One Year of Operator

It’s been one year since I released Operator and I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who is using it and has had good things to say about it. I haven’t advanced the technology as much as I wanted to over the past year but hopefully this next year we’ll see much more, especially with the inclusion of a microformats API in Firefox 3.

And now for something completely different.

If you use Operator on amazon.com, you might notice that the “Tagspaces” item is available, but when you pop it down, you get a lot of stuff that says “ref=tag_dpp_cust_itdp_t.” This is because amazon (like a lot of other sites – any drupal site comes to mind) is not following the rel-tag spec. To attempt to work around this problem, I’ve added a hidden preference to Operator called “extensions.operator.allowInvalidTags.” If you add this preference via about:config and set it to true, Operator will display the text content of the tag and use it, instead of the proper tag value. Note that although this makes some things work on amazon.com, they still is completely clueless about how to use rel-tag – checkout their Firefox tag page and take a look at the Tagspaces menu with the hidden preference turned on. You’ll get things like “See all 226 tags” and “See all 25 customers.” Great job amazon! Go read the spec!

And for everyone else that has screwed up tags, please go read the spec. If you don’t like the spec, that’s fine, but please don’t add rel=”tag” to anything that is an invalid tag.

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

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7 thoughts on “One Year of Operator

  1. Just my $0.02 on the UI.
    Default = icon in location bar w/
    single click = drop down behavior (current action)
    double click = open the sidebar.

    I absolutely despise any toolbars, and though I’ve got operator installed, I wish I could turn off the toobar.

    The only nice thing about the toolbar is the ability to see what types of microformats are available.

  2. Operator is great, good work. Would it be possible to get documentation on how to script in new formats, perhaps a small hyperlink on the settings pane? I think that will really help as new formats are being thought up there is no real way of testing if they are taking the best approach. One barrier we have to industry acceptance is the “does it work yet?” question. Similar to RSS, what it first came about in 1999 or so and tools weren’t widely available until 2004. So having tools like this really help, taking RSS as the learning experience it shows acceptance only comes about thanks to parsers.

    Keep up the good work, 2008 could be exciting!