Generic Netscape bookmark parser

v4.0.0 2022-08-13 09:57 UTC


GH release GH license GH stars Build Status

Shaarli Netscape Bookmark Parser

This library provides a decoder that is able of parsing Netscape bookmarks (as exported by common Web browsers and bookmarking services), and an encoder that is able to export data to bookmarks format.

🚀 Installation

Using Composer (package):

$ composer require shaarli/netscape-bookmark-parser

🔥 Usage

Import from Bookmark file

// parse.php
require_once 'vendor/autoload.php';

use Shaarli\NetscapeBookmarkParser\NetscapeBookmarkParser;

$parser = new NetscapeBookmarkParser();
$bookmarks = $parser->parseFile('./tests/Fixtures/Encoder/input/netscape_basic.htm');

Above example will return following array:

array(2) {
  [0] => array(7) {
    ["name"] => string(12) "Secret stuff"
    ["image"] => NULL
    ["url"] => string(19) "https://private.tld"
    ["tags"] => array(2) {
      [0] => string(7) "private"
      [1] => string(6) "secret"
    ["description"] => string(52) "Super-secret stuff you're not supposed to know about"
    ["dateCreated"] => int(971175336)
    ["public"] => bool(false)
  [1] => array(7) {
    ["name"] => string(12) "Public stuff"
    ["image"] => NULL
    ["url"] => string(17) "http://public.tld"
    ["tags"] => array(3) {
      [0] => string(6) "public"
      [1] => string(5) "hello"
      [2] => string(5) "world"
    ["description"] => NULL
    ["dateCreated"] => int(1456433748)
    ["public"] => bool(true)

Export to file

// export.php
require_once 'vendor/autoload.php';

use Shaarli\NetscapeBookmarkParser\NetscapeBookmarkParser;

$data = [
        'name'        => 'shaarli/Shaarli',
        'url'         => '',
        'image'       => 'data:image/png;base64, ...'
        'description' => 'The personal, minimalist, super-fast, database free, bookmarking service',
        'public'      => true,
        'tags'        => ['shaarli'],
        'name'         => 'shaarli/netscape-bookmark-parser',
        'url'          => '',
        'public'       => false,
        'dateCreated'  => '1612572000',
        'dateModified' => '1612572000',
        'tags'         => ['shaarli'],

$parser = new NetscapeBookmarkParser();

$parser->export($data, './export.htm');

Above example will write following string into file:

<!DOCTYPE NETSCAPE-Bookmark-file-1>
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<DT><A HREF="" PRIVATE="0" ICON="data:image/png;base64, ...">shaarli/Shaarli</A>
<DD>The personal, minimalist, super-fast, database free, bookmarking service
<DT><A HREF=""> ADD_DATE="1612572000" LAST_MODIFIED="1612572000">shaarli/netscape-bookmark-parser</A>

💻 Dependencies

Shaarli Netscape Bookmark Parser requires the following dependencies:

  • PHP
  • Composer
  • Make (optional)


Learn how to install PHP from official documentation here

📦 Composer

Learn how to install Composer from official documentation here

🛠 Make

🐧 Install Make (Linux)

On linux machine enter following command

$ sudo apt-get install --assume-yes make

🏁 Install Make (Windows)

On windows machine you will need to install cygwin or GnuWin make first to execute make script.

🍎 Install Make (OSX)

Make should be available by default on OSX system, but you can upgrade make version with following command

$ brew install make

📑 About

⚡ A word from Kafene

The motivations behind developing this parser are the following:

  • the Netscape format has a very loose specification: no DTD nor XSL stylesheet to constrain how data is formatted.
  • software and web services export bookmarks using a wild variety of attribute names and values.
  • using standard SAX or DOM parsers is thus not straightforward.

How it works:

  • the input bookmark file is trimmed and sanitized to improve parsing results
  • the resulting data is then parsed using PCRE patterns to match attributes and values corresponding to the most likely:
    • attribute names: description vs. note, tags vs. labels, date vs. time, etc.
    • data formats: comma,separated,tags vs. space separated labels, UNIX epochs vs. human-readable dates, newlines & carriage returns, etc.
  • an associative array containing all successfully parsed links with their attributes is returned

⚡ Shaarli community fork

This friendly fork is maintained by the Shaarli community at and is used by the open-source Shaarli bookmarking service. This is a community fork of the original netscape-bookmark-parser project by Kafene.

🤝 Contributing

Thank you for your interrest in contributing to Shaarli Netscape Bookmark Parser.

Please review the code of conduct and contribution guidelines before starting to work on any features.

If you want to open an issue, please check first if it was not reported already before creating a new one.

📜 License

Copyrights (c) 2021 "Shaarli community"

License Distributed under the MIT license.

If you like Shaarli Netscape Bookmark Parser please star or tweet about it:

GitHub stars Twitter

🙏 Acknowledgements