DOM element as a bookmark makes Firefox's bookmarks fully dynamic
I wrote a guide a couple of days ago on adding dynamic components to Firefox bookmarks. This involved adding a variable and keyword to the bookmark to load specific pages on a site using the keyword followed by a page or directory name on the site.
A similar concept can be used to run searches on most Internet sites.
The Firefox add-on "DOM element as a bookmark" takes the concept to a whole new level. Instead of using keywords and variables to make bookmarks dynamic, it is modifying a single bookmark displayed in Firefox automatically so that its title changes whenever the monitored component on a selected website changes.
The developer gives several working examples on the add-on's page on the Mozilla website, for instance to monitor the ups and downs of the Nasdaq index or other stock market information.
While it works fine, it is not easy to set up unfortunately. Ideally, you would simply highlight what you want to monitor and the extension would do the rest.
Currently however you have to dig deep into the side's code to find style selectors unique to the information and paste the information in the add-on's options.
One of the easier ways to find the right style is to use Firefox's Site Inspector module. Tap on F12 to open the developer tools while you are on the site that you want information to be displayed as a bookmark in the browser.
Use the element selector (the first icon on the right of Inspector) and select the information you want displayed in the toolbar. A right-click on the code and the selection of "copy unique selector" copies the relevant information to the clipboard.
From there, it is a matter of pasting it into the selector field in the add-ons options. Last but not least, add the bookmarked page there as well.
The only other option provided by the extension is the update interval which is set to once per minute by default. You may change that to get faster update intervals up to the minimum of every 20 seconds.
The second downside right now is that it only supports a single dynamic bookmark. This may not be a limitation for all users but it would be useful to get at least an option to add multiple bookmarks this way, for instance to monitor several stocks or different markets.
The third and final limitation is one imposed by Firefox. The bookmark title can only be this long which means that only short bits of text can be displayed this way.
Big potential here. uBlock and Scrapbook both have DOM selectors (well, DIV selectors which I think is the same). Maybe one of those could be ported over and modified slightly. With the right upgrades this will be great for keeping an eye on prices.
By the way this bee text box is awful on Windows Phone. You can’t edit. Why sites ever implement non-standard text boxes is beyond me. They’re always awful.
I think this is similar to IE web slice?
This is not “a whole new level” – it’s called Microsummaries (https://wiki.mozilla.org/Microsummaries), and Firefox used to have this feature until it was removed in Firefox 6. I guess it just took this long for someone to bring it back in an extension. It was always this much of a pain to set up, though — I think playing with Microsummaries is what made me an expert in XPath notation.
Wow, I’ve wanted an add-on like this for a while. Excellent!
It would be interesting to see the various ways people make use of it…
Edit: Distill https://addons.mozilla.org/En-us/firefox/addon/alertbox/ is vaguely similar, if anyone would like to play with this concept from a slightly different perspective. It also uses XPath notation to monitor elements.
Only one? :(
Maybe I will add the multiple bookmark support in the future version. It would be easy to use some selector, as in CSV format.