Update on Activities, Microformats and Operator

I haven’t blogged in a while, so I wanted to give everyone a quick update on som of my projects.

Activities

Version 0.7.1 of Firefox Activities is waiting patiently to be moved out of the AMO sandbox. Unfortunately my 0.7 version had a memory leak, so I missed my chance. Once Firefox 3.0b5 was released, the AMO queue got very long and 0.7.1 is lost somewhere in that queue.

That version matches the IE version of Activities feature for feature, except for the floating button that appears when you select text. Activities management is much better, and I was able to support both the uppercase and lower case version of the API (which I complained about earlier). In addition, the code has been substantially rewritten so that it doesn’t affect the global namespace at all.

Microformats in Firefox 3

I thought my Microformats API for Firefox 3 had settled down, but Dmitry’s Acid Test combined with Clint Talbert’s great unit tests and a post on the microformats-discuss list uncovered a few more issues. Unfortunately time is short, so only the API change will make it. Hopefully we’ll get the other parser fixes in a point release.

Operator

I’ve actually been spending quite a bit of time on Operator lately, working with Gustavo García to figure out how to move to an XML model for user scripts using Microsoft’s OpenService Format as a basis. Our primary motivation for this is to allow the installation of user scripts on the fly instead of the current model where you have to download them. We’ve actually made quite a bit of progress in this space, and hope to have something out soon for testing. Note Operator will still support the old user scripts model, especially for scripts that need access to things like the file system.

Here’s an example of what one of these new scripts might look like:




  
    Find with MapQuest
    http://www.mapquest.com/favicon.ico
  

  http://www.mapquest.com
  
    
      
        
        
        
        
        
      
    
  


We’re also planning to allow small pieces of JavaScript to be embedded in the XML to allow more complex actions. These will be run in a sandbox to prevent security issues. If you want to be involved in the discussion of how we are going to do this, check out the microformats wiki.

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

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4 thoughts on “Update on Activities, Microformats and Operator

  1. I am looking forward to installation of user scripts on the fly. Note the problem with restarting Firefox to make new script available is not the worst case. There is problem with users to explain them how to download file, then go to the pref, find the file, open it… It’s too long and difficult process for BFU. Some click & install routine similar to Firefox addons system will be very helpful.

  2. Is there any chance of porting Operator to Safari. I’d like to get some good microformats support in my browser.