IE 8 Activities and WebSlices for Firefox

Two of the main new features Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 introduced last week, Activities and WebSlices, are now available for Firefox users.

Activities, is a simple way to add web services you can direct text selections to for further detail. For example, you can select a word of a web page, select a define activity and get the definition from a provider you have added like Dictionary.com or Answers.com. You can do the same with a street address.

Michael Kaply, author of Operator, a more capable Firefox extension that uses microformats to detect and exchange data between sites, has released a new version of Microsoft Activities for Firefox that allows to add Activities providers to Firefox and use them to preview and direct text selections to them.

Microsoft Activities

Get Microsoft Activities from Michael Kaply’s site. You will need to add a few Activities providers from Microsoft.WebSlices are small pieces of the most relevant content of a web page that a user can subscribe to to get the latest facts without having to visit the full page.

Disruptive Innovations’ Daniel Glazman has released WebChunks, a very early implementation of WebSlices, as a Firefox extension that detects webslices in a web page and subscribe to them via a toolbar.

WebChunks

You will first need to get a few providers from Microsoft. Then you can visit one of the sites to subscribe to a web page. You will notice a purple icon when you hover a webslice. Right click and select Subscribe to a webckunk to add it to the webchunk toolbar.

There are two kinds of webslices: one is embedded in the web page as regular content and a second one is just the first item of a web feed. Currently WebChunks only support the first one but coming versions will support both of them.

Another limitation is the need of a separate toolbar and that webslices are updated every time you click on it instead of all of them getting a periodic refresh. In some cases like auctions, it is better that way though, so maybe an option to set the kind of refresh would be the right way to go.

WebChunks is compatible with Firefox 3 Alpha 1 and later versions up to the current nightlies.  You can get it from Daniel Glazman’s site.

18 Comments

  1. David March 11, 2008 9:44 am 

    The Activities strike me as strange. Firstly, the name. How are those things “activities”?

    Secondly I don’t understand the parallel drawn to Operator for Firefox in various other blog posts. Operator is much more advanced and can send information to different apps on the computer, but also requires special markup. Activities is no more or less than the context menu search extension for Firefox. But with the Firefox extension it is all one concept: Search. In IE they have managed to make search engine plugins and Activities two completely different and separate concept.

  2. n-blue | IE 8 Activities และ WebSlices สำหรับ Firefox March 11, 2008 1:24 pm 

    [...] Michael Kaply ออก extension ที่รองรับคุณสมบัติ Activities  ทำให้เพิ่ม Activities providers ของไมโครซอฟท์ ลงใน Firefox พร้อมกันนั้น Daniel Glazman ออก extension WebChunks ที่ทำหน้าที่เหมือน WebSlices อ่านรายละเอียดที่ Mozillalinks [...]

  3. Simon March 11, 2008 5:57 pm 

    May IE burn in H E L L <<< IE sucks ass!
    I hate M$ and…

    I Love Percy ^_^ (and I also love to click on the ads on this GREAT site)

    Regards
    Simon

  4. steveballmer March 12, 2008 9:47 pm 

    Just more “me too-ware”

  5. DiggLife March 13, 2008 4:09 am 

    让Firefox也用上IE 8的WebSlices和Activities

    刚刚发布的IE 8 Beta 1有两个比较有意思的新功能:WebSlices(网站订阅)å’ŒActivities(活动提供程序).WebSlices可以让你不用进入网站即可即时在IE书签工具栏获取该网站的相关新闻和信息,Activities和原来…

  6. Henry March 18, 2008 5:54 am 

    It’s a shame we still have to restart Firefox to install extensions.

    Gotta say though (even though these are extensions) it’s pretty impressive how quick the Fx community was able to replicate two of the more major features of IE8 Beta, released less than two weeks ago!

  7.   Фичи Internet Explorer 8 в Mozilla Firefox  by Lifehacker March 20, 2008 4:57 pm 

    [...] В начале марта Microsoft продемонстрировала бета-версию Internet Explorer 8. Пока с точки зрения пользователя есть две крупные новинки — это WebSlices (позволяет подписываться на определенную часть страницы, например, фрагмент со статистикой, котировками, данными торгов, прогнозом погоды и т.п.) и Activities (доступ к сторонним сервисам с любой страницы). Оказалось, что нечто подобное существует и для Mozilla Firefox 3, правда в виде расширений. Подробности публикует Mozilla Links. [...]

  8. Yert March 28, 2008 11:26 am 

    Activities are nice, as you can see from IE… and now Firefox! Or you can check out the concept from Flock.

    In any case, that this has been implemented in less then a month (I think) is pretty damn sweet. I have to say that extentions are what has made Firefox such a competitor to anyone else.

  9. ubi - Mozilla Links August 26, 2008 11:56 pm 

    [...] web content and lets you operate with them) or, to a lesser degree, Internet Explorer 8’s activities, it is capable of inline interaction: the commands I enter can modify the current content [...]

  10. WebChunks is even better than the real thing - Mozilla Links September 8, 2008 3:08 pm 

    [...] developer has defined a way to access it. Not too long after, Daniel Glazman, of Nvu fame, released a quick implementation of WebSlices called WebChunks, a Firefox extension, that was subject to the same [...]

  11. WebChunks is even better than the real thing - Mozilla Links September 8, 2008 3:08 pm 

    [...] developer has defined a way to access it. Not too long after, Daniel Glazman, of Nvu fame, released a quick implementation of WebSlices called WebChunks, a Firefox extension, that was subject to the same [...]

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