to start with the Tour.

Next the ability to commence editing an article by clicking anywhere in an article is back, with a new option to enable it.

The new Click in article to edit it option is enabled by default. The reason this was removed in V2 was it gets in the way on touch screen devices, which is why the new option works on devices with a mouse (Desktop PCs), but not with Smartphones and Tablets.

We’ve also updated aspects of the Clibu Web Clipper so that the “Append Clip to Article” Browser context menu item now always uses the current article in the current Tab instead of the last selected article, which was confusing.

When “Append Clip to Article” is used and the current article is being edited, it is now taken out of edit mode so that the new content is appended correctly.

Various other issues and improvements are outlined as always in the Clibu Release Notes which you can access from the Clibu User menu or this link.

– Neville

Clibu V2.00.09, Web Clipper V2, Clibu On Premise V2 – 2018 here we come.

We’ve been very busy working on Clibu over the Christmas New Year break.  Since the initial V2.00.0 release on Dec 5. 2017 and the last Blog post we’ve released six Clibu V2 versions with a range of updates, fixes and new capabilities.

One of the more important and complex updates was moving Clibu from using insecure http to fully secure https, wss and ssl connections to the Clibu server.

We’ve also updated the Clibu Web Clipper to use https, wss so the whole Clibu stack now uses end-to-end secure connections.

Besides enabling Web Clipper https support, we’ve updated it to match the new Clibu V2 look and feel and streamline its user interface.

The new information button displays the url of the server that the Web Clipper is  connected to. This is particular useful if you are using the ‘On Premise’ version of Clibu as you can see whether you are connected to the local On Premise server or our cloud server.

The Web Browser context menu item ‘Append Clip to Article’ shown above  now appends the selected content to the article displayed in the current Clibu KB/Tab.

If Clibu is open in multiple Browser Windows then the most recently displayed article is used for the clip. Previously the currently selected Clibu Article was used, except when the Web Clipper had created a New Article, however this was confusing. and not very intuitive.

Talking of Clibu ‘On Premise’ we’ve now completed upgrading it to Clibu Version 2, or more precisely the V2.00.09 release. So if you are using Clibu On Premise you now get all the new Clibu V2 look, feel and capabilities.

In case you haven’t heard of Clibu ‘On Premise’ it enables you to use Clibu installed on your own PC or Server with all data stored locally and completely in your control. See Clibu – Install and Run Locally for details.

For complete release notes either click on the Clibu User menu and select ‘Release Notes’ or click here.

I think you’ll agree we are off to a good start for 2018 with lots more to come.

All the best for the year ahead.

– Neville

Clibu Version 2, Easier to use and better looking with Smartphone & Tablet support. Pt 1

I’m very pleased to announce the release of Clibu Version 2. This is our biggest release yet, and probably our longest  in development. We’ve changed quite a bit of the look and feel and streamlined a number of areas to enable you to get more done in less time. And as mentioned in the last blog post we now support Tablets and Smartphones as well as Desktop PC’s.

With Clibu V2 we are delivering the same functionality across all devices unlike some applications that provide a sub-set of capabilities on mobile devices, often greatly reducing their overall usefulness.

And because Clibu V2 is a Progressive Web Application it looks, feels and works the same way across all devices. And there are other benefits, for example when the Desktop version gets a new feature, so do the Tablet and Smartphone versions. This happens without you needing to update applications, nor waiting for App Stores to approve new releases.

There is a lot to talk about with this release, which I’ll do over several blog posts.

Let’s start with some screen shots.

This shows the list of all Articles for the ‘Sample’ Knowledge Base. ‘Tag or Text Search’ enables you to filter the list to show just the articles you are interested in.

The three icons in the left icon bar switch between the Knowledge Base, Tags Tree and Articles list panels.

Tap any article in the list to show it or tap the back arrow or swipe left to close the sidebar panel.

Here you see the article selected in the Articles List above. You can edit the article by tapping the green pencil button.

Swipe right to slide open the side panel or tap the hamburger menu at top left.

Tabs switch between open Knowledge Bases, Search and access to the User menu are all located above the article.

This shows the sidebar panel with the Tags Tree selected and the Tag item menu open. From here you can show just the articles for a selected tag, and perform the full set of Tags management functions, such as Add, Rename, Delete, Move etc.

‘Search’ is available on the top bar of each panel and takes you to the Query panel shown above. The new Query panel/dialog is another major update in Clibu V2 and enables both full text search and tags queries in the one convenient place.

When the Query is blank a history list of the most recent full text search as well as the most recently queried tags is displayed. When you start typing the list is filtered to only display matching search history items and tags tree items , as shown above. The icon beside each list item indicates whether it is a text search or tag item.

To perform  a new full text search, type in the search text and either tap ‘Search’ or press Enter. Otherwise tap on a list item to search for it.

That covers quite a bit of ground for Clibu V2 on Smartphones. The user interface for Tablets is essentially the same.

Of course with Tablets we have more screen space available, to put to good use. With the benefit of Clibu V2s responsive design, we are able to optimize the user experience for each device you run it on. Including changes from landscape to portrait mode.

Following along with the user interface changes for Smartphones and Tablets, the Desktop or PC UI has also been improved quite a lot. There are still three independent cascading sidebar panels for Knowledge Base, Tags and Articles unlike the single sidebar on smaller devices. Search has been unified into a single dialog which is much easier to use (see above).

One thing we have done is tone down the use of bold colors to make Clibu easier on the eye. Better looking Tabs, simpler buttons and a generally cleaner look mean Clibu is now more aesthetically pleasing and snappier. More on the Desktop changes in a future blog post.

We still have some issues to resolve on iOS/iPad/iPhone, whose Webkit Browser is unfortunately more challenging to deal with than other Browsers.

And for our Desktop users we’ve temporarily removed the  Quick Tour and Keyboard Help which will reappear in due course.

That’s all for this first Clibu V2 blog post. If you tried earlier versions of Clibu and it didn’t excite you, do give V2 a good workout and let us know what you think. And of course we want to hear from our current users as well.

– Neville

PS. See Clibu V2 Release Notes

Clibu for Smartphones and Tablets is on its way

Our focus with Clibu’s development has been to get it working well on Desktop Web Browsers. Then once we reached that goal we’d move onto providing a full featured Smartphone and Tablet experience.  And that’s precisely what we’ve been working these past few months.

In fact we’ve gone beyond our initial plan and have begun comprehensively updating Clibu to transform it into a Progressive Web Application.

This enables Clibu to automatically adjust its user interface and functionality to run on any screen size from small smartphones, to tablets to desktops, giving you all of Clibu’s capabilities on any device.

This animation shows Clibu on a tablet. You will notice the hamburger menu button at the top left and slide out panel typical on mobile applications.

The top navigation bar has changed and instead of three separate side panels from the Desktop user interface, there is a single panel which changes between Knowledge Base, Tags and Articles.

Apart from what you can see here, nearly all of Clibu’s user interface has been updated to work effectively and efficiently on small screens, while retaining all the Clibu’s functionality you are used to on your Desktop Web Browser.

Next you can see Clibu on a Smartphone. The article editor toolbar changes to occupy a single scrollable row, minimizing screen space. You can also see new round buttons to edit and add articles.

You will also notice the UI for adding a Tag has changed to use the full display area.

All of Clibu’s dialogs work this way when running on phones and tablets. And they scroll vertically to move out of the way of the on-screen keyboard.

Some further UI refinement may be needed, but overall Clibu is now very usable on our small smart devices.

In hindsight it might have been prudent to start with Mobile in mind, however a lot has changed since we started developing Clibu and supporting small screens along with all the developments in PWA’s has come a long way in the last few years.

We are most of the way through development of the next version of Clibu with smartphone and tablet support, however as you can well imagine we have a lot of testing to do, to ensure everything works correctly across devices and their various screen sizes.

We’ve been quiet on  the Blog for a little while and now you know why.

I am excited about the forthcoming release which opens up Clibu to work on all of our devices. Stay tuned.

– Neville

Clibu V1.33.10, Clipper V1.0.4 Released

Some users, especially in Corporate environments have had trouble getting Clibu to connect to our Server because of firewall and related lockdown procedures, that they have in place. In this release of Clibu we’ve changed how we connect the Browser to the Server and vice-versa, which should resolve this. If you’ve had this issue please do try the new V1.33.10 release and let us know if it is working for you now – email

Note that you need to do a Browser Refresh to get this new version.

We changed the Article Panel in this release so that it occupies the full height of the Browser window when it’s content doesn’t fill that space. SImilarly when you create a New Article it fills the full space instead of changing height as new lines of text are added or removed. These changes improve the overall look of articles and improve article editing.

Another new feature in this release is Article Titles, which I know some have found lacking, especially our Surfulater users.

When you create a new article a placeholder title is added as shown above. As soon as you start typing this will be overwritten by the title you enter.

In addition to adding Titles to new articles, we’ve added the capability of creating titles for articles present prior to this Clibu release. This works by analyzing the content at the start of an article and then extracting what best makes sense and converting that into a Title.

These two new features are entirely optional and enabled via. a new Settings dialog accessed from the User menu.

They are turned on by default as seen here.

Also note that the ‘Show Tooltip hints’ option has been moved from the User menu to this new Settings dialog.

The Clibu Web Clipper has also been updated to change the server connection as per the Clibu changes mentioned above.

We’ve also reworked the Clipper code that detects any instances of Clibu which are open in Browser Tabs and displays same when you Login, so you can use the Clipper with Clibu ‘On Premise’ etc.

Chrome will update the Clibu Web Clipper Extension to the new version 1.0.4 automatically at some point. If you don’t want to wait then Uninstall and Reinstall it to get the latest version.

An update to Clibu ‘On Premise’ will be released in due course.

Clibu ‘On Premise’ Major Update – V1.33.01op

We’ve just released a major update to the ‘On Premise’ version of Clibu. The  ‘On Premise’ version (Clibu OP) enables you to run Clibu on your own PC or Server with all data kept locally.

For various reasons Clibu OP had fallen somewhat behind our hosted cloud version (Clibu Cloud.).

Over the past few months we’ve put considerable effort into updating the tooling and refining the workflow required to build Clibu OP. This will enable us to keep Clibu OP releases in sync with Clibu Cloud from now on.

You may in fact notice that the new Clibu OP release is actually ahead of the current Clibu Cloud version. This is because we’ve done a major update to the server as well as many of the Browser modules and we aren’t quite ready for these to go live in Clibu Cloud just yet.

Clibu OP also has some new features which we’ll tell you about once we complete work on the next Clibu Cloud release.

As a teaser some things we are working on include the ability to attach files to Clibu articles, the ability to drag images from your operation system File Explorer and drop them on Articles and new Article Titles to name a few.

For those already using Clibu OP you need to update MongoDB (the database we use) to the latest release, V3.4 as noted here.

If you are interested in using Clibu OP open a support ticket telling us why and what you want to use Clibu for and we’ll get back to you with details.

Note that Clibu OP runs on Windows only at this time, however you can access it using a Browser on any operating system that can connect to the Windows PC.

The latest Clibu Web Clipper now works with Clibu OP, see here for details.

For more information on Clibu OP, these older posts will be of interest:  Clibu v1.30.40 Released – Install and run it on your PC/Server and  To Cloud or not?

Finally thanks to Graham Rhind for his assistance with initial issues with the new Clibu OP.



Firefox Extensions, herein lies a big problem!

The great news in the past year or so is that Chrome, Firefox and MS Edge now implement the same Browser Extension framework. This means that for the first time we can (theoretically) develop Extensions that work across all three Browsers, with only minimal changes – hoorah!

I mentioned in my last article that we now have the Clibu Web Clipper Browser Extension working for Firefox.  It’s development was rather painstaking, primarily because finding and fixing issues in Browser Extensions in Firefox is really hard work.

Firefox makes you use different debuggers (apps that help locate problems) depending on which of the three components that make up an extension you are working in. And much of the time I couldn’t get them to do what they are supposed to do, debug! Now this may be partly due to the way I develop, writing es6 code and transpiling, however I’m not doing anything all that unusual. And often times Firefox would just crash when it was trying to load Node.js modules it shouldn’t have had any interest in, in the first place.

To complicate matters further there are Browser functions such as being notified when the user selects some content, which aren’t available in Firefox. This quite basic, yet important capability is mentioned in Bug 1242718 posted Dec 2015 and seems to be going nowhere in a hurry.  Desktop notifications can’t be updated in Firefox and Bug 1215025Popup size does not respond to content change, reported Oct 2015 is still waiting to be fixed.

None of these issues are show stoppers, however they do impinge on the functionality we need to deliver to our users.

But there is a show stopper, a very big one, which prevents us from making the Clibu Web Clipper available for Firefox. Let me rewind a step.

Once you have a fully debugged and working Browser extension, you need to go through a series of steps before it can get published in Firefox Add-ons, which is where you get to download extensions from.

First you have to submit the extension, then in 5-7 days someone will get in touch with you with further instructions. Specifically they require the developer provide full source code for the extension along with complete instructions on how to build the extension from the source code, so they can verify it compares exactly with the compiled extension you upload.

The “Source Code Submission” section of the Review Policies states:

This code will be reviewed by an administrator and will not be shared or redistributed in any way. The code will only be used for the purpose of reviewing the add-on.

There are multiple fundamental issues here.

First the build process for the Clibu Web Clipper is a complex one requiring installation and setup of various development and build tools. We would need to provide detailed documentation in order for them to accomplish the build and it would take them a fair amount of time and expertise to set this up.

Second they want access to our intellectual property without offering to sign a NDA as part of the process. Saying that I’m reluctant to do this, is an understatement.

Third the entire process is onerous, costly and time consuming. And is one I assume needs to be repeated each time we update the extension.

Now let me contrast this to getting the Clibu Web Clipper published in the Chrome Store.  Step one, upload the extension, wait up to 60 minutes and if there are no issues the extension is live and available for download. So far we’ve had three releases of the Chrome Web Clipper and each one has gone off without a hitch and has been live in around 30 minutes.

You simply need to look around and you will see lots and lots of Browser Extensions that are available for Chrome that should also be available for Firefox, but aren’t. It’s not hard to see why.

Besides making it quick and simple to publish to the Chrome Store, development of Browser Extensions using the Chrome Developer Tools is also a breeze, with none of the issues seen in Firefox.

Unfortunately these issues aren’t limited to just developing Browser Extensions for Firefox, but impinge on overall development of Web applications using the Firefox Browser and it’s development tooling.

I’ve been holding off writing this rant, but I’m sorry Firefox folks, but I’m simply not prepared to jump through these hoops.

I read a few months back that Firefox’s plans for 2017 are to develop a faster, better browser. According to the Firefox 2016/17 Strategy & Roadmap

Firefox will deliver a rock solid browsing experience with world-beating customization and a first of its kind recommendation engine that gets you the content you want when you want it, whether at home or on the go.  ….

Firefox will deliver the best of the web in a way that is more useful and navigable than on any other browser. With great new features like Activity Stream and Recommender, the Firefox Context Graph will deliver the right web page, always.

Well that has a nice warm and fuzzy ring, but maybe they’d be better devoting resources elsewhere. Improve the developer experience, fix long outstanding bugs , get as close as possible to the latest Web standards and give us the new Javascript, HTML and CSS capabilities present in other Browsers.

As of this writing Firefox usage is down around 12%. Given that and the issues raised above, it is hard to see why folks like me should keep on devoting precious resources to support Firefox.



Clibu v1.32.00 Release plus new Web Clipper – it must be Xmas Pt 2

For Part 1 which covers Clibu v1.32.00 see this post.

The Clibu Web Clipper has had a major update to add new functionality and bring it inline with Clibu.

Whenever the Web Clipper needs to Login to a Clibu Server it looks to see if Clibu is open and logged in, in a Browser Tab in the same Web Browser as the Web Clipper. If so it displays this new dialog.

From here you can select from the list of Clibu sessions or Enter your Login Credentials.

This does two things. First it enables the Web Clipper to login without you having to enter any credentials and second it enables it to login into a Clibu Server other than the server at More specifically this now enables users of Clibu ‘On Premise’ to use the Web Clipper with their Clibu Server.

If Clibu isn’t open and logged in you are prompted to enter your login credentials.

You can now enter the name of Knowledge Base you want to use with auto suggest simplifying selection.

Knowledge Bases that are shared with you include an icon beside their name as shown above.

Tags selection has been updated to the same user interface as in Clibu.

The Web Clipper uses native OS Desktop Notifications to keep you informed. We’ve updated these notifications to include more detailed information.

This example is the result of clicking ‘Add Article’ and includes the article title and the name of the Knowledge Base the article was added to.

Similarly the associated notifications in Clibu itself have been updated.

If you are new to the Clibu Web Clipper note that it can also be used from the Browser context menu.

If no content is selected on the Web page you get ‘Bookmark’ items on the Clibu sub-menu.

And when content is selected you can either create a New Clibu Article with it or append it to an existing article.

For more information on the Web Clipper see this post and this one.

In addition to the new features described above we’ve put considerable time and effort into developing a version of the Clibu Web Clipper for Mozilla Firefox and now have this working. I’ll write more about this in the next Blog post so stay tuned.

That’s it for this release of the Clibu Web Clipper. Just like Clibu we’ll keep on making it even better and welcome your suggestions.

– Neville

Clibu v1.32.00 Release plus new Web Clipper – it must be Xmas Pt 1

Well it has clearly been too long between Blog posts, in fact way too long. The good news is, this in no way reflects on Clibu development or releases. In fact it is simply because we’ve been so busy on development that allocating time for blogging has sadly not happened.

Our regular Clibu users will have seen we’ve had several releases since the last blog post and I’m sure are wondering what we’ve been up to, so let’s get to it.

V1.32.0.0 sees a long list of enhancements and new features and the Clibu Web Clipper has had a major update with new functionality. Let’s start with Clibu itself.

For a while now you’ve been asking for a quicker way to get back to seeing ‘All Articles’ once you’ve done a search. Our simple solution was to include an x button in search as shown here.

We’ve also rearranged the Tags Filter button so it stays in the same place after adding a filter. We’re also continuing to think about ways to somehow combine Search and Tags Filtering into one unified widget. If you have any suggestions we’d love to hear them.

Next we’ve added a ‘New Article’ button to the ‘Articles List’ header which brings it in line with the ‘New Tag’ and ‘New Knowledge Base’ buttons on their panels.

The Article editor has been updated with new capabilities including:-

‘Code Inline’ lets you style selected inline text as in this example:and is available on the editor toolbar Styles menu:Also note ‘Code’ has been renamed to ‘Code Block’.

The editor Styles button now reflects the style the cursor is on:

In this example the cursor is in a Quote. We’ve also improved the styling used for Quotes.

The new Horizontal Rule button adds, guess what, a horizontal rule.

The behaviour of the indent and outdent toolbar buttons has changed to only work inside lists. This fixes issues with the previous implementation and brings their behaviour into line with best practice.

The image above shows indent list disabled, even though we are inside a list. This is because the cursor is in the very first item in a list, which can’t be indented.

For the final editor toolbar improvement, we’ve made the buttons a little bit narrower, so more fit on a row.

Knowledge Base collaboration and sharing is the next area we’ve been working on. You can now Move articles to a Knowledge Base that is shared with you, as long as you have been granted full access by its owner. Similarly you can Merge a Knowledge Base of yours into a KB that is shared with you, given the appropriate permission.

We’ve updated all Clibu Web components, updated several third party libraries, further improved overall performance, optimised code both in the Browser and on the Server and fixed a variety of colorful bugs. For complete details see the Release Notes.

This post is long enough, so I’ll leave the Web Clipper enhancements to the next post.

As always we look forward to and welcome your feedback.