2008-09-02

A couple weeks ago I blogged about my priorities for the next version of Snowl. I've just uploaded a preview release of the next version to addons.mozilla.org with an initial implementation of a view optimized for short messages and recent updates:


The view is implemented as a sidebar that shows short messages (such as from Twitter) in their entirety and displays the subjects of long messages with links to their content. Messages are sorted in the order received, with the most recent ones on top, to make it easy to see the newest stuff at a glance.

Plans


There's still plenty of functionality yet to be implemented in the sidebar, including:
  • grouping messages by time period (this morning, yesterday, last week, etc.);
  • making it possible to see some of the content of long messages;
  • an easier way to open and close the sidebar (f.e. a button that toggles it on and off).
I also want to improve elements of the visual design. In particular, I'd like to add a subtle but noticeable visual cue that messages have arrived (f.e. making messages slide into place from the top of the sidebar).

And I'm still working on implementing message sending and conversations as first-class objects for version 0.2. This preview release is just a taste of the first of several upcoming features.

Other Changes


This release also fixes a number of bugs and makes some improvements to the architecture (there seems to be a neverending supply of such infrastructure work, but it's all necessary to prototype features on top of). And it improves access to Snowl's features via some conventional extension integration points: an item in the Tools menu, an icon on the statusbar.

Get Snowl for Firefox


Get the initial prototype: Snowl for Firefox.

Warning: the initial prototype is a primitive implementation with many bugs, and subsequent versions will include changes that break functionality and delete all your messages, making you start over from scratch.



Get Involved


Let us know what you think by posting in the forum, reporting bugs, or conversing with us in the #labs channel on irc.mozilla.org. Or check out the source and submit your bug fixes and enhancements.

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