December 16th, 2002

Bookmarklets: building quick web applications "to go"

Bookmarklets are an example of a nifty web technology that is only now starting to get the attention it deserves.

Snippets of javascript code held in browser bookmarks, bookmarklets are designed to provide quick access to web resources, using information from the current page being browsed. As javascript can be addressed by a URI, it's easy enough to turn code into an appropriate URI and then share it with friends and colleagues. It's a technology that's ideal for searching the web for similar documents or specific terms - or for grabbing links and posting them to blogs. One thing to note - while bookmarklets are a key to a two-way web they only use your local browser resources - they are not part of the web site you're using.

An excellent example of this technology is this Google News bookmarklet (copy this short cut into your browser as a bookmark, and then start using it!) detailed here on Danny O' Brien's Oblomovka blog. Just add the bookmarklet to your browser's favourites, and when exploring news sites, click on the bookmarklet to see Google News' list of related stories.

The web site contains many more bookmarklets, all free for use - and modification.

Now why aren't there any Live Journal bookmarklets out there?
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