Firefox extensions for linking and annotations. The former not used enough, the latter coming on strong.
I've been a fan of the of “site navigation” links for a long time. The various link types available allow an author to express a fair set of relationships within and between documents. The problem is that the UI that exposes these links to the reader has never been well or consistently deployed. The latest Firefox extension to do it is the cmSiteNavigation Toolbar. It works very nicely, providing a new toolbar containing menus which expose the document's links. (I had a slight preference for the previous extension, which placed the menus in the browser status bar, but I can see how it's getting a bit crowded down there.)
Now we have the classic chicken-and-egg problem. The extension would be more appealing if more sites made good use of the links and more authors would be inclined, I imagine, to make good use of the links if readers were taking advantage of them.
I plan to start introducing them into the documents I publish. I even experimented with them in the current draft of XDM but, apparently lead astray by a bug in the extension I was using previously, I misspelled the link relationship.
But no matter how many documents I put them in, there will still be a lot of legacy that doesn't contain them. But what if there was a way to add them after the fact? Greasemonkey to the rescue!
The linkbookmarks.user.js script scans the document for section titles marked with anchors and adds them as “bookmark” links (assuming the document has no links of type bookmark already).
Unfortunately, adding nodes to a document is painfully slow so the script never tries to add more than 50 links. Given that a document like F&O has more than 400 sections, it'd be a tad more useful if it could do more than 50. Is there a Greasemonkey technique for asynchrony or some faster way to update a document?
Another extension that I hope will soon be among my favorites is Annozilla. Annozilla is an annotation extension for Firefox.
I have been wanting an annotation tool for my web browser for a long time. I review lots and lots of documents. I desperately want a convenient mechanism for associating editorial comments with sections of a document. Annozilla's a bit rough around the edges right now, but it shows real promise.