Coffeehouse Thread

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2 More Browser Feature Requests...

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  • jonathansam​pson

    I just had a couple ideas for browser plugins that would really make tons of people (including me) very happy.

    Both are rather similar, but slightly different.

    1) Bubbled Media Elements:
    So I'm sitting here with Firefox opened and about 8 tabs opened along with it. One of the tabs is HanselMinutes, where I'm listening to his latest show. Somebody walks into my office, and I have to scan my screen for hanselminutes, find it, click the tab, find the player on the page, and then pause the player.

    What if the player was instead vieweable in a collapsing panel at the bottom of the browser, along with important items from other pages? Shoot, it could even tell me which tab it's getting the media from, but allowing me immediate access without having to hunt down the parent tab in an instant.

    2) Eagle-Eye Element Watching:
    This is a slight RSS-ish Page-Element tracking idea. Includes a bottom panel as well, but this one keeps up updated on specific parts of websites that get updated frequently. "Show me the contents of div.latestMovie on channel9.msdn.com when the content is updated." At the bottom of the screen, I see a small preview that is updated every 10 minutes or so. This would allow ad-hoc subscriptions to just about anything there is online.

    What do you guys think?

  • DCMonkey
  • jonathansam​pson

    DCMonkey said:
    Yeah; not 10 seconds after posting this I found the firefox addon "Fireclip." Dang. Sweet stuff Smiley The internet is getting better and better everyday Wink

  • W3bbo

    The first one isn't so simple since any code loaded into the browser can access the audio capabilities of the system. It is possible to isolate running instances of plugins, but don't expect anything like Windows' per-application audio settings. Maybe make a proposal to the maintainers of the NS plugin API?

    The second one seems doable, but might fall victim to the same problem that Excel has when you tell it to work with "web data": the structure of a page is volatile. That's why RSS is so popular for syndication.

  • jonathansam​pson

    W3bbo said:
    The first one isn't so simple since any code loaded into the browser can access the audio capabilities of the system. It is possible to isolate running instances of plugins, but don't expect anything like Windows' per-application audio settings. Maybe make a proposal to the maintainers of the NS plugin API?

    The second one seems doable, but might fall victim to the same problem that Excel has when you tell it to work with "web data": the structure of a page is volatile. That's why RSS is so popular for syndication.
    W3bbo said:
    The second one seems doable, but might fall victim to the same problem that Excel has when you tell it to work with "web data": the structure of a page is volatile.


    Yeah; this could be a problem. But most things I would use it for would be portions of pages that have a typically concrete structure. It would break, eventually, when the site structure changes but many (if not all) of the pages I would use it on have a rather concrete structure.

  • Minh

    For #1, you might want to check out http://www.foxytunes.com/ It really is a media control panel in FireFox for an external media player, but I'm not if it's smart enough to see that you're using a Flash player. Maybe open up HanselMinutes in an external app... probably not worth the trouble...

  • jonathansam​pson

    Minh said:
    For #1, you might want to check out http://www.foxytunes.com/ It really is a media control panel in FireFox for an external media player, but I'm not if it's smart enough to see that you're using a Flash player. Maybe open up HanselMinutes in an external app... probably not worth the trouble...
    In an ideal world, I could drag my embedded flash player out to my windows sidebar, and control it from there Smiley

  • DCMonkey

    W3bbo said:
    The first one isn't so simple since any code loaded into the browser can access the audio capabilities of the system. It is possible to isolate running instances of plugins, but don't expect anything like Windows' per-application audio settings. Maybe make a proposal to the maintainers of the NS plugin API?

    The second one seems doable, but might fall victim to the same problem that Excel has when you tell it to work with "web data": the structure of a page is volatile. That's why RSS is so popular for syndication.
    If you put a media player (flash, SL whatever) in a web slice, will it keep playing when not displayed? That's what I was thinking about for idea #1. Of course this would require support from the web site to implement. And so would web slices. I think whatever Apple call their web slice-like feature in Safari works off of arbitrary divs of web pages though.

  • jonathansam​pson

    DCMonkey said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*
    If you put a media player (flash, SL whatever) in a web slice, will it keep playing when not displayed? That's what I was thinking about for idea #1. Of course this would require support from the web site to implement. And so would web slices. I think whatever Apple call their web slice-like feature in Safari works off of arbitrary divs of web pages though.
    Fireclip is playing the embedded hanselminutes show just fine - as suspected. It's just the same flash player in a new tab for this example. The path to the flash player is sick:

    id('aspnetForm')/DIV[2]/TABLE/TBODY/TR[3]/TD/TABLE/TBODY/TR/TD/TABLE/TBODY/TR/TD/TABLE/TBODY/TR/TD/TABLE/TBODY/TR/TD/TABLE/TBODY/TR/TD[2]

    That makes me very nervous Smiley

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