Sunday, October 25, 2009

Idea for a browser addon

Sometimes when I'm doing research on the web, I want to make notes right on the screen about what I'm looking at, and have them stay with that page, so that they appear when I come back to it.

I've looked around and the only addons I could find that do something like that are ones that you have to sign up w/an online service to do, and they keep your stuff so you can share it with others. But I think that some people would just like to have that data kept to themselves.

So, my idea is to have an addon where you can right-click somewhere on the page, and select "new note", which changes the mouse pointer to a crosshair, so you can select a rectangular region that will be the notespace. Then, you just click on the notespace and a text cursor appears where you can type your text.

When you go away from the page, the notes are left behind, and will reappear when you come back to it.

Optionally, you can open a sidebar that keeps track of all the pages you've made notes on, so you don't have to bookmark them - they're inherently bookmarked by your notes. You should also be able to search your notes, and maybe export a page to PDF or image that includes your notes.

Here is a mockup of what I am envisioning. On this page I've created two notes, and I have the sidebar open that keeps track of my notes.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

You could apply nicknames to those URLs in the sidebar so they're easier to understand. You can also hide the sidebar (of course), and also one or more of the notes.

Each note would also have some kind of timestamp on it, so you know exactly when you wrote it.

The note spaces expand dynamically as you type to fit your text, but you can go back and resize them if you don't want your long notes taking up the whole page. When you resize down below the size of the actual text, the text just reads up to where it can and then an ellipse '...', indicating there's more text.

You can right click on a note and select "hide note", or right click somewhere on the page a select "hide all notes" or "show all notes".

1 comment:

skmckinn said...

1) That's a bad-ass coffee table.

2) PLEASE get that addon patented, or whatever it is they do so that you can make money off of it. I would USE that! Personalizing my interwebbing with my own personal marginalia... a dream... a dream.

It should have a way to send someone a link (or maybe just a larger screenshot? But that wouldn't be as cool) with marginalia, too.

Can you mark up ebooks and kindles in this way? Because until you can, I'll never give anybody a book made of anything but paper.