Microsoft Activities for Firefox

After looking at Microsoft Activities in IE8 and noticing that they look suspiciously like my ideas around actions in Operator, I decided to implement them in Firefox.

For your downloading pleasure, here is a first pass at Activities support in Firefox. I haven’t actually looked at IE 8, so what I did was based on the page about Activities I saw this morning. You can install activities from the Service Gallery, and then if you open a new window, those activities will be active (they don’t become active in the page you download them from – working on that). To use an activity, highlight some text and right click on it.

If folks think this is interesting, I’ll keep working on it. Enjoy.

Note this doesn’t support previews yet – I’m working on that.

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

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30 thoughts on “Microsoft Activities for Firefox

  1. This is amazing. Microsoft trying to get some new stuff in IE8, and Firefox already has it before IE8 even is available, and using a simple extension with only some XUL, CSS and JS for that.

  2. I thought the same thing. The only difference is that so far from what I can tell, operator is more powerful. I figured that this would become a part of operator at some point if it didn’t already exist (I last used operator at version .7 or something like that; I stopped because I started using Minefield during the alphas).

  3. Good idea, when I read about that “new” feature on IE8 I though “that shouldn’t be hard to implement” seems like I was right 🙂

    However it’s not working for me, seems to fail while appending the query string to the URL, it adds an & instead of an ? for the first parameter.

  4. I don’t get it. Is this just a way to pass a selection to a web service? From a quick read of the OSD white paper it seems to me it’s just that with the “categories” element providing some verbs to display but no real differentiation among data selections.

    It looks like a nice improvement over Content Search combined with some other Firefox extension that allows to make a search engine of any search box. But far from microformats’ capabilities.

  5. Mike, How do you install the service from the Service Gallery? The links don’t do anything in my case and I have also tried to open the xml openservice description url.

  6. @Pau: I got some of the query parameters wrong. Tomorrow’s version should be much better.

    @Gustavo: No idea on the webslices. Have to do more research.

    @Percy: Yes, that’s basically all it is – passing a selection to a web service.

    @Gustavo: I’ve added the necessary function to Firefox via a component to add services (window.external.addService). Not sure why it isn’t working for you. Can you turn on javascript.options.showInConsole in about:config and see if you get an error?

  7. Error: window.external.addService is not a function
    Archivo de origen: javascript:window.external.addService(‘OSDFiles/LiveSpaces.xml’);
    Línea: 1

    Firefox 3.0b2
    Microsoft Activities for Firefox 0.1

    Do you plan to include support for openservice activities in the operator addon? (to configure actions for the microformats found)


  8. @Gustavo: interesting. My component isn’t registering for some reason. I’ll try on beta 2.

    As far as openservice goes, they haven’t done enough yet to accomdate microformats (except for single microformats like tag).

    So what I’d like to do is work together to perhaps extend the model, and then yes I would love to add support into Operator.

  9. Thanks Mike, If you need me to do any test don’t hesitate to tell me.

    I would like to have a generic mapping, that could be used to map any microformat to the openservice specification, being able to do things like this:
    – Activities context: context=”microformat.hCard”
    – Activities variables: {microformat.hCard.fn}

    It would be great.

  10. We just figured out the security error thing, and it will be fixed in tomorrow’s build.

    Basically I was testing on trunk (where it works) and Firefox 2 (where it works),

  11. Why is it interesting to support this again?

    If they had added ‘actions’ to view a map, etc of microformatted data (can you say operator?) it would be news. They created yet another proprietary format instead.

    Do not want.

  12. @Stephen Paul Weber

    It’s an interesting experiment but I do agree with you.

    I have a critique of Microsoft Activities planned for next week.

    My main goal in this work was simply to experiment with how easy it was to put the functionality in Firefox.

  13. I made a Firefox extension SelectionQuery for using selected text in custom GET & POST queries, accessible from the right-click menu. I figure that you could do pretty much all Activities 🙂 with this, without the need for waiting for someone to create a description of the service.

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