The surprising thing about del.icio.us

,at least to me anyway, is although I’m using it using it fairly frequently, I hardly ever visit the web site itself (or at least that’s how it looks when adding a bookmark).

That’s possible thanks to Firefox and two extensions – http://delicious.mozdev.org/ (adds a context menu on right clicking a page, to post to del.icio.us among other things) and foxylicious (allows you to view your del.icio.us favorites from your bookmarks menu). Combined the extensions eliminate at least 50% of the clicks / keystrokes I need to work with the normal del.icio.us UI.

This goes back to what I was mumbling on about in Seperating Browser from Resource.

So how does that translate to an application like DokuWiki? Messing around with it a little, creating some pages, strikes me how superfluous those buttons are (Edit Page, Show Revisions etc.).

If, instead, you could right click on any page and see a menu something like;

. DokuWiki

.. Edit Page

.. View Revisions

.. Backlinks

…these could take you to the relevant page / form (perhaps opening a new tab or a popup). Also if you had a bookmarks folder that showed you the Recent Changes as well as the index that’s basically eliminated all those buttons except the search (which could easily become a search plugin). What’s left is only the resource itself – the wiki page.

That simple analysis suggests the code for a Dokuwiki Firefox extension wouldn’t be a great deal different from the del.icio.us extensions… Would it work for other online applications? What about Sitepoint’s forums?

Now taking a leap into the unknown… can we get to the point generating a Firefox XPI installer with PHP, which is primed to add the context menus which in turn popup the necessary tools for working with a site / web app? We’ve got RAP and PEAR::Archive_Tar (see Davey’s PHAR proposal for ideas).

The gain, as I see it, is the user experience gets better / quicker and website development get’s a lot easier – no more thinking about things like MVC. You “simply” build the pages for viewing content then the tools for stuff like editing the content are implemented as standalone scripts with an independent UI.

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  • http://www.hostetler-family.net/mike/ escape164

    This is a great idea. Coupled with something like scriptserver, there will be few limits to what could be done.

    I too have started using RSS, and del.icio.us only because of the Firefox extensions that are provided for them. Firefox extensions are addicting (http://www.hostetler-family.net/mike/index.php?p=15) as you can see. It is going to be exciting to see the possibilities that come out of developers coming up with new ways of editing content.

  • Ian Bicking

    I just use a bookmarklet for submitting to del.icio.us, which works fine and doesnt require any installation. And I can use a different bookmarklet to use nutr.icio.us, with no problem. And they are so simple they won’t need to be changed as I upgrade the browser.

    Viewing the pages is a different issue; in this case, the RSS capabilities of Firefox might be easier than a new extension.

    Ultimately, though, a wiki is different — it only applies to a specific context, not the entire internet (as del.icio.us does). SWiki has a very pretty interface, but just using normal forms. I’ve played with using a Javascript thing that looks like a menubar, that sits at the top of the page; that also feels quite nice.

  • Unarmed

    XPI files, and JAR files, are zip-compressed. You’d want to look at Archive_Zip, which already has code in the CVS. I was able to use it to create a script that automagically bump the maxVersion number for older XPI’s.

  • Mark Wubben

    I’d rather have an extension which adds functionality to Firefox allowing websites to enhance the contect menu.

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    I’d rather have an extension which adds functionality to Firefox allowing websites to enhance the contect menu.

    Really good point. Just add something like this to a page;


  • Andi

    I suggested something like this a long time ago. See
    http://wiki.splitbrain.org/wiki:extension