WebCards Extension For FireFox

Discovering Microformats
For viewing Microformats, and discovering them in a web page, I’ve blogged about Tails for Firefox in the past. But recently, I’ve been beta testing Andy Mitchell‘s excellent Webcards 0.3 extension for Firefox. So what does it do?

The first time you load a page containing Microformatted information, the green WebCards ribbon pops up at the bottom of the browser viewport to alert you. This also appears when you mouse over the bottom of the browser:

[WebCards ribbon tells you what sort of Microformats are in the page]

Playing Tag
Clicking the “Tags” link in the ribbon brings up the Tags panel:

[Default view of the "tags" panel is the Related option, allowing easy search of del.icio.us or Upcoming for the tags in question; "brian suda" in this example.]

Similarly, clicking the Feedback or Media icons gives alternative search options for that tag:

[Feedback offers to search Technorati, Media offers to search Flickr for the tag in question]

An alternate way to access the tags panel is to right click any tag on the page (which will be highlighted by the green TAG icon):

[Right-click (configurable) the TAG icon to get a floating version of the Tags panel]

Making Contact
When displaying contact information, the extension will display the blue Person icon whenever it encounters any hCard info. Right click to get the floating panel for the hCard information:

[Default view for hCard is the Information icon. Shows multiple links if they are in the hCard]

The Application icon will allow export of the hCard info to Outlook or other address book application. The Related icon shows other search options for that person:

[Related search options are LinkedIn, Google or Wikipedia]

Getting Friendly
My blogroll is marked up with XFN and when you mouse over the relevant link, WebCards will let you see the orange XFN icon. Right click and it shows relationship in the XFN panel:

[The XFN panel shows the page owner's relationship to the linked person]

Make A Date
The last major category of Microformat that I’ve been exploring with WebCards is of course, hCalendar. These are indicated by the little red CAL icon:

[Upcoming occasions displayed in the Calendar panel]

As with the other format panels, the Application icon lets you export the event to Outlook or Google Calendar applications; Related will search Upcoming or Google for the event:

[Add an event to my GoogleCalendar with the Applications i
con]

Summing Up
So far, I’ve seen several iterations of this extension, and Andy has always welcomed feedback on the app. I like it a lot better than Tails for Firefox, it just seems to do more and looks much nicer – don’t accuse me of being shallow, it just adds up to a nicer user experience! Anyway, I’d recommend it to anyone who is looking to get the most out of Microformats in the wild.

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4 Responses to WebCards Extension For FireFox

  1. Neil Crosby says:

    Thanks for posting this, Caz.

    I’ve installed it now, had a quick look, and it looks pretty groovy. The only problem is that it doesn’t seem to pick up hReviews at all. I’ve had a look on The Ten Word Review and on various of the micformats.org hReview examples in the wild and non of the reviews written on any of those pages showed up in WebCards. A pity, but hardly a terrible terrible thing. I’m glad that it doesn’t seem to be my fault though!

  2. Caz Mockett says:

    I’m sure Andy would be happy to hear your feedback – I know he’s busy tweaking things behind the scenes, and it may just be that hReview is on the “to do” list ;-)

  3. Andy Mitchell says:

    Thank you Caz, that is a great write up and even poses as a good intro guide (saved me some time there!).

    You’re right, there is – of course – a massive amount to do. After we’ve integrated our (Michael Kaply & I) joint parser the missing hReview issue will be resolved.

    Following your other good feedback, we’ll be making it a little less intrusive; and broadening its scope to be useful even on pages without Microformats.
    (Timewise, focus has temporarily switched to our sister project, meecard.com, but we’ll be back on WebCards within the week…).

    And yes, feedback of all kinds is readily accepted!

    Cheers,
    Andy

  4. Caz Mockett says:

    Andy, send folks over if you need to show them a primer ;-)

    Looking forward to the next incremental release.