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Nov 17

View Source Improving: From Linkification to Discovery

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Linkified View Source

Curtis Bartley fixed a Firefox bug which has now enabled live links within view source. As you can see above, links are now underlined and you can navigate away through the source. Very nice indeed, thanks Curtis!

Ben and I were talking about this, as well as bringing other features into the world of view source. Some small things such as popping up the actual color when you see a #xxxxxx, or a thumbnail on an img or url().

Of course, this normally leads to Firebug-land. In fact, after talking to some Mozillans, I am excited about improving discoverability.

For example, would it be cool to:

a) Show a top info drop down saying “You seem to be interested in the underpinnings of the Web and development. If so, __check out Firebug__” when a user runs their third View Source. Ditto for other develop-y actions (grabbing the Web Developer toolbar etc).

b) Allowing sites to link to their add-ons. This one should be cross browser. If you are a company such as LinkedIn, and you have developed a cool add-on or extension for your site, how are users to know? They may no be hanging on on AMO looking for one :)

You can imagine something like:

<link rel='browser-addon' browser='firefox' href='https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1512' type='application/addon' />

to point to a Firefox add-on in this case. You could also follow the same pattern to get info on site specific browser info, Greasemonkey scripts, or specific apps (e.g. AIR apps).

<link rel='browser-userscript' title='Cool Video Script' href='http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/9789' />
<link rel='browser-app' title='eBay Air' href='http://desktop.ebay.com/' />

What do you think?

5 Responses to “View Source Improving: From Linkification to Discovery”

  1. Darrell Brogdon Says:

    Nice ideas! I especially like the idea of popping up information such as a color palette or image thumbnail in view source. That would be very helpful as a developer.

  2. Matthew Says:

    Linkifying ‘View Source’ is a huge improvement – it’ll be very useful for a lot of people.

    Having the browser pick up a site’s recommended add-ons would be cool if you could make it work. I’d be concerned, though, that elevating recommendations from a link on the page, into the browser chrome, could end up ‘legitimizing’ malware in the eyes of the end-user.

  3. Ignacio Coloma Says:

    I would add to the Firefox install wizard a list of recommended plugins: Firebug, Firecookie, Download status bar, Ubiquity and LiveHttpHeaders come to mind, but there may be others. It would help people filtering the most common Firefox plugins.

    The user can still decide whether to install or not, but it would be a time saver for the majority of web developers out there.

  4. Daniel Shaw Says:

    Google Chrome already has this. Love it.

  5. Alyysa Says:

    Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing a associate degree in nursing from associate degree nursing schools

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