Archive for February, 2010


Gimlet – Bookmarklet

Hi! We’re Sidecar, the company behind Gimlet — the best library desk stats tool around.

Want an even faster way to add Q&As to Gimlet? Try our latest feature: the Gimlet bookmarklet.

Gimlet – Bookmarklet from Ride Sidecar on Vimeo.

What’s a bookmarklet?

You probably have many sites bookmarked in your browser — these bookmarks take you to all your favorite websites. A bookmarklet is just a browser bookmark, but instead of taking you to a URL, it runs a little piece of JavaScript to do something helpful. Our Gimlet bookmarklet pops open your library’s “Add question” form from anywhere you happen to be online.

Installing the Gimlet bookmarklet

Gimlet bookmarklet link

Login to Gimlet and you’ll find your bookmarklet link at the bottom of the page. If you’re using Firefox, Safari, or Google Chrome installing is as easy as dragging the “Save to Gimlet” link up to your browser bookmarks toolbar. If you use Internet Explorer, you can install it by right-clicking on the “Save to Gimlet” link and adding the bookmarklet to your Favorites.

Gimlet bookmarklet browser bookmark

Using the bookmarklet

Anytime you find yourself answering a question where a web page contains the answer, use the bookmarklet. You can highlight text on the web page with the answer and our bookmarklet will add the copied text, along with the title and URL of the web page to your “answer” field in the “Add question” form.

It’s really simple to use and we think it’s gonna save you loads of time. Give it a try and let us know what you think. We’re always open to new ideas or suggestions from our customers.

– The Gimlet Team

Try Gimlet for free today.


February 28th, 2010  |  Published in Gimlet


Gimlet – Colophon 2010

Hi! We’re Sidecar, the company behind Gimlet — the best library desk stats tool around.

Under the hood

We thought everyone might like to know how we roll the Gimlet. Here’s our current technology stack of choice:

Ruby on Rails

Gimlet is a Rails app. We’ve been writing RoR applications since the framework first appeared on the scene. In fact, we attended the very first RailsConf way back in 2006. We love Rails because convention over configuration just works.


We use MySQL for the backend database. You haven’t lived until you’ve used the SELECT … INTO OUTFILE syntax. When you’re exporting Q&As out of Gimlet, you’re taking advantage of that little gem.


Sphinx is our full-text indexing engine and a very intimate friend of MySQL. We’ve been impressed with the speed of this new indexer. As I write this post, we’re extending the ThinkingSphinx and Riddle gems to better support the type of faceting our next generation of reports will leverage.

Nginx + Unicorn

We’re using Nginx+Unicorn to serve our Gimlet pages. Just like the article linked describes, God keeps a trustful eye on our Unicorn workers.


Underneath the rest of the stack, we ride Ubuntu Server Edition. Performance and simplicity makes Ubuntu great.

If you’re keeping track, all of the tools are open-source. Have any questions about the technology we use? Just ask. We’d love to tell you how we’re building the best library desk stats tool around.

Try Gimlet for free today.


February 12th, 2010  |  Published in Gimlet