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Moved! I now blog at http://www.saicharan.in

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Firefox extension updated!

At last! The SaveURI 0.1 for firefox is ready! Now I can breathe easy. It is available here. Try it and post your comments.
As I said earlier, this extension is useful for "remembering" the URL of every page that you visited and saved. This is still in beta as it has only just been submitted to Mozilla Foundation for review.
Cheers! Now I can do something else while I wait for the review. :)

Yesterday, the Firefox running on my system said I needed to upgrade, on saying go ahead, it checked my extensions for compatibility and said SaveURI is incompatible with! Anyway, later, I downloaded FF from Get Firefox and installed it. Then, I installed the SaveURI extension and it works just right!
Any ideas? Buzz me.

This morning (20th April), SaveURI 0.3 was ready. Queued it up for approval at the MDC. Waiting for their approval. If you want to try it, it is available here. Try it and let me know.


Anonymous said...

Hello Sri,

This is a very nice idea! I had this kind of problems, too. Well, that said (and surely i don't want to diminuish your creativity and your good work!), meanwhile i solved them :) but by a different aproach. I wonder if you could be interested to implement something like this in firefox, as very cool sensational & innovative add-on ? =)

Firefox (and so far, no browser around) has no real cache management.
You cannot easily search for content in the cache, or control when a page (or domain) will be deleted, or that it should be preserved indefinitely even if the original disappears. More simnple, you cannot tell firefox to cache or not to cache a site.

If you would have extended cache control, you would not need to 'save' pages at all - you just browse a site with caching enabled. To get back to the site, naturally, you just create a ordinary bookmark !
You will have the URL available anytime, even offline, and it would be easy to extend functionality to store and cuastomize metadata information or compare the cached version to the current online version. You can easily search a local cache for keywords, too.

I believe many people will recognize such a thing as 'Hey that's something i always missed though i didn't know'. But there's no addon like this - yet.
And the best reason i can think of is, because caching / serving isn't that easy as it may sound.

Fortunately, there's already code to learn from !
If you like to get an idea about what's the cool features, what makes sense (and what not), and how it would work at all, then i recommend to have a look into this opensource project: www.gedanken.demon.co.uk
It's about a local web cache proxy, and draws back on several years of experience.
I don't think there's a second one like this. But it's too freaky to be well-known.
And it can be used in combination with 'htdig' or 'namazu' to index and search the cache.

Yet, it has two big wekanesses:
(1) It can't be switched on and off via mouseclick, natively (no GUI at all)
(2) You can't manage the cache via bookmarks.

As a workaround for (1), you can use the addon 'FoxyProxy' to switch any proxy on or off. But wwwoffled and FoxyProxy have redundant functionality, like regexpr filtered forks, which too easily ends up to be confusing in daily use. A dedicated wwwoffle button would focus on the special backends features instead. FoxyProxy is anything but specific.

As for (2), it's tedious to open a configuration file (or URL) any time you want to add, remove, or edit a domain specific setting. You can't sell that to users. Instead, it should be that easy: If you add a bookmark you probably want to cache this site, too, so it will be tagged as 'never forget' Anything else could default to 'forget after one day'. You would be able to edit domain (or subdomain- or page-) specific caching settings anytime, simply by the bookmarks' properties menu.
Like setting a specific expiring time (for news) or disbale caching completely for a site (like google searches or mail accounts.)
The cache manager daeonon also could indicate if the current online page meanwhile ended up in smoke. It could even go so far to adjust the new URL of a (redirected) moved content automatically. There's much more features one could think of.

It could turn out a great tool for just about anything :)

Perhaps, for a start, someone would just hack a firefox addon frontend to the wwwoffle daemon ? (wwwoffle is available for both windows and linux.)
In the past, the single project maintainer had no interest to turn his LAN proxy server into a dedicated local power machine. Funny thing is, many people already just use it like this - e.g. on laptops, for offline browsing on the road.
Anyway, i believe Andrew just never had the time to do anything else than getting caching and streaming right, which is a quite complex task.
I'm using wwwoffle for many years now, and again, i don't think there's anything comparable out. I really think it's just too freaky, and Andrew also never promoted his own project in any successful way.
Now doesn't this call for someone bringing this precious jewel to the users ?

You could, for example, work it out together. (You'd need somee sensible diplomacy)

For more information, you can turn to the mailing list "wwwoffle-users at gedanken.demon.co.uk", which is also archived in several places, like

Cheers, and all the best


Kite Giedraitis said...

Hello Sri

I have a suggestion for a Firefox extension:

In Windows, each file has a comments field, accessible by right-clicking it and selecting "properties". Seems like this field is almost never used. I think it would be very cool if, whenever I download a file from a website and save it to disk, its comments field would automatically contain the url I downloaded it from. Like your wonderful SaveURI, it would allow me to re-visit websites, but it would have a big advantage: It would work on not only saved web pages but also saved pdf files, jpegs, audio files, video files, etc.

But unfortunately I am not a programmer. Would you or someone you know be interested in creating such an extension?

Kite Giedraitis

Mauricio said...

Work excellent, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Firefox, SaveURi, Mac-Os-X.4.11 :

why not saving URi to comment-field like iCab (Mac) does ist ? Would be nice to hear from you.

Peter Deisz, deiszmp@gmx.de

Sri Charan said...

I did not put the URI into a comment like iCab does because it is more accessible when visible. Even IE puts the link into a comment. I will instead add an option to choose to add the URI in a comment field or visibly in the web page.