Monday, October 24th, 2005

Blummy: quick access to your favorite web services

Category: Showcase

Alexander Kirk has released Blummy which is:

… a tool for quick access to your favorite web services via your bookmark toolbar.
It consists of small widgets, called blummlets, which make use of Javascript to provide
rich functionality (such as bookmarklets).

If you are one of those people who love bookmarklets, and your bookmark toolbar is getting larger and larger for it, then this could be for you.

The interface is clean, allowing you to drag and drop blummlets as they come up. If you drop a blummlet that wants more information, it prompts for it at that time. For example, grab the Delicious blummlet and it will ask you for your delicious username.

Michael Mahemoff has some interesting things to say about the mother of all bookmarklets

  • Because the Blummlet lives in a bookmarklet, XMLHttpRequest can access any domain. Scott Isaacs recently suggested
    it would be worth the risk for browsers to drop the same-domain policy,
    though it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. A bookmarklet, I’m
    guessing, gets around that constraint.
  • The site lets users share Blummlets, which might lead to Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks like the now-famous myspace effort.
    Alexander’s well aware of this risk, which is why there’s a “Report
    Concern” checkbutton. It will be interesting to see how this kind of
    moderation works out. I still think users might need something
    stricter, like a whitelist approach, where Blummlets have to be
    explicitly approved by “the community”, i.e. guilty until proven
    innocent. (This is still vulnerable, but I think it’s a better
    trade-off overall.)
  • There are shades of yubnub here, as well as the widget/gadget/startlet idea seen on start.com.

    Leading to a repository of Blummlets. I mentioned to Alexander it would
    be nice to see an RSS feed, where users could somehow drag or a
    Blummlet into their existing Blummy.

  • Speaking of gadgets/widgets, the popup feels something like Dashboard and Konfabulator. Another example of tha Ajax Desktop, and a pretty useful one in this case. There are various popup bookmarklets like JSCalc,
    which offer one particular function. They are convenient , but there’s
    no central management point, and a lot of duplication and inconsistency
    in how the manage the popup experience. So Blummy does to the browser
    what Dashboard does the windows system: provide a common structure for
    individual applets. I haven’t looked into the programming model, but
    there’s probably good scope for a JS util library to further facilitate
    Blummlet development.

blummy

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:23 am
1 Comment

+++--
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[…] The always prolific Alexander Kirk has released a major update to Blummy, which we originally reported on in October. Think of Blummy as bookmarklets on steroids. The key feature of this update is blummyWiki, which adds an in page wiki available across computers and web sites. Alex also notes some other changes: There is now also custom color and css support. You can browse other users’ Blummys via the “Exploreâ€? link in the menu. Furthermore Blummy is now secured by password at last (so private blummlets are quite secure now). […]

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