Cyca: past, present, future

Cyca is my oldest project. It always has been my lab project: every time a new library was released, every time I wanted to implement a new feature, I tested it on Cyca first. It eventually became a « Frankenstein » kind of app, and was never good enough to be released to the public. It wasn’t my intent at that time.

The history of Cyca is almost as long as my history in dev, which leads us back then to late 1990’s. Cyca wasn’t even written in PHP at the time, but in C#, and it was a Windows application. It didn’t even support feeds reading, but I didn’t wait too long before switching to PHP, and make it a huge organising and analysing tool.

What’s nice with bookmarks is that you only have to provide a URL, and a lot of magic can happen. Managing bookmarks (and even feeds) doesn’t require a lot of forms. Just a URL input. Isn’t it the best for the user experience ? Copy/paste a URL, and there you have access to a lot of informations. Not just a title and a favicon.

During all the years spent on adding features to Cyca, it grew to a huge analysis tool, that could present a lot of data to user. So much I eventually figured it was too much. Also, updating documents and feeds was increasingly longer. As I wanted to make it available to public, I decided to drastically restrict it’s features. In fact, at the time I write this post, Cyca couldn’t be more basic.

You can manage a tree of folders, add and move bookmarks, read feeds. Period. But I have big plans for Cyca.

Consider the following as a rough roadmap. It will give you a big picture of what I want to do with it. But these are just ideas, presented in a random order.

Of course, there is data collection. Not your data, data available from your bookmarks. You can collect a lot of data from a single URL, and I want Cyca to do so, as it always did. I want Cyca to collect data that could be useful to the user, such as security warnings, like expired certificate, or non HTTPS connection. Or data to help self-hosters, like DNS records. Or data for the curious, like putting websites on a world-map. I did that before when Cyca was a Frankenstein-app. Now I want it to be done the right way: simple, fast, scalable.

Another feature that, I think, you’ll find neat: teams. There always was some sharing features, but I want to go one step further: entire collections shared with groups. You could create a group, invite people in it, and everybody has the same folders tree and the same bookmarks and feeds inside. But at any time you would be able to switch from your group hierarchy to your own personal hierarchy. Or to another group hierarchy. I think it would be a very powerful feature, especially in a professional context.

Besides expanding collected data and sharing possibilities, I also want to make Cyca the best feed reader. I know it’s a long way from now because it’s so basic at the time, but it could be done, thanks to [SimplePie] (, the underlying feed parser library. And I’m not just talking about improving text-reading, but also podcasts, GEO-feeds, etc.

Finally, there is one thing Cyca needs, and it’s you. As an open-source project, you could contribute to it, mainly by providing translations. But if you prefer, you could also pay me a soda !