2006-07-06

microsummaries beyond bookmarks

Folks at my XTech talk on microsummaries in May seemed excited by the new feature, and in discussion they pointed out a number of potential applications for microsummaries technology, including:
  1. Simplifying web pages for blind users who have to walk DOM trees via screen readers to access page content.  One idea is to establish a repository of site-specific XSLT stylesheets that remove unnecessary content (f.e. redundant navigation) from pages, tag important content, and make other modifications to optimize navigability via screen readers.
  2. Reorganizing web pages for mobile users with screen size and navigation constraints.  A common problem on mobile devices is that users have to scroll past screenfuls of navigation to get to the content of a page, since the navigation appears before the content in the page.  Here again we might establish a repository of XSLT stylesheets that move navigation to the ends of pages and do other transforms to make the pages display better on small screens.
  3. Creating widgets that provide specific information or help you do particular tasks, à la Yahoo! Widgets, Opera Widgets, and Apple's Dashboard.  XSL transforms probably aren't sufficient here but could be a component in an overall solution.
These are all great ideas, and I'll be keeping their use cases in mind as I refine microsummaries functionality in Firefox.

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