Archive for December, 2008
Are you ever frustrated by websites which force you to click “Next” over and over again to get the next page in an article or the next image in an image gallery? Next links chop up the flow of what you reading, and constantly leave you staring at that hourglass cursor waiting for the next page to load. PageZipper is a bookmarklet which automatically adds all the “Next” pages to the page you are on, so you don’t have to click “Next” and you certainly don’t have to wait for any pages to load.
Try it out: http://www.printwhatyoulike.com/pagezipper
PageZipper automatically finds the Next link on a page- you don’t need to tell it anything. As you scroll to the bottom of a page, it will append the next page to the bottom of the page you’re on. You can also click Control-Down Arrow to skip directly to the top of the next page. On image galleries, Control-Down Arrow will skip you directly to the next image in the gallery.
The original idea for PageZipper came from the brilliant Mr. Paul Davis who is working on a project similar to PrintWhatYouLike at http://github.com/PeeDee/webstrip/ and has a super-cool blog here: www.technologyinvestment.info
Eventually the code behind PageZipper will be integrated into PrintWhatYouLike. Imagine printing Time’s list of the 50 best websites of 2008. You would have to individually print each one of the 50 web pages!! That would take hours, not to mention waste entire forests worth of paper. But PrintWhatYouLike will soon have a solution- Instead imagine loading the first page of the list into PrintWhatYouLike. Use the PrintWhatYouLike tools to remove all the ads and format the page to look just how you want. Then click an “Extend Series” button. This button will use the PageZipper code to retrieve the other 49 webpages in the best websites list, apply your chages from the first page to each of those pages, and append those pages to your first page. The result will be one document which contains all 50 articles in the ‘best websites’ list, and looks exactly how you want. You could then print this as one print job or save it as one pdf. If you were using the plugin, you could close it and read the entire list all as one page. That is where PrintWhatYouLike is headed.
At long last PrintWhatYouLike has a real bookmarklet! Now you can include the PrintWhatYouLike editor in any page just by clicking the bookmarklet. Here’s how it works:
- Install the bookmarklet by going here
- When you come upon a page that needs some editing, click the PrintWhatYouLike button in your bookmarks toolbar
- The PrintWhatYouLike editor will appear around the page you’re on. The editor works the same as if you had loaded the url into printwhatyoulike.com, but you will never leave the page you are on
- When you are finished making changes, click the PrintWhatYouLike button again, and the editor will disappear. Only your modified page will remain
The bookmarklet has a couple advantages over entering a url into printwhatyoulike.com
- more convenient – you never leave the site you’re on
- works on any page, including private/password protected pages like webmail!
The bookmarklet works on map sites like mapquest and google maps. It does not work on the default view of ajax-heavy email sites like Gmail (Gmail’s iframes wreak havoc on the editor), but it does work on the printer-friendly view.
Since you can now use the bookmarklet on private information, a quick note on privacy is in order: The bookmarklet does not record or distribute any information about you or the page you are viewing. With one exception: If you click “Save as Pdf,” the content of the site you are on is forwarded to a 3rd party service which converts it to a pdf. PrintWhatYouLike does not store any of this data, but I cannot make any guarantees about the 3rd party service. So if you are reading the CIA personnel list or the recipe for Coka-Cola, I would recommend against using ‘Save as Pdf’. Everything else is safe. You can easily verify this by using a tool like livehttpheaders, firebug or wireshark to spy on the bookmarklet.
As always, if you find something which doesn’t work or you have any questions, let me know in the comments.