Thursday, July 9, 2009

Release Notes

DOWNLOAD:

   Download here from rapidshare. It can only be downloaded 10 times so if the link is down please send me and e-mail so I can reupload it.

INSTALL:

    1) I suggest setting up a new profile - just to be safe - as well as keeping an eye on the Firefox Error Console. To set up a new firefox profile see this short document: http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/Managing+Profiles

    2) Drag BreadCrumbs.xpi into your Firefox browser ( >= 3.0)

    3) Click Install

    4) Done!

TO USE:

    On the bottom right hand corner of the Firefox status bar will be a red icon with URL on it, that is the main controlling icon for BreadCrumbs.

    To begin logging websites, simply left click the icon. It will turn green to signify that it is running. Browse away! It can be clicked again to turn off - essentially pausing the logging - and clicking once more will resume where you left off.

    Right clicking the icon will present a context menu.

        Save Session: This will save your current session to a file.

        Load Session: This will allow you to load a saved session file.

        New Session: This will erase any logged websites and start you over with a fresh graph.

        View Session: This will allow you to view the graph.

    Logged Browsing History (the graph)

        Show Session Trail: This shows a list of the links from site to site your session, ordered from earliest (top entry) to most recent (bottom entry). Each entry shows the destination site and the exact date and time. Hovering your mouse over an entry causes it to be highlighted, along with the edge that it describes. The entry can be clicked to bring up a window to enter a new annotation for that link [Please do not include "|||" in the annotation; three pipes].

        Reload: [Self explanatory]

        Pause Animation: When the page is loaded the nodes of the graph will continually spread out so that all are visible. Once they are visible enough for you you can click the Pause Animation button to stop them from spreading out more.  Note: Any clicking on the graph will cause the animation to resume.

The Graph itself:

    Nodes: Each node of the graph is a website. Most nodes can be dragged around the screen, but if is is outlined in red then it is a root node and thus cannot be dragged. Hovering over a node causes a tooltip to appear with the title of the site. Right click on a node to open a context menu.

        Edit Title: This opens a window to allow you to rename the node to anything you want - please, without the character sequence "|||" [three pipes].

        Visit Site: This opens the website in a background tab in your browser.

        Collapse Node: [NOT IMPLEMENTED YET].

        New Edge: [NOT IMPLEMENTED YET].

        Delete Node: This will delete the node and all edges that connect to it. This may result in multiple disconnected graphs, which is fine. [Deleting a node causes an automatic reload to reset the magnetic/spring forces - I am working on a better solution].

        Close: This simply closes the context menu.

    Edges: There are two types of edges, solid or dotted. Solid edges are formed when a link is a link is clicked (or selected to "open in new tab"), so it corresponds to direct links. Dotted edges are any other type of link: a bookmark, clicking "Home", manually entering a URL, opening a new tab (ctrl+t) then entering a URL, etc. If logging is paused during a session then turned back on in the future, the resulting edge will be a dotted edge since there may have been many sites in between.

    Hovering over an edge causes it to be highlighted, along with the corresponding entry in the Session Trail panel (if it is not hidden), and also displays the link annotation. Right clicking on the edge will bring up a context menu.

    Edit Annotation: This will open a small window to enter any annotation you wish for the edge [Again, avoid "|||"]. Clicking on the corresponding entry in the Session Trail will also open the window.

    Delete Edge: This will delete the edge and reload the graph automatically.

    Close: This closes the menu.

KNOWN BUGS/ISSUES:

  • "open in new tab" sometimes causes the resulting webpage to not become logged, or when it is logged it is set as a root node.
  • New Edge and Collapse functions are not implemented.
  • Selecting an improper file in the Load Session option causes it to break.
  • Saving/Loading a very long session is slow.
  • Sometimes the forces between edges and nodes in the graph cause it to spread out widely, the temporary fix for this is the "Pause Animation" button.
  • Not allowing websites to load sometimes results in two copies of the same link appearing in the Session Trail panel.
  • Favicon extraction isn't the best, but it should work for most sites.  
  • Browsing with multiple windows has not been significantly tested.
  • The colours don't match in any sense.

CURIOUS?:

    To view the source code rename BreadCrumbs.xpi to BreadCrumbs.zip, and unzip. If you want to see where everything is being stored go to your Firefox profile directory and look for breadCrumbs.sqlite. I use the Firefox extension SQLite Manager to check the contents of breadCrumbs.sqlite and the edgeLog table to see what's what.

3 comments:

  1. Very nice. Now I really want to start using it...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Reupload please?

    ReplyDelete
  3. The information that you have provide is really helpful. I always find it very interesting to read your posts …
    More info:- Mozilla Firefox Technical Support

    ReplyDelete