Operator 0.8a is Available

I have made an alpha of Operator 0.8 available. Special thanks to Elias Torres for the RDFa support.

My primary goal with Operator 0.8a was to attempt to finalize APIs for both Operator and Firefox 3. What I actually ended up with is very similar to the APIs I created with the very first version of Operator. You can see the microformats API for Firefox 3 here (looking for feedback). I’ll be documenting the action and microformats API more completely in the next few days.

New features in this release include:

  • RDFa support (view only – there are no actions yet)
  • Unified actions architecture – actions are no longer specific to a microformat
  • Support for Address microformat to allow some actions (like map lookups) to be more granular.
  • Better support for iframes/frames/nested documents
  • Debug mode uses X2V for hCards and hCalendars
  • Support for non HTML documents
  • Bug fixes galore.

One feature I removed that I know people will complain about is the ability to have custom names for the actions. If I get enough complaints, I’ll put this back.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This release uses new preferences so it will wipe out your old prefs. This should be the last time that happens. I also changed the location of user scripts so it won’t pick up your old ones (they won’t work anyway).

If you want new user scripts, check out: http://www.kaply.com/weblog/operator-user-scripts/

If you have user scripts you want to quickly port to Operator 0.8, please send them to me and I’ll help.

Please report bugs here.

Have fun.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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28 thoughts on “Operator 0.8a is Available

  1. I just tried out Operator…

    First: if there are tags, you should filter out the duplicates. See http://rdfa.info/ for a test.

    Second: the bar is always taking up screen space, even when there are no microformats. It would be cool if it would only show if there were microformats found, or maybe show up as a balloon popup or something. That would free up the space, and make the microformats more discoverable.

    Nice extension tho :).


  2. I’m using operator more & more and even using microformats in my websites..
    great stuff.

    @grauw: there is an option in operator: “Display icon in status bar”.
    then you will get a green + in your status bar when there are microformats in the page and form the + you will be able to access them.

    if you have the + then you can disable the toolbar

  3. Same problem. The duplicated entries are annoying.
    One more. It lacks of support to 8bit+ characters, still.

    In fact there have been to many ill formed rel-tag micro-formats. Some blog-ware use rel-tag without ensuring pretty permalinks. That leads to empty tags or even worse. I think at least the empty tags should be filtered out, and so the duplicated items.

    To present as a big tool bar or to act as a small icon, just like Tails Export, is a matter of opinion. I would accept either.

    Thanks for your update!

  4. Mike, I’ve just installed 0.8a and everything seems to work fine.
    As a feature suggestion, are you considering adding support for rel=”license” anytime soon? Assuming that:

    1) many websites already tag content with license information (either via a rel attribute or embedded RDF);
    2) there’s an increasing number of communities concerned about IP,

    my feeling is that this could be the killer proof-of-concept of what Operator can do with existing content (as opposed to the-Web-we-dream-of).

    Ideally, it’d be great to see icons in the Operator toolbar displaying the kind of license that applies to the current content. But a simpler implementation (with drop-down menus and links to licenses) would also work great as a starter.

    What do you think?

  5. Hmm. I’m not seeing the duplicated entries. http://rdfa.info/ gives me 7 tagspaces (14 if I turn off removing duplicates in prefs). Can you give me some more examples:

    Ben: What do you mean by lack of 8bit+ characters?

    As far as removing certain tags, again, if you could give me some examples, I’ll try to remove them.

    dartar: I’ve thought about rel=”license” but I couldn’t come up with the UI for it. It would be easy to add a dropdown that simply linked to the licenses. I’ll write it as a proof of concept today.

  6. Oh! You are right, I have forgotten to turn on “Remove Duplicates …”
    That works!

    For 8bit+ Characters, think about UTF-8 , UTF-32, UCS-2, Big5, JIS and so.
    Show as this link in my blog
    the %ef%b9%90 is in fact a comma in UTF U+FE50 ( Small comma, full width ) .

    ScnShot : http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1129/533377738_b1024ebb50_b.jpg

    In this post, there are two link with rel-tag that contains Traditional Chinese characters. I don’t use non-English tags unless for test purpose, however, there are lots of East Asian blogs showing up non-English categories and thus non-English rel-tags.

    I have only tested FF in WinXP SP2 ( lang = zh_TW / lang = zh_CN / lang = japanese ) at this moment. Could not sure will it work in Linux/BSD/Mac .

    With the broken characters, I can still do niche searches. But the search results are shown in broken form as well. That means things are not working pretty well.

  7. Ben:

    This was simply a bug. I was using “escape” instead of “decodeURIComponent”

    I have fixed this now.

  8. And some more suggestions,

    1. When locates in the status bar, it is better to always allow people to click for option, even if no microformats have been found.

    2. You provide the dot-js user-scripts on line, so why don’t let people to paste the link to include ( or even aggregate) new user-scripts ? Yes, for me, I would like to review the code before installing them, but ordinary users want quick tricks.

  9. 1. The status bar thing is an interesting thing I hadn’t thought of. Should the icon be disabled but a menu still appears? That will be confusing for users.

    2. I assume you mean allow users to paste the URL when adding user scripts. I have some other ideas for how loading user scripts will work. I’m working on that.

    Thanks for your feedback

  10. > I wrote a user script for license.

    brilliant, thanks, I’ll try to play with user scripts myself soon 🙂

    BTW I now understand one of the reasons for Alex Faaborg’s argument in favour of displaying microformatted data in the page content as opposed to a toolbar approach. This might be especially useful for pages containing multiple items tagged with different licenses (I guess the toolbar would be not very useful in this case).

  11. Hmm, a bit strange.

    Now if I choose Actions as the Display Style, duplications returns.

    For the decodeURIComponent fix, I think I could not test it unless a new version of the xpi is provided. I have to go to sleep now, otherwise, I could try to change it myself.

    Anyway, thanks to Michael!

  12. A simple case showing how bloggers could break the rel-tag microformat.
    Quote a blog post I have to just read:


    ( It does not matter what language / encoding the content provides. The problem comes form wordpress without pretty permalink )

    There should be three different rel-tags, as the rendered page clearly shown. However, the href attribute ends in “?cat=XXXX”, which is invalid. As a result, operator shows 1 tag, that is “false”.

    Will it be better to show nothing, or … read the embedded text inside a-rel-tag in this case ?

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  14. Operator is awesome – it’s pushed me to deploy microformats across our work application.

    My only frustration is that since we use many bits of UI opened with window.open(), operator is effectively unavailable – no operator toolbar.