WebChunks: even better than the real thing

One of the new features introduced by Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 (and still present in Beta 2) is WebSlices, a cool feature that lets you subscribe not to a page but to a summarized version of it including images and styling, provided the web 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 limitation.

But WebChunks 0.3, released today, breaks all the rules and lets you subscribe to any element in any page: go to any page, press the WebChunks button, and select Create your own webchunk in current page. Then you just have to click on the element you want to subscribe to, and you’re done. And it does it without the previous dependency on the Greasemonkey extension.

WebChunks is a dream. It can effectively replace several other extensions in a few seconds. For example I have set it to check for today’s featured Firefox add-on, weather in San Juan, Lima and Geneva, the status of hurricane Ike, a couple of eBay items and even the current Mozilla Links poll, all within minutes and without the need of any other extension.

It is not free of a few weaknesses though. The most evident is the use of a full toolbar which may be too much estate for “just” staying current. I also noticed that it is not synchronized across windows so you may get a wrong idea of what webchunks you really have if you add or delete some.

I would also like an option to share webchunks providing some kind of address I could email, twit, whatever and have the other party add it to his webchunks. Some better default styling would also be welcomed.

It is a very nice extension that could in fact even drop the WebSlices implementation that inspired it, as it has largely superseded it. Totally recommended.

WebChunks 0.3 is available from Daniel’s Disruptive Innovations only at this time, but should be updated on Mozilla Add-ons in the next few hours.


7 Comments

  1. Sebastian Paaske Tørholm September 8, 2008 4:29 pm 

    Would be pretty nifty if it was integrated with bookmarks, like live bookmarks. I do hate new toolbars.

  2. Life Clerks » WebChunks Puts Dynamic Information from Any Web Site in Your Toolbar [Featured Firefox Extension] September 8, 2008 6:49 pm 

    [...] Firefox only (Windows/Mac/Linux): Firefox extension WebChunks creates bookmarks to monitor any section of a web site. Based on Internet Explorer 8’s WebSlices feature, the latest release of WebChunks allows you to subscribe to any area of a web page—whether the developer set it up for use with WebSlices or not. The gist, then, is that you can bookmark a dynamic section of a web page and quickly bring it up any time by clicking the WebChunks toolbar—similar to Dashboard’s Web Clips tool. The newer version (0.3) of this runner-up extension in the best Firefox 3 extensions contest isn’t available yet on Mozilla’s servers, but the latest is available from the site below. If you like it, let’s hear how you’re using it in the comments. Webchunks on any web site [Glazblog via Mozilla Links] [...]

  3. meatsack September 9, 2008 8:39 am 

    “new features” “in IE 8″. This sounds like ‘web clips’ which has been in safari for a while now…

  4. WebChunks Puts Dynamic Information from Any Web Site in Your Toolbar [Featured Firefox Extension] | Geekinstinct.com | Geek Stuffs, Technology Related September 10, 2008 2:07 pm 

    [...] Fi­r­efo­x­ o­nl­y (Wi­nd­o­ws/M­ac/L­i­nux­): Fi­r­efo­x­ ex­t­ensi­o­n Web­Chunks cr­eat­es b­o­o­km­ar­ks t­o­ m­o­ni­t­o­r­ any sect­i­o­n o­f a web­ si­t­e. B­ased­ o­n In­t­e­rn­e­t­ E­x­plo­re­r 8’s We­bSlice­s fe­a­t­ure­, the­ late­st r­e­le­ase­ of We­bC­hu­n­k­s allows y­ou­ to su­bsc­r­ibe­ to any ar­ea of a web­ pag­e&md­as­h;whether­ the d­evel­oper­ s­et it up for­ us­e with Web­S­l­ices­ or­ n­­ot. The g­is­t, then­­, is­ that y­ou can­­ b­ookmar­k a d­y­n­­amic s­ection­­ of a web­ pag­e an­­d­ quickl­y­ b­r­in­­g­ it up an­­y­ time b­y­ cl­ickin­­g­ the Web­Chun­­ks­ tool­b­ar­&md­as­h;s­imil­ar­ to Da­shboa­r­d’s We­b Cli­ps tool. T­h­e newer versio­n (0.3) o­f­ t­h­is runner-up ex­t­ensio­n in t­h­e be­s­t Fire­fox­ 3 e­x­te­n­s­ion­s­ con­te­s­t isn’t a­va­ila­ble­ y­e­t o­n Mo­zi­lla’s servers, but­ t­h­e l­a­t­est­ is a­va­il­a­bl­e fr­om­­ t­h­e sit­e bel­ow­. If y­ou l­ike it­, l­et­’s h­ea­r­ h­ow­ y­ou’r­e using it­ in t­h­e com­­m­­ent­s. W­ebchu­n­ks on­ a­n­y­ w­eb si­te [Gl­azbl­og via Moz­i­lla­ Li­n­­k­s­] [...]

  5. grinnZ September 28, 2008 3:44 pm 

    I have isolated WebChunks 0.30 as the cause of an extension conflict with Scrapbook. Although WC does not impede Scrapbook from its site element collection procedure it does indeed prevent the display of the collected page/selection in Firefox. On the other hand, it seems as if display is either fully or partially possible when the Firefox tab is changed to an IE tab via IE tab or the real IE is used. For now I have disabled WC as I have much more need for Scrapbook than this new extension. With that said, properly implemented this extension does indeed have a bright future.

  6. WebChunks Puts Dynamic Information from Any Web Site in Your Toolbar [Featured Firefox Extension] | Geekinstinct.com | Geek Stuffs, Technology Related September 29, 2008 9:28 pm 

    [...] Firefox on­ly (Win­d­ows/M­ac/Lin­u­x): Firefox exten­sion­ Web­Chu­n­ks creates b­ookm­arks to m­on­itor an­y section­ of a web­ site. B­ased­ on­ In­ter­n­et Explor­er­ 8’s­ WebS­lic­es­ featur­e, t­h­e lat­est­ release o­f­ W­eb­Ch­un­ks allo­w­s y­o­u t­o­ sub­scrib­e t­o­ any­ a­r­ea­ o­f a­ w­eb pa­ge&md­a­s­h­;w­h­eth­er­ th­e d­evelo­per­ s­et it up fo­r­ us­e w­ith­ W­ebS­lices­ o­r­ n­o­t. Th­e gis­t, th­en­, is­ th­a­t y­o­u ca­n­ bo­o­kma­r­k a­ d­y­n­a­mic s­ectio­n­ o­f a­ w­eb pa­ge a­n­d­ quickly­ br­in­g it up a­n­y­ time by­ clickin­g th­e W­ebCh­un­ks­ to­o­lba­r­&md­a­s­h­;s­imila­r­ to­ Dashboar­d’s Web C­li­ps tool. T­h­e­ n­­e­we­r v­e­rsion­­ (0.3) of t­h­is run­­n­­e­r-up e­xt­e­n­­sion­­ in­­ t­h­e­ best Fi­refo­x 3 exten­si­o­n­s co­n­test is­n­’t availab­le y­et on­ Mo­zilla’s se­rve­rs, b­ut­ t­he­ lat­e­st­ is availab­le­ fr­o­­m t­he­ sit­e­ b­e­lo­­w­. If yo­­u like­ it­, le­t­’s he­ar­ ho­­w­ yo­­u’r­e­ using­ it­ in t­he­ co­­mme­nt­s. We­bc­h­unk­s o­n any we­b sit­e­ [Gla­z­blo­g v­ia­ Moz­illa­ Lin­­k­s] [...]

  7. John Ddenz October 10, 2010 6:11 am 

    PageSlices addon for Firefox can make web slice from any part of web site and add multiple web slices on user page.

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